08 June 2022 ... min. read Listen

Marcin Pakulnicki and Gijs Meijer

What we’ve learned from seven years of the Spotify model, and where to go from here

Tech leaders Marcin Pakulnicki and Gijs Meijer will be clear and honest in their upcoming talk at GOTO Amsterdam: the Spotify model has been very beneficial for ING’s tech organisation, but it’s now time for the next step. One source of new inspiration is Netflix and its focus on engineering talent.

Death of The Spotify Model: On Radical Productivity Improvements at Enterprise Scale is the title of the presentation that Marcin and Gijs will be giving on stage at the conference on 13 June. “It’s seven years since ING adopted the Spotify model, a BusDevOps/Agile way of working that has been very beneficial for us,” say Gijs and Marcin. “It brings together people from the business and from IT in dedicated squads and tribes that are responsible for their own task from start to finish.”

Unique roll-out

“This way of working has given us a much stronger focus on what customers want and we’ve also become a lot quicker at delivering new customer features. We’ve made great strides in terms of our digital knowledge and expertise. At that time it was really unique for such a big corporate to roll out the agile approach, and it was fantastic to be involved in that. We can now use what we’ve learned to take the next steps and tackle whatever issues we encounter along the way.”

The real story

“During our presentation we will be sharing our experiences from the past seven years of ‘agile’. We’ll be telling the real story – about how our squads are starting to get pretty big which often results in more consultation than we’d like, about how squads sometimes struggle to find a clear purpose, and about how that’s sometimes at odds with the customer interest... which defeats the object, of course.”

Talent is a magnet for more talent

“We’re using everything we’ve learned to develop a vision of the future... a future in which our engineers’ task – which is to deliver and further develop top-class technology as the basis for a fantastic customer experience – goes hand in hand with job satisfaction. One important aspect of this is the focus on engineering talent. For this, we’ve looked to Netflix’s approach for inspiration. In a nutshell, talent is a magnet for more talent and stimulates continuous improvement. In fact, Netflix has built an entire culture around this. Which engineer wouldn’t want to work alongside the very best in their profession? And that’s the kind of culture that we’re creating at ING right now!”

Exciting journey

“We’re sharing our insights because we believe that our experiences can help the broader engineering community, and that we in turn can learn from the feedback we receive. At the same time, this presentation marks the end of a shared journey which has had plenty of ups and downs, but which has taught us a huge amount. And it’s a journey that is now leading to a new and exciting phase.”

Marcin and Gijs will be speaking on the main stage of GOTO at 14:20 h on 13 June 2022.

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