The first part of this subject introduced you to our modular and minimalistically coupled, autonomous and self-organizing squads. Axelerant like any other company striving to be fully agile is witnessing a change transformation, but again with a fair set of challenges. Our underlying structure, based upon Spotify’s success story, has become as an enabler to this transformation.

Core values as an enabler to Agile transformation and autonomous structure

It would be superfluous to not acknowledge our core values (they’re even monitored) of passion, openness and giving here. They’ve been inherently supportive to realize a more efficient agile transformation. A majority of ecosystems striving hard to be fully agile struggle with people’s mindsets and often land themselves into bucketfuls of managing emotional intelligence as a subject of change management.

The core values being embedded in Axelerant DNA and also as an organizational requirement, in my opinion, are in resonance with the enablers towards values defined Agile manifesto, particularly, Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.

Scaling Open Source Services using Modular Organizational Structures - Part II

Agile teams value individuals and interactions over processes and tools because they know a well-functioning team of great individuals with mediocre tools will always outperform a dysfunctional team of mediocre individuals with great tools and processes. Great software is made by great individuals! – Mike Cohn

Are the core values of openness, passion, and giving helping us make self-organization and empowerment possible? Surely!

Squad mission and agility

Each autonomous squad is led by leaders and not managers, who work towards a mission statement to be functionally-equipped, high performing teams to effectively and efficiently meet their squad KPI’s, thus defining the success story for being agile.

The squads with focused interventions are coached to ensure:

  • Engineers take higher ownership and accountability of project success and failures
  • Squad leads focus towards agile coaching and mentoring (team watchdog!) rather than micro managing.
  • 360 degree feedback to each other for self-improvement and making team happiness possible
  • Define self-learning plans to ensure each squad attains a specialized skill in a value chain
  • Huddle to evangelize new products and also ensure community contributions like patches, modules, plugins, etc.

For small and closely-knit teams, evangelizing and institutionalizing agile practices step-by-step has been easy and will minimal enterprise risks as against a full-scale transformation. Of course, this is with least resistance to change.

Long-term Scalability with the modular structure

Axelrant’s structure with an agile framework as its operational DNA, has and further makes it easier to ensure:

  • Specialized skill groups and eventually become for centres of excellence
  • Teams can be scaled further with additional members to allow for scaled target revenues per squad.
  • Possibility of co-located squad team members to allow for face to face meet ups and other team bonding, building exercises, workshops, and more. Part of our work from anywhere model.
  • Rentalable squads to allow for business benefits
  • Multiple tribes as a collection of squads, specific to technology practices like Drupal, Ruby, WordPress, etc.
  • Multiple (functionally equipped) squads for
    • Industry verticals like healthcare, publishing, etc.
    • Specialized product offerings
    • Support to tribe specific open source distributions like Open Atrium and Open Publish for Drupal

Reference: Scaling Open Source Services Using Modular Organizational Structures – Part 1