Integrating Security into an Spotify Model (and using Squads for Security teams)

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  • The session’s aim was to produce a best practice cheat sheet
  • However in session there was a general discussion about what squads are and how their work can be optimised.

Synopsis and Takeaways

  • Squads are small, usually numbering no more than eight people
  • Squads operate within Tribes, and both operate within Chapters
  • Cross-functional teams
  • Squads provide a framework for autonomy
  • Autonomy is paramount: the squad can decide what to build, how to build it, and how to work together while building it
  • Squads work better when they have reached a certain level of maturity
  • Success of the squad system depends on the management style and corporate culture - there may need to be adjustments
  • A Pilot should offer proof, or at least show where changes/tweaks are needed in order for the squad to succeed
  • Squads allow for speedy restructuring and disbandment
  • They need Retros - regular health checks for squads
  • It is important that squad members don’t block other members from delivering value
  • It is possible to assign security people to your squad on a part-time basis, for example, two days a week. This will work as long as their time for those two days is fully utilised

In relation to Security the following points were made: - Security team members can be embedded in a different squad, e.g. TechOps, WebOps, etc. - or vice versa: embed a TechOps/WebOps member in the Security team for six months, so they can learn the methods and priorities of Security - A Security expert within a business should ideally be part of a number of squads - This practice will help to grow a network of Security Champions - Squads work well outside Security; examples were given of squads working successfully within marketing and HR

Working Materials


Session organiser(s)

Stu Hirst Stu Hirst


James WHarton , Jemma Davis-Smith Jemma Davis-Smith , Simon Pavillion , Dan Gapco Dan Gapco , John Killilea John Killilea , Naushad Saboor , Ann-Marie Grace Ann-Marie Grace , Christoph Jung Christoph Jung , Goher Mohammad Goher Mohammad , Robert Grace Robert Grace , David Cervigni David Cervigni , Dinis Cruz Dinis Cruz , Sotiraki Sima Sotiraki Sima , Felicia Hislop Felicia Hislop , Manuel Almeida Manuel Almeida , Alina Radu Alina Radu , David Jensen David Jensen , Fraser Scott Fraser Scott , Luis Saiz Luis Saiz , Pedro Laguna Pedro Laguna , Stu Hirst Stu Hirst

Attached materials: