When people refer to the Spotify model, they’re usually talking about guilds, tribes, and chapters. But those are just rituals. I don’t believe that you break down barriers by changing reporting lines. When you have a truly cross-functional team, reporting lines become irrelevant…. As you keep going through your life and career, you realize that what truly drives these changes is the culture.
The problem, it turns out, is that the internal friction removed by small autonomous teams is still often felt by external customers. A 2013 Harvard Business Review article called “The Truth about Customer Experience” makes a critical point that often gets lost in the conversation about small, autonomous teams: from a customer’s perspective, the most important part of a product is often not its individual features, but rather how those features come together to create a seamless and cohesive experience.