11 - 13 May 2016

thestudio, Manchester, UK

When emulating 'Scaling Agile @ Spotify' goes awry

Andy Park Refinery29

Session type: Case Study
Session duration: 45 minutes

About this Case Study

Spotify's white paper about scaling agile is widely known and sometimes referenced wrongly as 'the Spotify model'. In September 2015, Joakim Sunden and I gave a talk at NYC Agile Day about the Spotify experience and the progression Spotify has made.

Our message was: don't copy Spotify blindly - be inspired by the white paper and use it to find a path that fits your needs.

I've since joined a new company, Refinery29, which did choose adopt the Spotify 'model'. The adaption went poorly because it was blindly copied. Things have gone awry, and the consequences have been painful.

This case study captures my real life experience of transitioning from Spotify, where I talked about how and why you shouldn't copy what we did, to a company that has copied and done almost everything we said you shouldn't do. A lesson for all who seek to scale agile.

About the Speaker

Andy Park is a passionate agile coach at Refinery29 with 8 years of agile and 10 years of project management experience.

Through his agile and project management experience, Andy helps to empower people and reduce organisational friction to deliver meaningful value. Before joining Refinery29, Andy was at Spotify working on the innovation tribe that built a new Spotify app, which included podcasts, videos and the 'Moments' feature.

To buy tickets to see this fantastic talk, and many others like it head over to our ticket page.

Session Types

Need help planning which sessions to attend? We've provided a breakdown of our various session types below.

Case Study/Experience Report

A presentation and discussion of real-life (not theoretical) experiences of the application (or mis-application) of Agile and Lean practices. Case studies and experience reports include some discussion of lessons learned and an indication of how novel the work is.


Participants learn a new approach, tool or technology through using it to solve one or more practical exercises. Any software/hardware requirements are disclosed in the session description.


A session focused around some specific tool, technique or issue. Primarily led by the speaker, tutorials usually include some elements of interactivity or individual / group exercise.


An in-depth working session on a specific topic. May include paper presentations.