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I’ve noticed that high-performance engineering orgs have a clear preference towards deep-stack product delivery teams. Teams oriented around areas of a product, rather than around tech lines.

But where do you draw these team boundaries? I’ll list a few patterns I’ve seen...
1/ Lifecycle Teams

Different delivery teams focus on different stages of the user's lifecycle within the product.

For example, an e-comm site might have teams focused on different phases of the shopping experience, from browsing through to purchase and delivery.
2/ Audience Teams

Delivery teams focused on the different audiences (personas) of the product.

A food-delivery app might have a team that serve the needs of food couriers, a team for restaurant workers, a team for hungry consumers, and so on.
3/ Product Line Teams

Delivery teams focused on a specific product within a broader product line (for example, different financial products at a fintech), or a coherant set of features within a product.

This one is very common. Spotify were early proponents of this approach.
4/ Business Capability Teams

These teams own core Business Capabilities - the foundational software services which together form a business platform on which those Product Line teams build their products.
5/ Platform Teams

By my definition, a Platform Team is a product delivery team focused on providing a defined set of technical capabilities to other product delivery teams within their engineering org.
(What exactly constitutes a "platform team" is very vaguely defined, in my experience. I believe a product mindset and a clearly defined set of internal customers is the key to a successful platform team - one that actually delivers useful outcomes to the broader org)
My thanks to the teams I interviewed for my “Continuous Delivery in the Wild” ebook[1]. Those conversations helped me to refine my thinking about these team structures.

What do you think?

What product delivery team flavors did I miss? What did I get wrong?

Also, please let me know if you’d like to see these ideas written up in more detail, or perhaps delivered as part of a conference talk.
oh, and if you found these ideas interesting, you‘d probably also find Team Topologies super interesting.…
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