Team interaction modes

Team Topologies describes 3 team interaction modes:

  • Collaboration: “two teams work together on a shared goal, particularly during discovery of new technology or approaches”;
  • X-as-a-Service: “one team consumes something provided by another team (such as an API, a tool, or a full software product)”;
  • Facilitating: “one team (usually an enabling team) facilitates another team in learning or adopting a new approach.”

Here are a few more (via Cara Lemon, another Agile Coach at Spotify):

  • Consult to Not Own: Asynchronous support and review for another team that will eventually own the results of an effort;
  • Consult to Own: Asynchronous support and review for another team that will eventually hand back to you for long-term ownership. This typically evolves into another interaction mode to transition to ownership;
  • Temporary Embed (outgoing): Send a team member to temporarily embed in the other team. Typical when the other team will be the eventual owner;
  • Temporary Embed (incoming): A team member of the other team temporarily embeds in your team. Typical when your team will be the eventual owner;
  • Form Temporary Team: Members of each team form a temporary team which eventually shifts to ownership by one of the teams, distributed ownership across both teams, or becomes a permanent team;
  • Build to Hand Off: Essentially the other side of Consult to Own;
  • Build to Own: Essentially the other side of Consult to Not Own.

Senior Agile Coach at Spotify, ex-ThoughtWorks, ex-CruiseControl