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Platform Challenge 5: Not All Service Experts Are on the Platform Team

It’s very hard to find two tech organisations where teams and responsibilities are identical. It’s also hard to find a single tech organisation where teams and responsibilities are the same for the organisation now as they were six months ago. Teams and responsibilities evolve as needs change, and organisations have the perennial challenge of creating productive collaboration across teams.

Kratix is a framework to build platforms for organisations. When we talk about platforms built with Kratix, the typical example is a platform team that provides a platform to a number of internal application development teams. The platform team reduces the cognitive load for application development teams by abstracting away infrastructure details. We know this is a powerful model that enables application development teams to move faster and focus on the value they’re providing to end users.

But not all infrastructure is the same, and not all organisations have a model as simple as “platform team serves application development teams”. Many successful organisations that have complex domains have additional facets to their organisation design. Organisations of any size in highly regulated industries, like healthcare or finance, are likely to have teams of experts for high-risk areas of concern like compliance and security. Online retail organisations will often have a data organisation to ensure they’re storing the right user profile and behaviour data to help make decisions to drive sales. Content-rich platforms driven by advertising will include teams focused exclusively on optimising search for better content discoverability. All of these specialist teams ultimately work with application development teams to ensure their area of concern is well represented in the products offered to end users.

These specialist teams are critical to the organisation’s internal platform. Platform teams that collaborate with these experts to define what services are offered will ensure that important business concerns are codified in the services that application development teams use. Additionally, these specialist teams can ultimately ‘own’ product offerings on the platform; teams for data, compliance, and optimisation should be empowered to author the services they know are important for application development teams to use as they have the domain knowledge to make sure what’s being offered is what makes the most sense for the organisation.

Kratix as a framework is not worth much if it doesn’t have any offerings, which we call Promises. The Platform team doesn’t need to take on the cognitive load for defining every detail of every Promise they install on the platform. They should work across specialist teams and validate needs with application teams to ensure that the platform provides what its users need in a way that is in line with the goals of the organisation. The specialist teams can create and deliver their Promises on the organisation's internal platform.

What specialist teams exist in your organisation? What would your first Kratix Promise be?

This blog is the fifth in our series, The 12 Platform Challenges of Christmas. Check back daily until January 5th, 2023 for new posts!

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