How do we work as a team
At CoverWallet, we take our team organization seriously. Our tech team is divided into tribes, with each tribe representing a domain of our platform, such as Marketplace, Customer Success, Checkout, and others like CoverWallet Connect and SRE, which are considered enablers of the domain tribes.
Each tribe has subdomains that represent different parts of the tribe domain. For example, in the case of Checkout, we have a team responsible for the cart and pricing calculations, while another team handles financing, payments, and billing. The size of each team can vary, but it typically consists of 4–7 members, including developers, QA, and product managers.
To ensure that we work efficiently and effectively, we follow the Scrum framework as our agile methodology. We have the roles of Product Manager, a Scrum Master, and a development team. We also have the core Scrum events of planning, daily, and retrospective, as well as a Thinking Session. During the Thinking Session, we present and discuss the objectives of the upcoming sprint.
In the thinking session or just after finishing it, we usually divvy up the work by assigning each other specific stories to analyze and evaluate. After we’ve had some time to think it over, we come back together in an estimation session to discuss our findings and provide an estimate for each task. It’s a collaborative process that helps us make sure we’re all on the same page.
Our teams are autonomous and decide how they work, and we do not have any hard and fast rules regarding estimations; teams can use Fibonacci, T-shirt size, or any other unit of measurement that they think is best suited to their needs.
In the Planning session, once we have estimated the stories and reviewed the team velocity, we decide which stories the team will work on, and define the sprint goals.
We are a global company with offices in different countries and continents. Even before the pandemic, most of our teams had people distributed across different offices, so we were already using chat and video call services extensively. However, after the pandemic lockdown, we started working from home most of the time, with the option of going to the office when we consider it necessary to run meetings face to face or not lose contact with the rest of the people in the company.
Working from home has its advantages, including saving time on the commute, having more flexibility, and being able to better reconcile work with family life. However, it also presents some challenges, such as the lack of quick meetings, water cooler conversations and meal chats, and opportunities to meet new people and share experiences to strengthen relationships.
To overcome these challenges, we have dedicated Slack channels for different topics not related to daily work, such as a book club. Additionally, teams can organize events to keep the relationship between people, such as our tribe, Checkout, which has a random coffee call every Friday. During this call, a random group of people from the tribe is invited to talk about whatever they want, such as places, meals, hobbies, and anything else that helps them get to know each other better.
We take pride in our team organization and strive to maintain a strong team dynamic, even while working remotely. By following the Scrum framework and fostering communication and relationship building, we continue to be a productive and cohesive team.