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A missing team type in Team Topologies?

Updated: Apr 1

Are #teamtopologies ignoring an important team type?

I've worked with high-performing organizations that thoughtfully crafted teams that are capable of working across the whole business/customer domain - as broad as it gets.

Such teams had to do a lot of cross-team leaning to stay relevant and keep adding real value. Such teams avoided locking themselves into a predefined narrow scope of work to show local efficiency that is easy to measure and brag about.

I saw such teams in highly-adaptive organizations such as PandaDoc, Poster POS, Y Soft and other places.

In LeSS such teams are called “feature teams”. A bad choice of a name, if you ask me. (I also know the historical context and understand why it is so. The story goes to the 90s and to how Microsoft was calling those great teams).

Such teams differ from other team types as they aim at being able to work on any feature end-to-end; across the whole customer/business domain. That’s going up the vertical axis of Org Topologies™ 🗺️ 🚀. Not just improving the flow of known value; but exploring the unknown.

That does mean such teams in reality of complex legacy products can actually work on any feature right from day one. No. In reality such teams have their preferences and temporary limitations.But that’s a great perfection vision to push us forward and keep improving, isn’t it?

If I were to choose a new name for that team type I would thinking between those lines:

  • whole product focus team

  • cross-product teams

  • omni-component teams

  • versatile teams

  • omnipotent teams

It is not about the name, really. But the meaning.

Aren't stream-aligned teams exactly the same as this 5th team type?

No. As per the definition:

“Stream-aligned teams focus on a single, impactful stream of work. It can be a single product or service, a single set of features, a single user journey, or a single user persona.”

SATs are by definition bound to their context, affixed to their value stream that is likely defined quite narrowly to fight the cognitive load challenge (the key premise/promise of the TT method).

Thoughts? Criticism?


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