Atlassian’s Sonia Parandekar Delves into the Challenges and Implications of the Triad Model

Jun 6, 2022

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Another thing that Atlassian does well which has helped us in this aspect is, that we won’t hire like three engineers and sort of leave them on their own to get something done right. We will hire a full triad of a manager like an engineering manager, product manager, and designer, and will give them some level of ownership on the roadmap so that you are excited about what you’re doing and you can see the impact of your work. We don’t have a hub and spoke model, where all decisions happen in one location, we operate like it’s a pretty global company. Every office has its own set of areas that they are driving, which has helped a lot as well so we have multiple leaders in India for example who globally lead teams, whether it is product, design, engineering and I think all that makes a huge difference, I think that has helped us huge to attract talent. So we do follow the triad model, basically, the triad is Engineering, Product management design, and then you have the triad at many levels so like my triad has a few triads under us so it’s like a pyramid.

They all sound very perfect it’s funny I kind of joke sometimes my triad does not work, the triad is great because it’s not always easy you know sometimes you have a level mismatch but having said that we do lean on triad a lot, and when is a lot of trust between the triad members, it makes a huge difference as I have seen like how I am such an engineer sometimes I go and talk to my design counterpart just to balance out my company because I feel like design comes with a very and definitely my triad partners both in the marketplace and here, they have helped me think very differently from how I would normally approach a problem, so from that point of view as well it really helps when you have the diversity of thinking and perspective, of course, you know that the trial like the success and failure is all tied to the triad so it becomes easier to save your team, the team is going to make this happen I think that has helped us quite a bit as well. I think my Urban ladder experience helped me a lot because I got exposure to you know working with customers service, operation, and marketing like I got to work with the head of the department where are you learn so much of their craft which I don’t think earlier and had exposure and I definitely cherish that.

Microsoft for example, when I got in it was 60,000 people and today Atlassian maybe 7000 I think even that scale makes a massive difference in how you operate and of course, every company evolves and there are pros and cons. It is very hard to say this vs that, how you operate still at 7000 is significantly different as well at Atlassian what i have seen is you know we do try to ensure that like you want every decision to be made with the information is present and take it at the lowest level by your maximum information and that definitely helped; that goes back to you know to empower your team, unleashing a potential. How do you unleash the potential of a team that empowers people, are empowered to ensure that they are able to make those decisions.

So we do like there are certain practices we follow, definitely that lean into Agile a lot. There is definitely a fair amount of autonomy within the team. In fact, how zebra operates is very different from how the team might operate. I think that autonomy is critical you know because that specific problem you solving right and what you need to like that judgment and I think that is how, where tech is different right. You value somebody’s ability to judge, to make the right judgment calls and i need to lean into this looks interesting and this is the area where we should focus more right. At this scale i see we still manage to do that relatively well, there is a big because we follow the triad model, you know design especially plays a very key role in bringing in like User experience and User experience research that we have a pretty big team that does use experiences research as well and they bring a lot of insights around that having said all that you know I think as engineers especially it is i mean the onus is on all of us.

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