Great point! I’ve also observed this being the case for adopting other operating models in the past. What I find interesting is that the effort required to realise the most value of a model is underestimated and often goes unrecognised. Given that we, as human beings, crave instant gratification and often make instinctive, fast and emotional decisions, how might we make it easier to implement those items further down the list that require a more conscious effort over the long term?
It happens constantly – my other example of this is how companies introduce OKRs. The concept is simple but doing it well is actually quite complex!
Regarding your HMW, that’s really difficult to answer. There will never be one run-book that will help with every implementation but there are a few things that I think we should keep in mind:
- Retain the end going in mind. With the Spotify Model it is autonomous teams to help deliver value to customers faster. If you introduce the squads but then still dictate the roadmap – you’re not getting very far
- Pick apart the models the you’re applying. Try and understand the reasoning behind it. Why did Spotify pick squads, tribes and chapters and why is the release Train important. Similarly with OKRs, why do we aim for 70%, what does that mean for the size and complexity of the topics.
- I know that ever model won’t be perfect for every organisation but doing your best to implement the original concept in full and then iterating in the future. This way you build your orgs muscle and understanding of the concept. If you say upfront “x won’t work” or “y isn’t for us” you’re using your biases that have probably been built from the existing system. It’s one of the things the CTO at HelloFresh did. is the HelloTech org evolved over time as we slowly understood more about what worked/didn’t.
- Make sure you’ve understand the scope of the Operating Model. There are concepts missed all the time from the Spotify Model that act as buildings blocks to those higher level concepts / behaviours we want to achieve (the lounge is one of them). Again, all these things won’t necessarily work in your org but they should be tested and practiced.
There are a lot of parallels with the Product Development process in these points and I think that’s the key. Build organisational muscle, practice and iterate.
What do you think?