Last month the Movio Engineering team got a new look as we moved to center ourselves around our product and business goals. This new ‘team structure’ is the next step as we transition the teams from our 2.0 squads. We believe that it is not the processes that a team commits to that makes them successful, but the way we can adapt to satisfy client, business and engineering needs. Processes that best support our products, technical excellence, and a working environment that empowers and enables us to produce industry-leading product solutions.
As we delve further into this post we will share the inner workings of our engineering team and how we have recently structured ourselves to satisfy key product initiatives we are working towards; ‘Simplicity’ and ‘Speed’. These two drivers are being looked at across the board both technically and physically.
The first question we ask ourselves when making any ‘change’ in the way our teams interact is ‘why’. What are the motivations or outcomes we can expect, or problems we are trying to solve by making these changes? The engineering team at Movio has an embedded culture of being ‘never satisfied’. We are always looking for ways to do things better, faster and smarter. In light of this, we are always looking retrospectively at everything we do to make sure we create an innovative environment that enables us to produce the best work possible.
Ownership of a Workflow:
When looking at the way our Movio Cinema engineering teams assemble around the product, we began to notice an opportunity for improvement around the workflow a client was using to execute a campaign. Our teams were assembled in a way that was inspired by the ‘Squad Model’. Under this model, teams were responsible for key domain areas. One team was responsible for our Group Builder tool, another for Dynamic Content, and another for Reporting. The orchestration of getting consistency and timing across the product teams proved quite cumbersome and lead to teams being blocked by others to execute on the product-wide change we wanted.
The Squad model suggests ‘small fully autonomous teams’. This was an area we had only partially satisfied, as for some teams the idea of full autonomy was quite simply impossible. We wanted to better enable our teams to control their work with less impact on team dependencies and technical blockers.
Deliver significant change:
As there was a fair amount of overhead required to execute significant technical change to our products, we felt this was impacting our ability to foster a technical culture of innovation, our freedom to create, along with Movio’s ability to positively impact the industry to the level we desire. Our latest change in our team organization has been mainly driven by our intention to deliver quality, deliver often, deliver widespread product change seamlessly, and to continue to innovate and deliver world firsts for the film industry.
So what changed for our teams behind the scenes?
Observations on the changes shown above:
The main observation to make is around the consolidation of the processes around the Red, Green & Yellow squads. Essentially splitting the teams by its ‘front of house’ and ‘back-office’ responsibilities. Think of the ‘front-office’ as the ‘workflow’ - the app you interact with, and the ‘back-office’ as the part that does the number crunching, bringing the data into the application and the pieces of technical complexity around executing the campaigns.
Delivery to date:
A significant issue our teams were trying to resolve is around the coordination of ‘app-wide’ development. Two weeks after the merger, we had delivered a technical piece of work we had been trying to orchestrate for close to a year. It's a fundamental upgrade to a key technology that was previously implemented in several different teams. Under the new team structure, we were able to assign the task to a single team that had the ability within themselves to execute. A task that previously was extremely difficult to organize outside of this structure.
What does this mean for our clients?
Our clients can essentially expect our ability to deliver on our current goals of ‘speed’ and ‘simplicity’. This new structure enables our technical team to execute on widespread change and enhances our teams ability to deliver on them. Because of this over the coming months, our clients should start to see visible changes in both of these two key areas.
Technology is our wheelhouse
As Engineers at Movio we love what we do, we enjoy the freedom and the complexity in the work that we are exposed to. For us to continue to innovate and lead the market, we are continually looking at how we can improve by making things cleaner, quicker and freeing up space to take what we do to the next level. This reorganisation will enable us to take control of our eco-system, and continue innovating for the next phase of technology at Movio making it quicker, smarter and simpler to connect every moviegoer with their ideal movie.