Everything is cool when you’re part of a team

ATO Beta
9 October 2018

We're a team from different fields and backgrounds in different offices. We've had to learn how to work together on the job. It hasn't always been easy but we've learned a lot of tricks along the way. We want to give an inside view of how we work at ATO Beta.

What on earth is Cragile?

Cragile is our take on creative agile. Agile is a popular way of working that involves splitting up work into small chunks called stories. Multiple stories in a sprint means there is greater variety of work.

We’ve taken this way of working and adapted it to our needs in the creative space. We work in short 2 week sprints. 

At the start of each sprint we plan our work as a team. We catch-up daily to figure out what we will be working on. At the end of the sprint we regroup to review how we went and what we can do better.

No story takes longer than 2 days to get done. Because the work is small, people can move between stories easily. Embracing Cragile has helped us collaborate and produce better quality work.

It’s all about the patterns

It’s all about making sure people with the right skills are doing the right work. We use different collaboration patterns to get this done. 

Going solo

This is not a pattern we use very often. It’s hard to collaborate by yourself. There are times, however, when only one person has the skillset. Even then, work is always shared and checked with other team members along the way.

When two become one

Pairing up allows us to bounce ideas off each other and check our work as we go. This improves our quality of work.

Three heads are better than one

Working in a group of three has similar benefits to pairing up. This can be good when we have a new starter or if someone is looking to learn a new skill.

Team huddle

We regroup as a team regularly on bigger pieces of work to make sure everyone is on the same page. This keeps us all up to date on how we are going and what our next steps are.

Tools that help us make it work

Long distance relationships

Our team is spread across 2 cities which makes collaboration tricky. We use a variety of digital tools to make life easier, such as:

  • Video conferencing apps (Google Hangouts, Webex) – It’s always good to put a face to a name
  • Group messaging apps (Microsoft Communicator, Yammer, Slack) – Group messaging and quick chats
  • Jira – Our digital Kanban board where we keep track of all our work

Collaboration Centres

We are lucky to have fabulous collaboration spaces in both of our locations. These are fully equipped for video conferencing with whiteboard walls and screen sharing facilities.

We hold a lot of our team meetings here when people are in different locations.

Everything is awesome!

Everything is cool when you’re part of a team. Collaboration gives us lots of benefits:

  • Quality over quantity – working with others may not be as fast, but we always see better results when we collaborate.
  • Catching problems early – It’s easy to miss problems when you are working by yourself. Working with others helps catch those problems earlier and avoid extra work.
  • Better ideas – Coming up with ideas and solutions can be hard. It’s a lot easier when you can talk them through with others.

Always improving

We are always coming up with new ways to work together and improve what we do. Our team keeps growing so we are always seeking new ways to collaborate. 

Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog where we cover what to do when everything is not so awesome.

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