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Tuesday, May 18 • 2:50pm - 3:20pm
Building a Successful Platform Team

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CROZ is a mid-sized professional services company with around 300 tech-oriented people. We use our technical, domain, and organizational expertise to help our clients build better products and achieve their business goals.

About CROZ
Our mission is to provide superb and professional IT solutions to enterprise customers by ensuring IT service whose level of quality surpasses customer demands. We do this by maintaining and growing a sustainable community of capable, constantly growing, and accomplished employees, along with satisfied enterprise customers who keep coming back to us.
Our vision is to become the first option for every complex organization that wants to have a superb IT solution. We want to be recognized as a reliable partner who promptly solves challenges in integration, modernization, team organization, and in development of new systems.
But moving away from corporate statements, this is who we are in a nutshell:
“We aren’t a crazy new age fashionable IT agency. We don’t care about the media attention. We know and trust our clients and never let them feel like they are competing for our time. We are a safe and strong community of exquisite engineers and we aspire for continuous professional greatness both for us and our clients. Our work ethics means being concise and meticulous. Our favorite projects are very challenging and highly complex. The only way we agree to move forward is by excelling in our fields of expertise day after day, leaving no loose ends behind.”
We operate across Europe with some of the customers located in North America and the Middle East. Our customers mostly come from financial, telco and government sectors. We are particularly proud of the collaboration with companies such as Nationwide, Santander, HSBC, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Bank, Raiffeisen Bank International, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom Group, and Telefonica. Apart from these industry sectors, we are active in other sectors as well, with customers such as Howco, Bosch, Scania, European Space Agency, WestJet, Airbus, AGCO, Baker Hughes, and BP plc.
Throughout the years, we have successfully delivered more than 600 mostly enterprise-level projects with customers in 18 countries. There aren't many industries we haven't tackled and we are proud that every new customer remains our trusted and long-term partner.
The problem we encountered
With the speed of innovation higher than ever and the technology more complex than ever, we realized that our existing teams couldn't keep tabs on every moving part in the new technology stack that was emerging in the cloud.
Apart from working with our clients on designing and implementing new features, our teams became overwhelmed with the nuances of the underlying technology platform. Additionally, with each team using the platform as they saw fit, we experienced a proliferation of delivery process variations and various practices to use the platform. It wasn’t even clear what a platform is.
The net effect we have observed was people spending time designing their variation of the delivery process and reinventing existing practices. We have also observed a cumbersome team onboarding process due to the lack of standardization, and technical debt skyrocketing just before the major technology platform migration was to take place.
All of the above reflected in a significant decrease in the flow of value to the clients.
What did we do to overcome the problem?
Looking for a different way to structure our teams and coordinate work, we have found our inspiration in four fundamental team topologies and their interaction modes from the book Team Topologies.
A year after introducing the platform team and establishing interactions with the rest of the organization, we found that the new team structure better promotes collaboration and knowledge sharing, relieves cognitive load from existing teams enabling them to focus on delivering value to our clients, and serves as additional leverage for further organizational improvement initiatives.
Thinking in terms of four fundamental team topologies and three core interaction modes cleared up some ambiguities around roles and responsibilities in the delivery process. This enabled teams to focus on what they love and do best, motivating them to further build their skills. It also made the role of every team member in the delivery process transparent. No other past initiative produced such engagement among people.
In every sociotechnical organization, technology aspects and organization aspects are tightly intertwined. Looking back, we have changed the former without considering the latter and the system pushed back with a tangible manifestation through friction and bottlenecks occurring in the delivery process.
In this talk, we will share the experience of our on-going sociotechnical transformation, and changes that worked for us, but also some that didn't.
Krešimir Mudrovčić, Board Member at CROZ, describes the impact this organizational change had on our business growth.
"We had a strong track record in the South Europe region, designing and delivering complex IT solutions in enterprise environments. Our ambition was to further expand our operations across Europe and North America and collaborate with organizations that make an impact in their industries. Expanding our operations to these new markets put a strain on our delivery department in terms of efficiency needed to deliver new projects, but also in terms of implementing new technologies.
We understood that old delivery models and team organization that got us here, couldn't support our further growth. Improving our internal delivery organization and processes made us more efficient and more nimble in embracing new technology and sharing knowledge across the organization. At the end of the day, our revenue increased 70% while headcount grew only 10%. This is an increase in productivity that comes from the new organization. And we keep on promoting these organizational ideas with our customers, helping them reap the same benefits."

Speakers
avatar for Ivan Krnić

Ivan Krnić

Director of Engineering, CROZ
Ivan is Director of Engineering at CROZ. His main focus is creating the best possible conditions for teams to move forward. Passionate about tech novelties, he is always in close contact with the trenches. His special areas of interest cover DevOps culture, sociotechnical nature of... Read More →


Tuesday May 18, 2021 2:50pm - 3:20pm BST
Track 2