#2019review #cm4all #we22 #2020preview - some insights

Short warning to all readers: This is a very personal article about 2019 in the CM4all product team.
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#2019review #cm4all #we22 #2020preview - some insights

by Silke Kanes

Short warning to all readers: This is a very personal article about 2019 in the CM4all product team. In no way chronological, definitely incomplete and very subjective. As a small insight for our customers, partners and friends - but above all as a big thank you to my team.

What to start with? Maybe with the fact that our team has grown steadily in 2019. We welcomed great new colleagues - product owners, UX specialists, Scrum Masters and working students. Each with a fresh mindset and many ideas that help us to look at things differently, also with a view from the outside. Nobody noticed us through job portals - that was through personal contacts and word of mouth.

Our product owner team has repositioned itself at the beginning of the year and has been working independently since then under the guidance of an experienced expert. Professional release and bug management, with a major update and many minor releases this year, optimization of our CI process, a mega-fat migration of several 100,000 existing accounts to a new software world without the participation of end customers, support for two remote teams , planning and conception of the next generation CM4all - and in the middle of it all the introduction of a new process software. You did a great job and can be proud of yourself!

Our DUX team (Design & UX) - also self-sufficient and always well managed - works constantly at the limit. It feels like our UX people are involved in every little development project and team. From basic research and the definition of front-end libraries to the design of countless prototypes, their tests and subsequent mockups - with a psychological questioning of the positioning and necessity of each individual button. You can only stand there and be amazed - and enthusiastically incorporate your results into PowerPoint presentations for customers (and those who want to become one). A big compliment also to our designers: The constant expansion of our design templates, their meticulous redesign, cataloging and ultimately remodeling for our new era with Sites 4 requires great effort and hard work. However, it is worth it - because your templates will soon have a new stage with plenty of space for better appreciation. Besides, every now and then work on our own website - but more on that later.

As the last group in the product team: our Scrum Masters. Actually intended to support 2 developer teams each. But what happens if you do your job well? Other colleagues come up to you and need support. Sometimes a team canvas here, a training course for colleagues there, the supervision and implementation of organizational meetings for other departments. Our Scrum Masters are the agile coaches in the company who attract more and more colleagues with their weekly open know-how exchange about all possible agile topics. The change to new, different ways of working can no longer be stopped once the process has been initiated. Thank you for tracking down construction sites and the many solutions that you bring in every day to initiate new processes.

What is there to report about our work? We were able to take part in many presentations with our colleagues from Key Account Management and Sales - to bring our way of working and product visions closer to our customers. It was fun - but it was also exhausting, because even though we like to talk about how we work, it sometimes prevents us from doing it. The CloudFest was very intensive here as an opportunity to meet with many of our customers and partners - it is always exciting to show a customer new versions / prototypes / mockups and to get authentic feedback.

We also had great fun working with our sister company web4business in Berlin. Many colleagues there work full-time with our software all day to create websites for our customers. In close cooperation with a lot of helpful input, we launched our service tools Co-Operator, Operator and Expertizer, which significantly optimize the website creation process for customers and service agents. And we will continue this successful collaboration in 2020.

A very important milestone this year was the renaming of our parent company from "Content Management AG" to "we22". "we22" stands for "we grow your business online" - with the vision of preserving the diversity of small businesses, together, future-proof, digital. Our we22 portfolio in Berlin, Erfurt and Cologne includes technology, software, content and services – complemented by know-how from over 20 years of experience in the market. The 20 year celebration was spectacular!

My personal highlight was the creation of our new CM4all website. As part of the we22 group, we wanted to get a fresh coat of paint. In order to meet our own requirements for agile working methods, we have developed all the content for a new website in mixed workshops. The question for new colleagues: "What would you have wished to find on the CM4all website?" gave great results. The structure and content of our new website were developed in a completely agile and transparent manner by many employees, regardless of whether they are managers or working students. Everything under the motto: "Agile, creative, techie and genuinely Cologne". It was incredibly fun and had great results. Thanks to everyone who got involved! The result is impressive - a website with no information about management, but authentic employee voices and a blog with lots of personal articles (such as this one).

What's next for CM4all? We are all full of anticipation and highly motivated to launch our major release Sites 4.0 in 2020. And to work on many new innovations that will take on more concrete forms over the next year.

Until then, all I have to do is thank all of our partners, friends and colleagues for the good cooperation, wish them happy and relaxing holidays, and a good start to the new year.