Team Topologies: ING Bank

ING Bank

  • This video is stories from Dutch ING Bank. While the topic is focused on team topologies, it also touches on what the expectations of the company’s internal dev platform are.

Team size, cognitive load

  • They moved to microsquads, teams of 4 people, that are put together to take care of the most important problem for them, & the company right now.
  • Microteams align well with product thinking.
  • Beyond a certain size, adding more people to a team will not make it more effective.

Stream Aligned teams

  • Once they’re done with the task, they deallocate themselves and reassigned to the next streams of work, that are of high value right now.
    • This is products, over projects.
  • stream aligned teams. One big product backlog, microteams are assigned to value streams, & reallocated when that work is done
  • Rather than having activity focused teams, shift towards cross functional, outcome focused teams. This reduces the chances of stuff being thrown over the wall, less ‘us’ vs ‘them’.


  • Because of the ephemeral nature of the teams, they can’t afford to have developers solve common problems all the time, think auth, event streams (Kafka bus), DBs as a service, analytics, frontend base components, product pricing platform.
  • Solving and provisioning all the above, is where the Platform comes in. Microteams should be able to self-provision the internal capabilities they need.
  • I imagine this sort of environment is where private on premises cloud is a good fit too.

Helpful heuristics

From relevant books, Accelerate & Devops handbook. Things you want to optimize & improve on, for more effective software delivery


  • fast from dev to prod
  • trunk based dev
  • ci
  • immutable, containerized build - enables fast rollback, and maybe other benefits, that I’m not yet aware of

feedback (everything after you’ve deployed the code):

  • fully automated testing
  • monitoring, alerting, logging
  • code scan, OWASP check
  • shift left of risk

culture :

  • eng culture
  • learning organization (Google 20% mastery time)
  • post mortems

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