Spring 2021 is here!
At Xoxzo it was time for our Spring Camp again, we can’t believe that another year has passed since our first online spring camp in 2020. We were hopeful that we’d be able to gather everyone to get together like we did in 2019 in Okinawa, Japan but unfortunately this was still not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The good news is that we’re already used to the online work style and organizing an online team camp was also not new for us! Instead of splitting our team camp into 2 days like we did last year, we divided the presentations into shorter sessions over 5 days so everyone had a chance to process the information and come back with a fresh mind the next day.
Our schedule was the following:
Monday, April 12th: 13:00-13:10: Icebreaker: a chat with everyone. 13:10-15:00: Our Strengths and Weaknesses - Iqbal 15:00: Our usual Monday call
Tuesday, April 13th: 13:00-15:00: Plum Story - Geraldo 15:00-16:00: Engineering 1: Xoxzo and EZSMS - Zaki
Wednesday, April 14th: 13:00-15:00: Engineering 2 - Plum and Tehran - Hyejeong, Fathur, Siang, and Surya 15:00-16:00: Customer Happiness report and review - Aiko
Thursday, April 15th: 13:00-15:00: - Marketing EZSMS and The Remote Worker Life recap and future plans - Geraldo and Jocelyn
Friday, April 16th: 2020 to 2021: Review and the future - Iqbal
13:10-15:00: Our Strengths and Weaknesses - Iqbal
After having a chat with everyone in the company, our CEO Iqbal started off our Spring team camp discussing the strengths and weaknesses of our company and team. Previously team members who have been at the company for several years had also given their opinions for us to discuss. Having these kinds of discussions is important for us to see if our team members are on the same page and also to look for ways to improve the way our company works.
13:00-15:00: Plum Story - Geraldo
You have probably heard of Plum: the work management tool that Xoxzo is developing. On the second day of our team camp, Geraldo talked about this process and the difficulties we experienced developing Plum.
We had an interesting discussion about finding the balance between simplicity and ‘letting the tool work for us’, while still including valuable information that members of the team need to work on their tasks. Developing a tool that caters to everyone’s needs sure proved to be a difficult task.
15:00-16:00: Engineering 1: Xoxzo and EZSMS - Zaki
Being an engineering-heavy company the annual engineering report is important for the company. Just like last year, Zaki took the lead presenting this. Not only did he report on accomplishments, new releases, and incidents: he also took the time to explain to the team about the way engineers work, such as the way engineers deal with people and purposes for meetings.
In 2021 there were 57 releases for Xoxzo and 14 releases for EZSMS.
The major functionality releases were: Voicemail feature Link tracking feature Spam prediction Security incident initiatives
Lastly, Zaki talked about points of improvement for the engineering team, among things they want to focus on going forward are bi-weekly sharing, having a book of the month, taking online courses, coding guidelines, setting up your IDE, and managing people.
13:00-15:00: Engineering 2 - Plum and Tehran - Hyejeong, Fathur, Siang, and Surya.
This was the first time for Xoxzo to separate the engineering team into different teams by product. So team camp was the perfect timing to introduce and share more about the product with a whole team. First, Surya explained about our new product, Tehran. What it is, how it works, why we do it, and give a short demo. The engineering team was able to comprehend specs, and we discussed market, profit structure as well.
Next, the Plum team did a demo showing how they work together.
Hyejeong, who in charge of UI/UX started first. She created UI mockup using
Sketch and share it with the Plum team using
After she shared the URL of the mockup, our FE engineer Father and BE engineer Siang started to discuss which APIs need to be ready.
And then Siang showed the code for Plum and did live coding for the demo page. With the code by Siang, Fathur presented how he works on FE.
component-based views and
Tailwind CSS, he can quickly create pages.
It was interesting to see how other coworkers work.
15:00-16:00: Customer Happiness report and review - Aiko
Working in a one-woman team, Aiko carries the sole responsibility of customer support for Xoxzo. Interacting with our customers on daily basis, her role is important within the company.
The team camp was a good opportunity for her to share something about her work with the other members of the team. She went through customer inquiries, email response time, resolution time, handling time, happiness score, and issues, comparing last year’s result with this year’s result.
Just like last year, we’re still using Help Scout, it has nifty tools to help you pull statistics such as the number of inquiries per channel and time taken to resolve an issue.
13:00-15:00: - Marketing: EZSMS and The Remote Worker Life review and future plans - Geraldo and Jocelyn
Geraldo started the presentation by explaining the change in approach when it comes to setting goals, dividing them into major milestones, minor milestones, and lastly, tasks. This model was based on an adapted version of Maslow’s pyramid of hierarchy of needs and was implemented for the marketing plan in 2021. The idea is that major milestones are big, long-term goals on top of the pyramid, minor milestones go under this and have specific tracking and generate several tasks at the bottom of the pyramid. This is a more effective way of looking at why we set certain tasks.
After this Jocelyn explained what the marketing team has been doing for EZSMS for the past half-year, focusing on the renewal of the EZSMS website, creating Drip emails and PR, and increasing backlinks.
Lastly, Geraldo talked about The Remote Worker Life, a platform for remote workers that we only started to put the effort into in the past half-year, focusing on writing and publishing new articles, social media, and collaborating with guest writers.
2020 to 2021: Review and the future - Iqbal
Just like last year, the last session was presented by Iqbal. He went through the financial results of the previous year, business metrics, and lastly our plans for the next year, and the vision for the business and company. (These results are not published publically, so if you want to know you'll need to join us)
Unfortunately, our team hasn’t been able to meet for over a year, but with the technology available we were able to make the best of our second-in-a-row online Spring team camp this year.
Especially for new team members who haven’t had a chance to meet everyone (in real life) yet, we hope that we can have an opportunity to get everyone together again after the pandemic ends.
Thanks for reading and we hope to see you again at our next team camp!