A Highly Successful Cross-Functional Platform Team Effort and the five leadership books that helped

A successful cross-functional platform team effort and the five leadership books that helped

On July 6th, 2020, my team started a project for research on a new platform for our enterprise 100% remotely due to COVID-19. This involved efforts from systems engineers from infrastructure, software developers from software services, a security architect, a platform technical architect, project manager, and product owner (myself).

How We Work

Autonomy, ownership, and empowerment was paramount and achieved by casting the vision for the purpose and the mission for a developer platform. We designed the team to not overlap on responsibilities and to interact as much as possible. The project manager sent out updates each week and held the team accountable for requesting more time. The product owner focused on defining business needs without prescribing specific solutions. As well as holding the team accountable for concrete deliverables for each story.

  • Clear team member responsibilities
  • Intra-team accountability
  • Highly collaborative decision making
  • Effective stakeholder feedback channels
  • Clear expectations of delivery


The team effort engaged four vendors for evaluations of their products over four weeks. Which resulted in several artifacts.

  • Weekly update to leadership and stakeholders email
  • A slide deck recommending the path forward
  • Proof of concept implementations of tools
  • Demos of those proof of concepts via meeting or recording


Agile ceremonies: Daily standups, story grooming, iteration planning, personas Digital Whiteboard: Miro board for categorized sticky notes and tables. Synchronous Communication: Webex, Sococo Asynchronous Communication: Confluence Documentation to cast the vision:

  • One-pager and phases plan
  • Target Platform Characteristics and adoption plan
  • An opinionated platform vision illustrated through multiple prototypes (video, interactive prototype)

Collaboration Model

Influenced by the book Team Topologies we plan to follow this process as we continue this journey.

Collaboration Model

Leadership books that informed the effort