In his first interview, Vladimir Gabovich, Awery’s COO told us about his areas of responsibility, Awery’s team structure and the company's evolution. He now tells us in more detail about the Awery team and how the company operates.
Vladimir, what is the team structure and what are the key roles?
Our front line staff and those closest to our customers are in the Project Management and Support department, currently a team of 7. They have specializations by product and solution. For example, Leon is specialized in Awery ERP product and solutions for Air Charter Brokerage and Trip Support Provider, our other PM, Anna, is an expert in solutions for Cargo GSAs and Airlines. Each PM is dedicated to the customer's project from the start and is in charge of the product implementation, customization and support. During the project life, the PMs collaborate with their colleagues in Research & Development, Mobile development, Quality Assurance and Design to deliver a great customer experience.
Please, provide some details about the departments you mentioned.
Research & Development is responsible for the products' permanent evolution and providing the system deep customization according to our Customers needs. There are four main directions here: Systems Architecture, Frontend (or interfaces), Backend development, and system administration.
Currently, we support or work on 10 different mobile applications and offer to our customers 4 of them as a white-label solution, and the Mobile development team is responsible for this.
Quality Assurance's main goal is supporting new functionality development. For urgent requests from our clients for new features, it’s really difficult to forecast all possible options for testing in a limited period of time. So the guys work really hard to examine business needs and prioritize testing tasks to guarantee effective working of the core functionality asap and that it delivers a good UX.
Design team. There is a lot of different work these guys do that is really creative. From User Interface development for our websites, products and mobile applications to help our clients with creating graphic elements for their documents and templates used in Awery ERP customization.
Data Analysis team. For our different products, the company needs to gather and update a huge amount of information from different sources, for example, aircraft operators, aircraft attributes, airport details and many others. The Data Analysis team does this with tight cooperation with the Development team to ensure high quality data.
Vladimir, you mentioned that Awery has different product types, how are team efforts distributed between them?
We have two main product streams, the Aviation ERP system and CargoBooking. For each of them we have dedicated project managers and engineers. We also have several internal startups in which employees are engaged as and when needed, be that on test stage, some of them work on MVP, for others, we check the market reaction and feedback. We are a very agile team and other departments support when and where needed.
And what tools do you use in day-to-day work?
For communication between departments and teams, we use Jira. This is our main tool for product development management and quality assurance. Also, we have our own support and bug-tracking system linked to Jira which was developed by our team, we call it Awery Support.
This software allows us to provide direct communication with customers and to create and send tickets to support and development in several clicks. Of course, some of our customers still prefer to make calls and emails to our support team, but based on cases when companies fully switched to Awery Support, we noticed that customer satisfaction increased. Customers’ employees can check updates in real-time and we can also do our job quicker because of excluding from the workflow services-mediators and data transferring.
What are Awery’s methodologies?
It’s been an evolving journey from the early days for sure. We currently use the Agile framework which, as you probably know is a widely used approach. However we have trialled a lot of methodologies and have customized them according to our needs. Previously we used to use Scrum methodology and sprints for planning our main product, Awery ERP backlog. But it was really difficult to manage all tasks inside sprints because it is difficult to combine support requests and regular tasks in one backlog. It is hard to forecast the frequency of customers requests and scope of work for them. Finally, we came to using KANBAN methodology which we deeply customized according to our own business needs. But this is an endless process, you know, we are trying new things all the time.
How does the current situation with COVID influence work processes?
Currently most part of our team works remotely. In the beginning, it was a little bit hard to switch from face-to-face communication to online meetings, especially for our developers. You know, sometimes it’s really easier and faster just to have a direct conversation near the desk. But, on the other hand, remote work leads to the structuring of some processes in a natural way, you need some tools to aid communication between people. So it seems we will get out of quarantine a little weaned off of face-to-face communication and with more formalized processes (laughs)!