We recently introduced a completely flat organization structure at SoftwareMill. We are eager to share here how we operate in this new setup, where the Management Board is no longer a decision maker.
With over 20 great people in our Team, we faced a challenging decision on how to manage and scale the company.
Since we did not want a hierarchy, we decided to go with
1) no managers
2) full transparency (including financial).
Developers working on a project are responsible for that project from A to Z. This includes the management and financial side, hiring decisions, maintaining a relationship with the client, and so on.
Company-wide decisions, like investing in product development (Codebrag for instance), are a bit different. To avoid communication overheads we attempt to only involve interested parties in the process, while keeping it fully transparent.
Also, every month we host face to face meetings (kind of retrospectives) to discuss general subjects and means for improvement.
Making important decisions requires knowledge about the company’s state and finances. Accordingly we keep everything open including accounting, deals with clients, salaries and spending.
We now have a very strong feeling within the Team that SoftwareMill is “everyone’s company”. Knowledge of the big picture brought a lot of positive atmosphere and energy.
Also, the Management Board is no longer a decision bottleneck. With open communication it is much easier to coordinate things like hiring or starting new projects
Transformation is a Process
Of course, Tomek, Adam, Paweł and Jasiek (the old Management Board) did not fly off to the Canary Islands after giving power to everyone else. We are still one united team and they are working hard to spread the organizational, financial and customer-related knowledge among us all.
The transformation to a flat structure is beneficial, but obviously a challenging process. We will be sharing our experience as we move on, so stay tuned!