Network structure – first Q&A

Posted on Posted in management

2011.06.27_organizational_charts-600x584Previous post (Network Structure – Why?) raised some questions among people i distributed this draft to. Basically it was about how exactly it could work in a real world? Some people also indicated that you need to have lots of leaders in order this would work… I guess it’s true.

Link to a v0.2 document. Feel free to comment.

It’s too many POD roles for me

When POD is starting all roles can be merged in a single person (in various situations there might be a need to get resources to kick it off or set initial plan for early value delivery and etc.).

And when value is proven (customers and stakeholders understand and support it) it most probably will start growing as the result it might be difficult for one person to have all required skills and perform all necessary activities (product management, transparency, communication with others, hiring, technical excellence, education and etc.)

So POD is just a cross-functional software development team, isn’t it?

No, not at all. These are not cross-functional software development teams – these are cross-functional value delivery (or product development) teams. As you know product development is much broader activity than software development and involves other practices that must be implemented and skills that might be missing in development team only.  POD is responsible for meeting consumers needs and make sure their experience is awesome.

If it’s platform POD technical “sales” skills are needed to explain how deliverables should be used by other developers or PODs. If it’s closer to market and delivers directly to end users – people involved in marketing and sales and client support should be involved on a daily basis.

How cooperation among PODs will work and why?

Motivation to cooperate depends on business model – what company is doing

  1. In Adform case it’s the same product we are working on and all PODs are mutually dependent and are more valuable together rather than competing alone in a niche market.
  1. In a project based companies where PODs might work on very different types of projects or business domains. Reason for collaboration might be completely different (e.g. knowledge sharing on same technology and etc.)

Who is responsible for metrics and measurement?

Public metrics and measurement are key part of Transparency. POD Lead depending on his pod context must define, track, adjust them and make decisions based on them. Why POD Lead?

Because he has an intent to create something or solve a problem or improve clients lives and etc and he kicks off pod (you cannot kick off something if you don’t believe into that.) and must want and know about the progress first of all.

POD Keeper seems to be just an SM

It depends on a POD size. In a small team (< 5) SM can perfectly perform this role. When POD grows roles responsibilities might change and become broader.

e.g. following analogy comes to my mind that might explain:

POD Lead – CEO (knows what to do); POD Keeper – CTO (knows how to do that).

Normally a lead will try to find someone who will help him to build something as it’s very difficult to alone.

Freedom, Command and Control, Scrum, Kanban are tools that wise people will choose at the right moment of POD evolution.

Who “closes” the POD?

POD Lead, Keeper and Sponsor based on metrics and deliverables must be able to make a decision when it’s not reasonable to spend effort here.

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