Aleks Yenin of Polontech tells us how to automate business processes based on Atlassian software, agile, and ITSM frameworks.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Aleks Yenin: It’s been a challenging and stressful time, but since I keep working remotely with teams based all over the world, I didn’t have many problems. I plan my daily routine and keep the “work-daily routine-sports” balance.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Polontech.
Aleks Yenin: For many years, I’ve been providing consulting services on Atlassian products, Agile as a managerial framework, and ITSM/ITIL. That is, helping companies and corporations to increase their productivity and improve work style.
At Polontech, we do the same thing. Started in 2009, as a custom software developer for mobile apps, web platforms, and Java solutions. Then we focused on complex implementations, and in-depth consulting for business process improvement boosted our expertise. Our clients among world-leading companies established the highest service standards which we adhere to so far. Now ITSM, ITIL, Agile, and Atlassian consulting became increasingly important area for us.
How does your company innovate?
Aleks Yenin: We provide custom solutions for about 30 companies annually and acquired our first big projects for Jira and ITIL. Succeeding in large consulting projects, we are not only implementing knowledge, but also sharing it in the conferences worldwide and giving free consultations for BPA, Agile, ITSM, and Atlassian.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Aleks Yenin: As everyone goes digital, our working approach hasn’t changed much. But the world is still struggling from Covid-19 and its impact on people’s livelihood. So the key thing here is planning and organizing the workload. Set the team rituals like daily online meetups in Zoom or Hangouts and have regular meetings for the analysis and evaluation of the development activities for the previous period, followed by the assessment and planning of work for the next 1, 2, or 4 weeks.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Aleks Yenin: My teams complete irregular tasks. That’s why we need to keep the accumulated knowledge and spread it. While addressing an incident or problem, we always update the documentation or provide a link to a precedent into the current task.
While working remotely, it isn’t always possible to communicate information directly (unless you use specialized software to make the knowledge at hand shareable). So I tend to create a culture of positive attitude to knowledge and documentation with the help of Confluence – a tool for content management that focuses on information, access management, and collaboration.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Aleks Yenin: My focus is remote online cooperation with hundreds of people and teams all over the world. That’s why I’d like to share my approach to organizing the workstyle for you and your team.
It’s essential to stay focused and motivated while working remotely. We use several tools for effective remote work:
To visualize tasks, we use Trello boards and Jira for task and project management. It’s free for teams of up to 10 users and easy to start in Jira Cloud. It can be challenging to configure and set the working processes, and my team is ready to help with that.
For a single communication channel, we use Slack. It has a call option, and you can automate all processes.
To keep all information, use cases, documents, texts, and media, we use Confluence. It integrates with Jira and supports Atlassian add-ons.
We also use Miro for diagram creation, brainstorming, co-working with boards online, and Google G Suite for corporate mail, calls, messages, calendar, and teamwork with documents and diagrams.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Aleks Yenin: No, we didn’t receive any government grants.
Your final thoughts?
Aleks Yenin: My advice for the companies that work from home: scale best practices for all teams and manage blockers. If two or more teams work on the same project, some blocking situations can happen.
When you set the right priorities for your projects, you can manage the backlog in terms of teams, units, and the whole organization. Jira helps visualize each step, optimize the workflow of every team, and manage projects at the organizational level.
The situation with Covid-19 shows that any business has to adapt to new norms to stay afloat. Every company is different, But it’s possible to make any business go digital using the right working attitude and set of tools. I’ll be glad to share my view of how it can work in your company – it won’t take more than 30 minutes.
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