About the Small Improvements team
We build one product and we build it well. Our customers love us and recommend us to their peers. That’s how we grow. We’re by no means perfect. But we’re good at listening and improving, and our customer support team has you covered.
Product Marketing Manager
Charisse De Torres
Full Stack Developer
Director of Marketing
Full Stack Developer
Product Marketing Manager
People Success Manager
We invest heavily into R&D, so our Development department is largest. At 12 staff it’s so large that it consists of 3 feature teams: Team Green, Team Techno and Team Outlaw. The teams are held together by the meta Design Team.
Next in terms of size is our Customer Facing Team. It’s organised into 3 subteams as well: Success, Sales, and Support. But at a size of just 5 people, the department still feels like one single team.
Our Marketing team and our Admin team clock in at 3 each. All teams are hiring by the way — check out the careers page!
To enjoy work and get things done, you need to be able to focus. Unlike many startups we decided against an open space office. Open space looks cooler at first, and it certainly makes for hipper office shots, but the noise even at our initial studio just wore us down.
We want to encourage team communication that doesn’t disturb the next team, so we chose an office with many doors. It balances team rooms (for 3 to 5 people), meeting rooms, and shared space like a living room and two kitchens. Take a tour of the office here.
Activities and Details
We’re working hard at building the greatest feedback tool on the planet. And we’re standing on the shoulders of giants! Check out our tools page to learn more about our tech stack. Hint: React, Google Cloud, and more! Also, learn more about us on our tech blog!
Work Life Balance
We don’t do overtime. One day a week of home office is totally fine. The occasional remote work (say for a few weeks a year) can work really well. Everyone can take time off at short notice, and it’s clear that family is more important than work.
At the same time, we love our work, and we’re passionate about what we do. We hire people who share our love of creating value for our customer. We assign projects based on employee’s preferences, and balance the fun with the necessary tasks. Sometimes boring work can’t be avoided, but afterwards we’ll improve processes until boring work can be automated. Which in turn also helps with work-life balance.
What’s with the name?
True revolutions rarely go as planned. And when it comes to actual improvements, most work best when applied incrementally. Small improvements are an important cornerstone in lean manufacturing like for example Kaizen (Wikipedia).
The name was inspired by Per’s time at Atlassian. There were always tons of big projects and important mission critical features on the product roadmap, and there was little time for all the small things. Ultimately only the intern’s time could be spared, and to make it sound more glamorous, he was named the “Small Improvements Team (of one)”.
We have rarely gotten a better return on investment!
Beyond our long term goal of helping people get better by way of feedback, we believe that transparency is important. We share our financials, product decisions, and hiring plans internally all the time, and sometimes even externally. For instance check out our startup blog for financial insights about us.
A common sentence you’ll hear a lot inside SI is “be the change you seek,” which we gleaned from Atlassian’s values. Rather than complaining about things that suck, we expect everyone at SI to fix problems wherever they run into them. Build server is too slow? Improve the code, or buy a faster one. Website looks ugly? Find a designer who can help. Customers complain about bugs? Propose reshuffling the roadmap to address the bugs first!
We also avoid working with clients who have a bad reputation, or whose business causes more problems than it solves. For instance, we routinely reject companies with ties to gambling, porn or risky financial products (“loan sharks”), and we’re often double checking potential buyers if we believe they might have a bad track record regarding environmental issues, gender inequality, corruption, etc. We’re not pretending to save the planet single-handedly this way, but if everyone pulls their weight, all these small things do add up.
News from our blogs
HR expert Jason Lauritsen is back to detail how organizations can build an “human-friendly” workplace, even in an age where results and performance are prioritized.
Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) have helped numerous tech companies become profitable. They’re also notoriously hard to implement. So we decided to take a deeper look into whether OKRs are worth the investment.
Introducing Scales, an enhancement to our 360 feature set. Now you can include single-answer multiple choice questions in 360 Degree Feedback and Request Feedback, allowing for that little extra structure.
We love rolling out fancy new features. But sometimes it’s fun to improve what we’ve already built. Our latest changes to 360 Degree Feedback should make it even easier for you to collect a complete assessment from your peers.
Stuck in a 1:1 Meeting rut? Or just not sure what you should be asking? Jason Lauritsen is back with a guide for the questions you should be posing to your managers.
We as human beings tend to view Feedback as negative. But it’s all a matter of framing. Here are 5 tips on how to give and receive more thoughtful Feedback.
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