A new experiment: work exchanges
Since joining TeamSystem mondora has become part of a very large group of software companies and we thought it would be nice if we could find some way of interacting with these new partners and share knowledge and ideas. The thought evolved into an experiment: a work trip in which a small group of people from mondora would visit a partner company in hope of learning something from each other.
We chose to visit Reviso, in Denmark, as they resonate well with the mondora way of working and have some projects that are also relevant to us. There were some technical issues which we really wanted to discuss with them in order to share different solutions and evaluate each other’s approaches together.
We decided to spend two days in Reviso and five people from mondora travelled to Copenhagen and stayed in a lovely airbnb flat together. The first day was the most intense and started with a long initial meeting in which we discussed general topics and exchanged stories about how we work and how we are organised. It was interesting to discover about Reviso’s one-on-one walking meetings, and we talked about our company retrospective meetings and how we use Officevibe to collect feedback and monitor employee happiness and satisfaction.
After a quick lunch break (in mondora we have a much longer break!) we were able to talk with a couple of developers and had some interesting in-depth discussions about feature flags, micro front-ends, deploy and monitoring of applications, and logging. We were able to see and compare some code too, which was very interesting. On our part, we showed our implementation of feature toggles for React and the work we have done on an internally developed library of reusable React components. We were all able to learn something from each other and the day proved very useful and interesting for both companies.
In the evening we were able to meet the Reviso team more informally with a traditional Danish dinner in a very nice restaurant. The dinner was a bit early for us at half past five in the evening, but we had a great time and were able to chat more freely out of the office. Personally, I believe that these “out of office” moments of a work trip are very important and useful in setting the right mood for a fruitful collaboration once we are back in the office.
The dinner was followed by drinks in a traditional pub with a vast assortment of beers, another great opportunity to get to know each other better and discuss a variety of topics. We made a late night but we learned a lot about each other’s work methods and problem solving techniques.
The next day was more relaxed as in Reviso fridays are for working on side projects and giving presentations to colleagues. We attended their company meeting and a presentation from one of the developers, and then had some time to work by ourselves. In the afternoon we shared some Italian wine and cheese with everyone and then spent a few hours exploring the city, as working hours in Denmark are quite different from ours and their day starts and finishes much earlier than we are used to!
Overall this experiment worked very well and we were able to come out of our daily routine and approach issues and solutions with a fresh mindset. Some of the things we will be bringing back to mondora include:
- A greater attention to detail on the products we develop for customers, perhaps with the help of someone experienced in UX?
- Increasing the use of internal demos to once a week to share a particular project or point of interest with all colleagues.
- On the more technical side, Reviso’s use of feature toggles that permits to open a feature to a single user or a specific group of users.
On our part, we hope to have left Reviso some interesting ideas too, especially regarding the work on our React components library, as well as the more general topics of mondora’s managerless self-organised structure and holistic approach to work, which includes interesting projects such as HireBitto and CompanyFood.
What we would like now is for this experiment to evolve into a growing ecosystem of open and modern solutions within TeamSystem and all its partner companies. The trip to Reviso was the first step, and the challenge begins — next week some colleagues from Southern Italy will be visiting us in Valtellina, and we have planned fun activities for them that will surely take them out of their comfort zone!