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HOW SPOTIFY STAYS LEAN FROM SMALL START-UP THROUGH RAPID-GROWTH (JOAKIM SUNDEN) - LKCE13
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HOW SPOTIFY STAYS LEAN FROM SMALL START-UP THROUGH RAPID-GROWTH (JOAKIM SUNDEN) - LKCE13

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In a few years Spotify has grown from a small startup in Sweden to a pretty big company with more than 30 engineering teams in four different development offices on two different continents. And we …

In a few years Spotify has grown from a small startup in Sweden to a pretty big company with more than 30 engineering teams in four different development offices on two different continents. And we have no intention of slowing down. Such rapid growth carries big challenges. How can we continue to improve our product at great speed, while growing the number of users, employees and supported platforms and devices? How do we stay lean and agile when we grow from a small startup to a big corporation? In this talk we will present how Spotify is addressing these challenges. We will talk about autonomous squads, tribes, guilds, hack weeks, road managers, and a lot of other ideas we’re experimenting with.


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  • 1. staying lean from small start-up through rapid growth
  • 2. 2 The right music for every moment
  • 3. 3 24M active users. 6M paying subscribers. 20M songs.
  • 4. 4 32 countries
  • 5. Growing fast 30 3 years ago
  • 6. Growing fast 10 100 30 250 Now
  • 7. Development speed that scales
  • 8. Autonomy
  • 9. Squad •  Feel like a mini-startup • Self-organizing • Cross-functional • 5-7 engineers, less than 10 C P
  • 10. Example squads
  • 11. Pics of squad rooms
  • 12. Process that fits Process 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Scrum Kanbanesque Kanban Other
  • 13. Autonomous squad •  Dedicated product owner •  Agile coach •  Influencing work •  Easy to release •  A process that fits the team C P •  A mission •  Organizational support
  • 14. Autonomous squad surveys C P
  • 15. Are we there yet?
  • 16. Structure and alignment Chapter Chapter P P P P Squad Squad Squad Squad
  • 17. Chapters Chapter Chapter P P P P Squad Squad Squad Squad
  • 18. Chapter Lead
  • 19. Personal development
  • 20. Training and knowledge sharing
  • 21. Boot camp
  • 22. Provide fast and reliable access to all the world's music Tribes Chapter Chapter Chapter Enable high product development speed while maintaining a highly available service Chapter P P P P Squad Squad Squad Squad P P P P Squad Squad Squad Squad
  • 23. Network organization Tribe Tribe
  • 24. Dependencies Tribe Tribe
  • 25. Structure happens!
  • 26. Guilds Chapter Chapter Chapter Chapter Guild P P P P Squad Squad Squad Squad P P P P Squad Squad Squad Squad
  • 27. Autonomy vs. Alignment Autonomy Alignment
  • 28. Autonomy vs. Alignment Innovative organization Collaborative culture Alignment Authoritative organization Conformist culture Micromanaging organization Indifferent culture Entrepreneurial organization Chaotic culture Autonomy Source: Stephen Bungay
  • 29. Vision
  • 30. Product Product P P P P Squad Squad Squad Squad
  • 31. OKR Objectives & Key Results
  • 32. Projects Project tinyurl.com/HowSpotifyBuilds
  • 33. Big retrospectives & post-mortems
  • 34. Improvement and definition of awesome
  • 35. Happy employees % of employees that would recommend this company to a friend Source: glassdoor.com
  • 36. Trust
  • 37. Internal blog: Celebrate failure How we shot ourselves in the foot Asdf asdf asdf ddhffdd asdfsdfasdf s dfs ei lkjsdfkjh dkd ie kkd kdsflk sdi elk sdfkjh sdfkjhasdflkj dk dj wi dm chsdfjh wlkjsdm WTF? Slkdfoi clk sdil wkdkdk dk dkiwlslkj dlkh slkj sdflkj dpijslkjdlldk slkdflk sdflk sdlk kjsdf Sdflk sdfsdfasdf Internal blog: Celebrate failure! Asdf asdf asdf ddhffdd asdfsdfasdf s dfs ei lkjsdfkjh dkd ie kkd kdsflk sdi elk sdfkjh sdfkjhasdflkj dk dj wi dm chsdfjh wlkjsdm dfkj dfjh slkkd dj dflkj sdfkjh sdf Slkdfoi clk sdil wkdkdk dk dkiwlslkj dlkh slkj sdflkj dpijslkjdlldk slkdflk sdflk sdlk kjsdf Sdflk sdfsdfasdf
  • 38. Joakim Sundén @joakimsunden joakim.sunden@spotify.com www.joakimsunden.com http://tinyurl.com/KanbanInAction