Wish platform word would be less ambiguos..

We’ve recently been opening the discussion in our team about establishing ourselves as a platform team. There are tons of literature about the benefits in scaling products with platform-ish patterns being applied. Why not making use of it?

Problem starts with the word

The solely mention of the word “platform” opened a different picture in each of our engineering minds. Pre-set ideas of service and infrastructure platforms for long in our DNA trouble the conversation. Suddenly the storm appears and you find yourself swimming into the semantics of such an ambiguos word.

“we’re offering a user facing set of features….isn’t this a product then?…”

Let’s remove vocabulary noise — I hate it

Let’s stick to the Product word , as we are indeed offering a product. However, let’s tagline it so we also reinforce who is set to be the consumer of our product deliverables (other product teams) and in which way they expect to consume it.

Would a “Product-As-A-Platform” team sink better?

I was wondering if this combination will help shaping same image in our minds and I choose those words with the assumption that they are all, to a extend, representing quite similar concepts.

Team is well known term and understood…( I hope so). Not the best for sure, but here comes a brief description that came to my mind:

Small autonomous unit, capable of delivering end to end with an aligned common goal, with a home-sweeet-home feeling of safety and trust which in our agile contexts has the ability to respond quickly to feedback.

Product is also well known…is it? Below my simplest definition of what is a product:

Everything we deliver to serve our user needs.

Platform…here we go, my try of the day:

A set of services which can be used independently in a compelling self-service model, which enables quick and cheap start into using a product. It provides the needed software, APIs, documentation, support and consulting and strives for user autonomy on its usage.

Would you now give it a try?

I find appealing a world where I fully understand my user …where I know exactly what she suffers from and what she needs to be happier….I find appealing being part of a Product-As-A-platform team, cause my users are other engineers and I’m there with the solely purpose of making their development experience easier. Clear answer from me is YES.