Handbook Teil 1: Dein erster Tag – Willkommen bei Catalysts

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So you‘ve gone through our hiring process, you might have reached a top position at the Catalysts Coding Contest (CCC), you’ve signed the papers, and you’re finally here at Catalysts.

Congratulations, and welcome.

Catalysts has an incredibly unique way of doing things that will make this the greatest professional experience of your life, but it can take some time getting used to. This book was written by people who’ve been where you are now, and who want to make your first few months here as easy as possible.

Catalysts Values, Principles and Practices

We believe in values. We stick to them in good times and in bad:

  • Mastery: we are highly talented and gifted – and we invest a lot to become even better; we love to learn every day
  • Relatedness: we work in multidisciplinary teams – using all our skills and competencies, sharing what we know and learning from each other
  • Autonomy: you decide about how you do your work – integrated into your team and well-coordinated with your colleagues
  • Freedom, Power and Choice: we choose our clients, our projects, our future; you choose how fast you grow
  • Self-Organization and Responsibility: the basis of many elegant solutions, evolutionary change and lifelong growth
  • Lean: we hate bureaucracy and delays, well basically everything that keeps us from delivering value
  • Agility: we love feedback – from the user, our clients, our colleagues – the earlier the better; we expect change – we even love to create revolutionary change
  • Mindfulness: we put in a lot of thought about the future; and we strive to understand root causes of failures
  • Quality: we build quality into our processes and results
  • Pragmatism: we know that we can’t predict the future; but we can build models and validate the hypothesis with experiments

Do those values ring a bell with you? Do they resonate with you?

Those values are extremely important to us. Without them, we would be individualists – unable to work productively in teams. With them, we are able to deliver exceptional value to our clients – everyone playing his or her instrument in a large orchestra, performing pieces of excellence.

From those values, we derive our principles and practices:

  • Be responsive: if you can’t work on a task, tell it immediately; otherwise accept the task and start working as soon as possible
  • Focus on the goal: always know what the “Marshmallow on top” is
  • Consider the client’s goals: never put your personal goals above the client’s goals
  • Learn all the time: as an individual, as a team, as a company
  • Share your knowledge: let others stand on your shoulders
  • Finish a task once it is started: don’t start another task unless the first task is finished, don’t switch back and forth between multiple tasks
  • Defend against interruptions: once you’ve started a task, make any interruptions visible – e.g. during the daily status meeting – and do everything possible that interruptions won’t disturb you again and again
  • Finish a task as soon as possible
  • Go for reasonable solutions: always ask yourself if the task is worth the amount of effort that you’re putting in
  • Inform about impediments as early as possible: don’t keep working on a task trying to solve some tricky problem in isolation; if something is estimated to take 8 hours, check progress at least after 4 hours – midway – and inform about impediments
  • Suggest alternative solutions if appropriate: e.g. if a proposed solution seems to be too much effort
  • Accept responsibility: keep your eyes open, if there’s something that needs fixing, go and fix it – or at least discuss it with others
  • Ask for help: don’t wait for information to be presented to you
  • Speak up: especially if you are not the boss
  • Watch out for improvements: no day should pass without at least one idea for improvement
  • Suggest ideas for improvement: don’t keep the ideas to yourself
  • Be honest in your estimates: when asked for an estimate, give an estimate with 50% probability – this means that half of the time you should finish ahead of time, half of the time we expect you to take longer; there won’t be any kind of “punishment” for statistical variance in task duration; don’t give 90% estimates with a lot of local safety
  • Commit delivery: when you commit delivery, really strive to deliver; if it’s foreseeable that you won’t be able to deliver, inform about impediments as early as possible, see above
  • Collaborate as a team: rather than working alone; learn from each other
  • Strive to develop a team spirit: go for lunch together, have some fun during your spare time, suggest team activities
  • Align your personal goals with the company goals: get a clear picture of your personal goals, talk about them with the management team, get creative on how your personal goals can be aligned with the company goals



Nächster Beitrag
Handbook Teil 2: Welcher Spielertyp bist du?

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