What is a Tribe from the Spotify Model?

A Tribe in the Spotify Model is an incubator for mini-startups. In other words, a group of Agile Squads working on the same business area. In addition, the Tribe perimeter is defined to enforce autonomy and to limit dependencies with other Tribes.

What are the characteristics of a Tribe?

A Tribe in Spotify Model: gathering a group of Agile Squads (also called Feature Teams) on the same business area aligned per Value Chains.
  • Firstly, made of Squads as far as possible. Furthermore, in some specific cases like for legacy applications a team may organize as a Component Team.
  • Secondly, does not overpass the Dunbar’s number (150 people) to support social relationship.
  • Thirdly, is worldwide with proper interaction mechanisms between each location. The Squads remain co-located. This is a specification of this Return of Experience due to the size and the global configuration of the organization. But it is not specified in the Spotify Model.

The Tribe inherits the Squad’s characteristics:

  • Long-lived (> min 24-36 months) to reach optimal velocity
  • Covering both development and production: “You built it, you run it”

What is the role of the Tribe Manager ?

  • Is the Leader of the Tribe and the direct Manager of the Chapter Managers that will develop in the Chapter post.
  • His/her mission is to enforce a proper incubator the Squads for instance with collocation and a quality work environment supporting collaboration.
  • He/she organize Tribe sharing events about delivery and best practices in order to support the belonging to the big family that is the Tribe.
  • It is a full time role.

What’s next? Learn more about Agile at Scale

Check my other posts about Agile at Scale:

Here is a collection of references about the Spotify Model

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