Cimpress Technology teams span the globe – from Waltham, USA to Prague, Czech Republic, to Mumbai and Bengaluru, India, and more. In the last ten months alone, our Mumbai technology team has doubled in size to 130, with plans to grow to 200 by mid-2019.
There is real benefit to having a geographically dispersed technology team. For Cimpress, a few include: tapping into the best talent pools in the world, having coverage across many time zones, and having a diverse population that brings unique perspectives to their work.
While we have seen a lot of success across our dispersed teams, the reality is that it takes effort to span the globe and doesn’t happen by accident.
Like onboarding any new team member or team, it takes significant effort and time investment by the more established team members. Practically speaking, we have all the quick-start, self serve tools necessary to do so, such as Slack, Zoom, Box and email. We also practice a Zero Trust security architecture: securing each application we use day-to-day on an individual level, making them available on the public internet without the requirement of VPN. This facilitates work from anywhere pretty easily.
One technique that’s surprising only in its simplicity is that we’ve found very regular and frequent meetings during ramp up to be the most helpful. For example, six months of regular meetings, first thing in the morning. It is crucial to establish a regular cadence, build trust, and build understanding of the business and our customers. Once this is established, then teams can ease off into a more flexible engagement that suits our highly autonomous way or working.
Maarten Wensveen, Cimpress CTO was recently featured in Forbes on this topic – Leading A Remote Team? 12 Tips For Building A Cohesive Company Culture