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How to fail at Team Topologies - lessons for fast flow success - Matthew Skelton - DevOpsDays Oslo

How to fail at Team Topologies - lessons for fast flow success - Matthew Skelton - DevOpsDays Oslo

The book Team Topologies points the way to profound changes for the operating model for organizations building and running software-enriched services. These changes take months or years, but many organizations have underestimated the effort, skills, and dedication needed to adopt a fast flow approach.

In this talk, Matthew Skelton - founder at Conflux and co-author of the book Team Topologies - explores some of the pitfalls that organizations stumble into when trying to adopt the Team Topologies ideas, together with principles and effective techniques that work well when moving towards fast flow with Team Topologies:

- Working backwards from required outcomes
- Encouraging healthy and humane organization dynamics
- Using group insights to find and reshape boundaries for flow
- Investing in team and system architectures that work for flow
- And using one or more dedicated Enabling teams to guide and catalyze the changes needed

Ultimately, becoming proficient with fast flow and Team Topologies means becoming good at small, continuous changes to the teams and organization.


From a keynote talk at DevOpsDays Oslo 2023 https://devopsdays.org/events/2023-oslo/program

Matthew Skelton

October 05, 2023

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  1. How to fail at Team Topologies - lessons for fast

    flow success DevOpsDays Oslo - 11 October 2023 Matthew Skelton Founder at Conflux & co-author of ‘Team Topologies’
  2. Lessons learned about TT from working with 100s of organizations

    since 2019… (we made the mistake so you don’t have to!) 2
  3. Who am I? Matthew Skelton Founder at Conflux - confluxhq.com

    Co-author of the book ‘Team Topologies’ “Ecosystem engineering” Social media: @matthewskelton 5
  4. 💖 Success with Team Topologies 📖 Origin story of Team

    Topologies 6 ⚔ The quest: what do we want from TT 🐉 Obstacles: things to avoid with TT
  5. Team Topologies is the leading approach to organizing business and

    technology teams for fast flow, providing a practical, step-by‑step, adaptive model for organizational design and team interaction. 8 teamtopologies.com
  6. 9

  7. Team Topologies Organizing business and technology teams for fast flow

    Matthew Skelton & Manuel Pais IT Revolution Press, September 2019 Order via stores worldwide: teamtopologies.com/book Over 100k copies sold 16
  8. Team Topologies is a set of constraints to encourage emergent

    behaviours for fast flow 17 (Matthew Skelton)
  9. TT constraint #1 18 4 team types (well, 3 +

    1) grouping Image © 2019 Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais. Used with permission.
  10. TT principle #2 21 3 team interaction modes Image ©

    2019 Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais. Used with permission.
  11. The constraints on interactions provide signals to tell us when

    boundaries are not good for fast flow 22
  12. The constraints on interactions provide signals to tell us about

    intent/mission, capabilities, skills, strategy, and lots more… 23
  13. Organizing for fast flow means we are happy with: duplication,

    (a few) different versions, async + eventual consistency, ‘internal marketplace’, etc. 25
  14. Using team cognitive load as a key architectural and design

    principle means we have a humane, compassionate, and realistic workplace 27
  15. TVP avoids ‘platform bloat’ by focusing on enhancing flow and

    reducing team cognitive load - rather than technology 29
  16. Empowering teams to adjust boundaries for flow uses local knowledge

    for regular incremental gains, avoiding a dreaded ‘Re-org’ every 5 years 31
  17. • Financial efficiency from reducing dependencies ◦ (reshaping team and

    system architecture and communications) • Increased financial transparency ◦ (better cost tracking at all levels) 38 CFO
  18. • Organizational structures that work for fast flow and business

    agility • Employee engagement and wellbeing 41 Head of HR
  19. • Increased effectiveness • Increased financial efficiency • Increased productivity

    • Better wellbeing and engagement • Enhanced business agility & adaptiveness 45 Overall, what do leaders want?
  20. 48

  21. #2 Expect the amount of learning and change to be

    small 53 How to fail at Team Topologies
  22. 54 Did you know that an enchanted forest is a

    place of transformation? I have no idea what that means, but I can’t wait to see what it’s gonna do to each one of us.
  23. 59 You are allowed to do a change freeze ONLY

    if you are Disney princess!
  24. 63 Magic TT makes people feel too powerful, too entitled.

    It makes them think they can defy the will of a king PMO.
  25. 67 When one can see no future, all one can

    do is the next right thing.
  26. 68 When one can see no future, all one can

    do is the next right thing. A good way to approach VUCA! (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity)
  27. #1 Expect the change to take months or years 69

    How to succeed at Team Topologies
  28. #4 Use group insights to find boundaries for flow 75

    How to succeed at Team Topologies
  29. 79 “The Independent Service Heuristics (ISH) are rules-of-thumb (clues) for

    identifying candidate value streams and domain boundaries by seeing if they could be run as a separate SaaS/cloud product.” https://teamtopologies.com/ish
  30. 81 “User Needs Mapping [is] the first 4 steps of

    the Wardley Mapping process … for identifying potential team [and service] boundary” https://teamtopologies.com/unm
  31. 83 “[Team Interaction Modeling helps] to describe how to re-organize

    … teams and their interactions to achieve better flow and deliver value faster.” https://teamtopologies.com/tim
  32. “The work is delivered in many small changes that are

    uncoordinated to enable flow. … Management’s job is to provide context, prioritization and to coordinate across teams. Lending resources if needed across teams to unblock things. … It works well within a high trust culture.” 86 Adrian Cockcroft https://mastodon.social/@adrianco/111174832280576410
  33. #6 Use a dedicated internal Enabling team for TT &

    flow 87 How to succeed at Team Topologies
  34. Thank you Matthew Skelton Conflux - confluxhq.com Team Topologies -

    teamtopologies.com 93 Copyright (c) 2017-2023 Conflux group of companies. All Rights Reserved. The name “Conflux” and the filled C device are Registered Trademarks ® in multiple jurisdictions. The Team Topologies “tt” logo (in color, greyscale, and both with and without the words “Team Topologies”) is a Registered Trademark ® in multiple jurisdictions. Not to be used without express written permission. All Rights Reserved. Some images taken from the movie Frozen II. Copyright © Disney Corporation.