This month we present you a team that pulls the strings in the background: the H-Team! The members of this small team, which covers many different areas, see themselves as the “little helpers”. We will show you which exciting tasks they handle, what “Garlic Tuesday” is all about and how they organize themselves as a team.
Please introduce your team briefly: what do you do, who are you?
Isi: We are the H-Team and the only non-techies in Scandio. The H stands for help - we take care of all the administrative work and help the other teams to work without complication. Our team is split up into several areas or “subteams”: Marketing, Sales, Recruiting, License Management, Office Management, Finance and Infrastructure. Of course not everybody does everything, but there are some overlaps.
Christoph: We carry out the tasks that nobody else wants to do. (laughs)
Verena: Evi is the only one in Augsburg, the rest of us works in Munich.
Mark: We simply make sure that the business runs and are not directly involved in the implementation with the customer.
Christian: We are the only ones who don’t have to make any revenue! (laughs)
Is there a clown in the team? If so, what makes this person special?
Christian: It gets pretty funny when you put Evi and Isi in a room and let them record a zoom call for a presentation. (laughs)
Mäxi: We can always have fun in the team and prank each other on a daily basis.
Verena: There’s not the one joker, we generally have a very relaxed atmosphere.
Isi: I like to play tricks on unlocked laptops and change names in Slack when nobody is paying attention. Unfortunately, this is difficult at the moment because nobody is in the office.
What is your favorite team dish? Are there common eating rituals?
Isi: Everything with garlic! On Tuesdays we always have “Garlic Tuesday” - on these days I cook dishes with lots of garlic, together with a colleague. We usually cook for 5-6 people.
Verena: Isi always gives us a small advantage, so we are sure to get something from Garlic Tuesday.
Mäxi: Otherwise it is divided into two camps: those, who have something with them and those, who still have to get something first.
How well does the idea of self-organized teams work for you?
Isi: Having the CEOs on the team gives us a certain feeling of hierarchy. But due to our administrative tasks, we often need feedback and advice from the management.
Mäxi: Since we are divided into so many tasks, this inevitably works out well for us, because marketing cannot always know what is going on in recruiting etc. The individual departments are therefore very self-organized.
Christian: Having two founders in the team, you can never really work 100% independently. You live it, but of course it feels different.
Verena: Since the CEOs are integrated into the team, they are also more accessible for us. So the hurdle of asking for something is much lower for us.
Evi: Without the bosses, it wouldn’t work so well either.
Tell us something about one of your team evenings.
Isi: The last team evening was unfortunately one year ago. So IF we manage to organize a team evening, we mostly have dinner together and then do something active like bowling, going to the movies or playing board games.
Since you are all working on different topics/in different areas: how do you organize yourselves as a team? Do you see yourselves as a team?
Evi: We definitely see ourselves as a team, since we are the driving force behind Scandio and work together in the “background”. Since we’re working on many different tasks, we have to communicate a lot and spontaneously, which usually happens via Slack.
Christian: There are different areas of responsibility, but not everyone has to be able to do everything. Nevertheless, vacation and illness representations work quite well for us, since there are always interfaces between the areas.
Christoph: Since there is a lot of overlap, we have a certain advantage over project teams in which everyone only works on his or her own task. So we can keep each other’s backs free.
How do you get along with spatial separation/remote work?
Isi: The fact that the majority is working from home because of Corona means, that we communicate much more than before. This is of particular benefit to Evi, as she is otherwise not as involved in what’s happening in Munich.
Mäxi: In slack, we let people know where we are and what we are doing all the time, so that everyone can relate to. This has definitely improved with Corona.
Evi: During the first lockdown we learned this in any case. Since then it has improved and now works really well.
Christian: In the long term, we want the team to be more strongly represented in Augsburg as well, so that the distribution is no longer as unequal.
What was the funniest customer inquiry so far?
Isi: A few years ago, one of our customers started to request other licences than Atlassian licenses and things such as a labeling machine with a suitable software, or software delivered on a USB stick. We didn’t even know such things exist!
Mäxi: We have also received requests for server services from larger customers via social media, which is definitely not the right way of communication in this case.
How often do you have a meeting? What is the general procedure?
Verena: Every 3-4 weeks we have an H-Team Meeting, in which the whole team participates and in which all current topics are discussed. There is also a Marketing Weekly.
Isi: Actually there are short meetings in every subteam at regular intervals or we are in constant exchange in Slack.
Christian: We may not have a daily, but we all communicate daily.
What do you prefer: working at the office or from home?
Christoph: Definitely at the office!
Christian + Verena: At the office!
Isi: For me, 1-2 days of home office a week are quite good for working in peace and quiet - and because I can save myself the journey.
Evi: If I have to concentrate properly, e.g. when writing bills, I prefer to work from home. When there’s a lot going on at the office, there are always a lot of questions in between, which distract from the actual work. But working in the Munich office is quite practical for me - the CEOs are sitting in the room next door and I can just go over there when I need something.
Mäxi: The journey is unfortunately no excuse for me. But when it comes to things like writing and correcting texts, it’s much easier at home when nobody bothers you.
Mark: Since my onboarding was held completely remote, I can’t imagine it any other way at the moment. With short questions that one would otherwise ask across the table, this is of course a bit more difficult, but basically I get along very well at home.
Christoph: There are fewer interruptions when working from home, but it takes way more time to process a single request. In the office, questions can be answered more quickly and therefore take less time.
Thank you very much for your time and providing us a bit more insight into the H-Team!!