28 January 2021 (updated: 29 August 2022) by
Anna Elwart Anna Elwart
Thank you, 2020 - lesson learned. Be agile in your day-to-day and pivot when you need to. Choose partners who will help you along the way.
I have been a leader for quite some time now. What I have learned during those years, and what was reinforced by the 2020 challenges, is this: as a CEO you only have one job, and this job is to deliver to your people.
To deliver the tools to work with, opportunities enabling growth, and trust & hope - when your people need it the most. As some wise folks have already said before me: when that’s covered, your team will take care of the rest: the business, the clients, and their environment.
EL Passion is nothing without (EL) passionate experts
In 2021, we focus on reinforcing our expert standpoint, but we are very much aware that experts need space to grow, learn, and share the knowledge they’ve already acquired.
To enable that, we’ve come up with several initiatives that will help us build the community and induce the “sharing is caring” attitude organically. Our online meetups are the first pillar of this. By the way, be sure to sign up for our first Agile Unlocked Meetup on the 11th of February.
Since last year, the situation for junior designers and engineers has changed. There are fewer possibilities and internships available since many companies redirected their focus trying to recruit Mids and Seniors. We want to attempt to mend that gap and share some of our expertise along the way.
In the summer, we are launching our academy for juniors to help talent build their skills under our experienced mentors’ supervision.
This year, we will also hold our first open Hackaton that will not be limited only to the EL Passion crew but to everyone who wants to participate and take on the challenge.
Work from home if you want, but be a part of the team
The pandemic has altered the lives of most of us, and we also had to change some of our internal company procedures, to fully adjust to working in a remote setting. Thanks to that, we are now able to hire outside of Warsaw and outside of Poland. In 2021, our fully remote positions are still available, but we want to take EL Passion to the next level and prepare ourselves to work in a hybrid model rather than resigning from the office and moving fully online.
You can be highly effective working from home. But our idea is to make the office a safe and comfortable place - not only to work in but to meet other inspiring people and exchange thoughts. Even when we work remotely, there is always a possibility to switch if someone feels the need.
Same as most, we are also seeing growing fatigue of all online activities, so we felt we need to provide a clearly defined offline alternative for now and for the future to come. (Oh, the irony!) P.S. If you still try to push your team into online social events - please stop that.
In Agile we trust, inside and out
At EL Passion, we deliver mobile and web apps using Agile methodologies since 2011. I joined EL Passion in November 2020. To me, Agile was not completely new, but only after I was already onboard I realized that not only the processes are agile at this company; the team’s mindset is.
I then changed the way I operate and I pivoted my initial idea on how to work on the new company’s general strategy. Instead of giving myself 3 months for research, analysis, and brainstorming to come up with a brilliant strategy on beautiful slides, I exposed myself to a great risk, which was a promise to deliver a meaningful company change every 2 weeks.
I was afraid, but I said to myself that if I really want to be a part of this team, I need to put to use the very core of their actions - the Agile mindset. Thanks to that, some of the things that in a traditional setup would still be on paper are already up and running.
At the beginning of 2021, we implemented a new structure for our tech squad. They are now working in smaller teams with a dedicated team leader.
This way, EL Passioners are able to always work in a group and gain a possibility to learn from one another daily.
This is a direct solution to something we had learned in 2020. Sometimes developers would be working remotely, and they would also be alone in a project, with little chance to talk, exchange ideas with their teammates. And they were not happy about it (who can blame them?), so we decided to change it.
We believe that creating teams is a great possibility for our developers and our clients, who get access to a greater talent pool with better task & risk management.
In 2021, we have our 10th anniversary in the business, which makes it an excellent opportunity to look back and see all the ups and downs in a new light that will enable us to grow into better future selves. As people, as a team, and thanks to that, as a company.