Why, How and What: Guilds and Tribes @ Objectivity


The problem we are trying to solve is not unique – keeping efficiency while the company is constantly growing. What makes it even more challenging is that we don`t want to “f..k up the culture” and remain as agile as possible on the way. Finally, we would really like to avoid layers of management, that might generate unnecessary inertia and kill creativity and innovation.


The idea was to change the company structure. Through research we have discovered a “Guilds and Tribes” model proposed by Spotify. It seemed it is in line with all our beliefs and fulfills all the assumptions we had in mind. Although, as our business model is different, it had to be adjusted to suit our needs.


So what we have end up with roughly looks like this:




So far, we can already see the first signs of Tribes becoming more and more self-organizing. The benefits of team empowerment are becoming more visible. Teams are taking decisions to reform or change the work practices to, optimize the delivery process for the customer. Finally, team leaders can spend their time developing their team members, who are close to their day to day work. In summary, all benefits of this model are starting to kick in on different levels in each tribe.

However, proper Guild introduction is taking us a bit longer. Maybe, because it was our decision to focus on the delivery part of the organisation, as it is our core business. Maybe because in some cases programmes where following the same principles already. Or maybe because the concept of Guilds is quiet difficult to fully understand. Still it is clear we need to focus on this part of the model now, as we can observe tiny signals of “silos”. There are cases where people do not see value in knowledge sharing and are not that keen on supporting the Guild activities. Fortunately, we are prepared for that with appropriate tools in hands like new training policy, time for communities and conferences and MVP roles. On top of that, all Guild activities and backlog are visible and accessible to all employees, so they can help us prioritize the Guild work and observe the progress and challenges of the Guild Masters. This is an experiment and we will see where it is going to take us. I will describe it in more details in one of my next posts.

As few months for such a change is a really short time span, we will continue to observe and adjust, If anything interesting will come out of this, it will be a good reason for another post.



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