The Story

From Zero To Team Culture hero. 3 lessons for team management

Hello everyone, my name is Aldo. I‘m the leader of the Stampless team that built Cloud Contract, one of the products of our group.

For your information, we released Cloud Contract this May 2021. Fortunately, my team won the MVP awards from both MFJ and MFV in that same month. Once again, I would like to thank the people who backed us on this achievement.

A few people asked me what has helped the team achieve such success. To me, success or failure is just the inevitable outcome of a process or rather a story. And that‘s why I‘m here at Money Forward Group All-Hands today, to tell our story, the Stampless team.

Our project started in September 2020. Initially, the members included Mike, Wakachim, Rich, Tonie, and Aldo.

Then, in October, Frank joined (Now: former Forwardian).

In November, Levi joined.

In 2021 we have Daniel and Ruby in January and February.

Tyler is the most recent member to join the team, this August 2021.

As you can see, the members joined the project at different times. So everyone will have different experiences. But we worked together to successfully release the project. So here I would like to list a few key points that have become as our team culture and contributed to that success:

Lesson 1: User Focus:

I remember during an MFG All Hands, Mr. Aki, PO of Asset Accounting, shared that he wanted to create products that move users. I like this idea, but because of the gap in experience, it may take me a long time to fully understand it.

Instead, the product we build should show empathy for users, share their difficulties, and bring them happiness. Therefore, before making any decision, I usually tell my members to put themselves in the shoes of our users who will use the product. Ask themselves whether users can interact easily or will be confused or annoyed while using it.

I believe these are crucial mindset:

Lesson 2: Ownership

Everyone has different starting points plus different experiences. I assure you, no one is the best; no one knows everything. A team will be good, only when the members complement each other, to achieve better together.

During the project, I always encourage the members to dare to do what they think is right. What I mean here is:

  • When you need advice or are stuck with ideas, feel free to ask.
  • When you are wondering between options, bravely choose one and move on.
  • When you want to suggest a new function or adopt new technology, try it, make a prototype, and consult others.

Of course, not everyone can make the right decision, not even me. But the important thing is, you will learn a lot from failure. So try fast, fail fast.

And I believe, from those experiences, the members will feel that they are the creators of that product, they are the ones who have helped the people who are about to use that product, they are the owners of the product.

Lesson 3: Goal

We were once strangers, but now we are a team. Together we contribute and create good products to help others and also help ourselves to develop. That is the ultimate goal.

People sometimes forget the goal of the discussions when they focus too much on opinions. Likewise, they quickly refuse or reject ideas from others if they think it is not familiar with their background or experience. And I don‘t want my team to be in that situation. So I always remind them about the goal that we want to achieve from these discussions.

There is one thing I hope everyone will understand. When the others do not accept your suggestion, please don‘t be sad. Instead, find out why they think differently.

  • Maybe everyone doesn‘t look in the same direction.
  • Perhaps, people don‘t get the idea of what you‘re talking about.
  • Or maybe you left out a detail that makes your proposal inaccurate.

Remember, nothing is entirely right or wrong. There is no such thing as the best, only the better one. 

Cloud Contract is still a new product. We still have a very long way to go, with many challenges. But I always believe in the team. Together, we will create even better things. So, Let‘s make it! Together!

Author: Aldo

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