Another week in the Business Phase

07/12/20192 Min Read — In BusinessPhase

This week I joined a company which differs from what I've seen so far in the business phase. A Company? Yeah, the car rental portal Driveboo which is a full subsidiary of the HolidayCheck Group AG and also located in Bottighofen.

Maybe you wonder how I got here? At the HC-Camp in Bulgaria at the beginning of May, there were also three employees of Driveboo, which I got to know there. We had a conversation where I told about the apprenticeship program and the business phase, and then I was asked if I would also like to join the Driveboo team in my business phase. I was pleased about that, and now I'm here. 😊

For me, Driveboo differs a lot compared to the last IT team I joined at HC. Driveboo has ~10 full-time employees (4 of them are devs) + some working students, so it's a relatively small team. Usually, all full-time employees are working on-site in a single office room. The last IT team I joined at HC had more than 10 devs, 3 product owners, and a scrum master. This team is distributed in two locations (Bottighofen + Munich), and a few people are also working from home.

I got the feeling that Driveboo as a small team is flexible and needs less organizational overhead. For example, the Daily Standup is around 10:30 am, but this is not a fixed time, thus sometimes it starts at ~10:15 am, sometimes at ~10:45 am. It feels like there is less need for strict time management since all people are at one location in a single room.

What I also found very interesting was that when it comes to discussions, it feels like the "whole company" is involved and everyone can immediately express their opinion or point of view. For example, if the product manager clarifies something with a UX/UI designer and a developer thinks that the implementation of the idea is very time-consuming, then he can take part in the discussion and contribute information from the technical side. I guess that short communication channels are hardly possible that way if you have distributed teams at different locations. Communication there feels a bit more complicated, even if you use remote collaboration tools like Slack or Zoom.

What I also found excellent was that Driveboo often develops concepts and ideas together on the whiteboard. Every employee can participate in discussions or at least notice on which topics the others are working.

I also got the impression that decisions can be made more dynamically and faster in a small team. On Wednesday, for example, a topic came up in the Daily, which we tackled the very next day. I have the impression that decision paths are short and that you can coordinate very quickly.

The small team also seems very flexible to me when it comes to meetings like working out new concepts. I think one reason for this is that all people work in a single office. For example, yesterday morning we had a "Scribbles" meeting which was scheduled for 1.5 hours. However, the concept didn't finish the concept within the time frame. Instead of creating a new appointment, someone just asked "Will we just continue this after lunch?" All teammates simply agreed "Yes, of course!" and so after lunch, we continued working on the concept until 5:00 pm.

Driveboo has startup flair which I think is pretty cool. 😎