2020 has been a year of change for the world at large. We began the year with a lot of uncertainty around the corona virus outbreak and lockdowns, and have ended the year with vaccines being administered to health care workers. What a year it’s been for all of humanity and it’s been a great learning opportunity!
To many of us, a number of things we took for granted were no longer to be. Especially in the business world where we normally work physically together in an office space. So, in April when I was looking for my next role in Product Management, I started advising the Kriyadocs team on an agile transformation. Every day during the lockdown, attending stand-ups and helping people learn the process, really gave me a lot of energy. As a team of engineers and leads there were constant discussions aiding them to stay focused on progress. This meant that as a team we would commit to something and make sure we meet that commitment by the next day. This also helped everyone keep their morale up. Being remote really pushed the team out of its comfort zone and helped us try something new and tweak it to make it work for us – in some sense, it was the “new” way of working. Encouraged by this progress, I decided to join the team full-time to lead the product management team in July.
Here’s a fun way of how we measured employee morale through our internal tools:
Credits to our CTO, Pari for this brilliant idea!
On seeing how the Product team was doing so well with the agile methodology, Sowmya who leads Operations introduced this in our Production team as well. While the work is different, it gave their teams a way to surface any blockers and encouraged open discussion. Some of these blockers were actually product issues and needed to be brought back up to the product management team. To streamline this process, we decided to use technology to solve the problem. First, we created a company-wide forum for product-related questions. Second, we added a secret ingredient – a video, and by that I don’t mean zoom video calls. Our production team was encouraged to share video snippets to developers of the bugs in the product and that way developers had a clear picture of the problem. That’s how we’ve been able to communicate a lot better as a company.
This has made our entire product more user-friendly and has helped us lay the foundation for user-centricity in the way we build our products. We started out with ambitious goals for the year including cross-browser support, improving the stability of the product, building a new tablesetter for typesetters and building a brand new dashboard to help our publishers’ teams run an agile production process. I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved in a short span of six months, and that too in the middle of so much change across the world. And yes, we’re just getting started!
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