[Wikimedia-l] [Wikitech-l] Fwd: [Tech/Product] Engineering/Product org structure

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Wed Nov 7 22:49:37 UTC 2012

On Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 2:16 PM, Platonides <Platonides at gmail.com> wrote:

> You can see several teams in that page, with members from multiple
> "sections". Which leads to the (naive?) question on what's the purpose
> of being splitted in those sections if then the work is done in teams
> with a completely different organization.

The purpose of functional groupings is to ensure that there is
coordination and communication among people who share a function (e.g.
all designers), and that they have management support, ideally from
someone who understands their function and purpose in the
organization, and is able to help them grow in their career and as an
individual contributor. It creates escalation points in case of
conflicts, and can help to remove blockers.

The purpose of team groupings is to ensure that a team is assembled
cross-functionally, from all the required skills, and fully focused on
delivering its objectives.

The two organizational models are complementary; the singular focus on
one or the other tends to lead to silos. Achieving a healthy balance
between intra-functional team development and growth and
cross-functional delivery is one of the key challenges of management.


Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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