How is it to be a part of the number one open-source PWA for eCommerce?
Vue Storefront is now the number one open-source headless PWA storefront for eCommerce. It is the most popular platform of its type in the world, even ahead of Adobe’s proprietary solution for Magento. The global Vue Storefront community numbers over 1,000 developers and 50 partner agencies, and has implemented over 40 websites. It’s fair to say that Vue Storefront is very popular.
Like any high-quality product, Vue Storefront stands upon the shoulders of some great people who work hard to deliver.
Today we want to focus on the role of the project manager. What does their work look like? Why did they decide to work at Vue Storefront? And how can you join them if it feels like the right fit for you?
“The Vue Storefront team at Divante is very close-knit. Everyone wants to develop and improve their own abilities, while helping one another. We are working on new technologies which represent trends in eCommerce. Project managers have to handle big customers; this requires a lot of self-development, an understanding of how to serve customers in the process, and an ability to build mature relationships. The team supports and helps because there is a lot of cross-over; we do have formal roles but we make a lot of decisions together and find the best solutions.”– Wojciech Gajewski, Delivery Director at Vue Storefront
Sounds interesting? Let’s get down to the details.
How does the work of a Project Manager at Vue Storefront look?
Project managers have slightly different roles in each company. In Vue Storefront, the project manager has a great responsibility for projects and processes. He or she is also responsible for customer service, ensuring that the client is satisfied and receives what is expected. On the internal side, it is also important that Divante is satisfied. The PM takes care of the team, checks their motivation, and makes sure that they know what is happening in the project.
– Piotr Nowicki, Project Manager at Vue Storefront
“The Project Manager must be active from the beginning. The role starts with getting to know the client and the initial talks. Along the way, there is design creation, mock-ups, and communication related to improvements. The PM is responsible for presenting a specific implementation offer and then overseeing the whole development process, to make sure that it is executed in a timely manner and in a way that satisfies the client. The project manager is the balance point between the needs and expectations of the developers and those of the client.”
Some projects require the full-time involvement of the Project Manager. Others don’t consume so much attention and time. In each of them, the Project Manager has to have their finger on the pulse. They have to know when things are going well and when there are issues that need to be resolved.
There is a lot of responsibility but also a lot of trust and freedom.
“In Divante and Vue Storefront, the structure is as flat as possible. As Delivery Director (and internally as a Tribe Master), I have one foot on the board. Project Managers can easily ask me for a consultation or even can go directly to the CEO. In our work culture, everything is very close.”– Wojciech Gajewski.
Remote work mastered
It is easier to organize work if we have a fully in-office or fully remote team. The problems start when the team is split. If, for example, we have four people in the office and one remotely, the remote worker can feel like they are omitted from a number of conversations, such as the chats over a coffee where many issues are often discussed less formally, but where big decisions are often made!
In Vue Storefront, the tribe structure is mixed. A lot of people work remotely but there are also some working in the office. To make everyone feel good, there is a little different approach to communication, as if everybody works remotely. Even if there are two people in the office, they all call in to a conference meeting separately, so that everyone is equally visible in the video meeting. It stops being a crowd of people sitting at the table and becomes individual people.
“Remote communication limits the joint meetings for coffee and chit chat. You have to make space for networking and talking about private matters. It helps to build common relations. Working locally, we meet for a specific purpose and discuss the chosen topic. We leave the meeting and then there is time for less official topics, no longer related to this project. In remote work, once we get out of the video conference, we don’t talk, we just go back to work. At Divante, we try to make sure that during remote meetings there is time for atmosphere building conversations. Thanks to this, people working only remotely can get to know their team better. Apart from that, we all meet periodically in the office.”– Rafał Makara, Project Manager at Vue Storefront
Remote working also gives a lot of freedom.
“For me, it is now an ideal solution. I can combine work with childcare. I can also take an hour in the middle of the day to take care of private, urgent matters which I wouldn’t be able to handle if I were in the office. It’s a cool approach for a company that sees its employees as mature people who can manage their own time. Having such a work-life balance life is a more effective way of being.”– Piotr Nowicki
A chance to develop a career
There are several reasons why a Project Manager working in Vue Storefront can learn quickly and develop his or her career.
Working with new technologies based on open-source is a challenge. Mistakes can happen! Vue Storefront, as a part of Divante, also works for large clients; these are experienced, mature organizations which have their own standards, but they also have precise requirements and can be demanding at times. This is a big learning curve for some PMs.
To support one another through such projects, we engage in joint meetings and brainstorming, and encourage people to share their experience. We want Vue Storefront members to ask difficult questions and to support each other. This helps generate a great atmosphere in which people can draw new conclusions, learn, and experiment without fear. To enhance this learning, team members also take part in conferences, workshops, and technology meetings.
What’s more, the Vue Storefront project management team has great diversity. There is a technical person, an ex-developer, and a former tester, as well as people who’ve joined us from startups and those who were working in creative agencies. They all bring different experiences and help each other look at things from a different perspective.
“We have been researching our NPS (Net Promoter Score) from clients. We have independent opinions every quarter on how they evaluate us. We build the entire management process around this. We talk to clients about how they judge us, what they like, and what we can do to improve. NPS helps to improve our work but also appreciates what we do in a great way (as the clients also share with us a lot of positive aspects of working with us).”– Wojciech Gajewski
Tribes that make people closer and work more efficiently
The distinctive feature of Divante and Vue Storefront is the tribes model. Employees have many benefits by working in a tribal system. You can get to know the people you work with and build relationships and methods of cooperation. It is not about reinventing the wheel or building everything from scratch; it’s rather about creating a more pleasant and more efficient working environment.
The agile tribes model combines all the benefits of working in a small company, like a start-up, with the advantages of working in a large company. Tribes support what Divante calls “Drive”. If you have an idea, it’s much easier to put it into practice in a small organization; you can discuss it with the Tribe Master who is sitting close to you. Then, if everything goes well, you can implement it. It also helps to have a great atmosphere, such as the one for which Divante is known. Vue Storefront carries that over into an openness to trying, experimenting, and learning.
Looks like a job for you? There is one more thing
Vue Storefront is growing fast and needs experienced Project Managers. Not everyone fits the bill; we want people who are focused on business value and people, not only processes. Culture fit is just as important as the right points on the CV. In fact, it may be even more important.
“You have to feel and understand what you’re here for. And be very human. We’ve previously turned down experienced candidates because they didn’t fit our style of work; they came with a corporate attitude that doesn’t really fit our way of doing things. We are looking for the right cultural fit. Our people all share our four main values: Drive, Vibe, Next, and Teamwork.”– Wojciech Gajewski
Published June 3, 2020