Squads

A squad is the basic unit of organization in VSHN. Every team member is assigned to one and only one squad. Each squad has a Squad Master, a certain number of members, a particular mission and works on certain products and services. Squads are orthogonal to chapters.

Each squad organizes itself, and has its own methodology and rhythms, usually following agile principles. Most of the squads follow a Kanban approach to project/task management. They adapt to the requirements of their customers in real time and communicate every day about the current events going on.

When you join VSHN, you are going to be assigned to a squad.

Squads vs Chapters

Current Squads

Our team is currently divided into the following squads:

Name Mission

Altair

Incident Handling and Customer Happiness

We’re the VSHNeers at the front taking ownership of daily customer business and incident resolution.

Antares

Backoffice

Keep the show running in the background. Responsible for accounting, PeopleOps (this includes recruiting, onboarding, staff care, offboarding), office management, legal and compliance and organize team events.

Capella

Application Delivery

Helps customers to get their applications running on any infrastructure, deployed automatically, preferably on modern (VSHN managed) cloud platforms. This includes containerizing customer applications, engineering deployment configurations, automating the deployment process (CI/CD pipelines), integrating application monitoring (third-party or for our SLA-based operations on VSHN managed platforms).

Eltanin

Project and Service Management

Supports other squads with comprehensive project management, resource and priority planning. Common tasks involve the overview of projects, creation of project schedules, administrative work, support and coordination of the technical teams in various situations. This allows the expert teams to fully concentrate on the technical aspects.

At the same time we ensure a coaching function, helping engineers to plan and execute customer projects. The job of this squad is to answer all questions about project management, in both external and internal projects.

Polaris

Base Infrastructure and Classic Hosting

Runs the basic VSHN infrastructure (DNS, Backup, Monitoring, Puppet services, …​) and manages the Puppet managed customer infrastructures.

Sirius

Container Platform Infrastructure Builds and operates container platforms reliably and securely, so that its customers can concentrate on running its applications.

Runs the public and private container platforms. Be it self-installed and managed (on-premise, classic IaaS) or managed container platforms (EKS, GKE, AKE, …​).

Sol

Marketing and Sales

Responsible for marketing and sales efforts of VSHN products and interaction with customers-to-be. This includes external communication, publications in the press, manage our website content, organize events, promotional material, and answering first contacts with new customers and contract negotiation.

The list of assignement can be found in our Wiki under Squads at VSHN.

The names of the squads are stars used for navigation! They come from this page.

Rules for all Squads

  • Each squad chooses and uses an appropriate working method (Scrum or Kanban)

  • Each squad manages its own work planning, based on the tickets in the backlog

  • Each Squad Master is the go-to-person for project managers to get tasks into the squads backlog and coordinate task priorities and deadlines.

  • Squads work with each other and not against each other. We foster an inter-Squad "Open Source" culture

    The Squad Open Source Model
  • It’s possible for a VSHNeer to change into another Squad

  • The goals of a squad will be determined together by the Squad members themselves

    Squad Goals
  • A Squad performs regular team retrospectives every four to six weeks

Assets of a Squad

For a squad to exist, the following assets exist:

  • A Squad Master

  • One or more squad members

  • Listed in this pages squad table: Current Squads including the squad mission statement

  • LDAP group containing all squad members

  • Listed in Jira dropdown field Squad

  • A wiki space dedicated to the squad

  • Members assigned to the squad in Odoo

  • Optionally an amount of Jira dashboards and boards

Squad Assignement

A VSHNeer is assigned to a squad by:

  • Amending the table under Squads at VSHN

  • Assigning to the according LDAP group

  • Updating "Department" field in Odoo

Daily Stand-Up

There are some rules on how to run a stand-up meeting, although every squad can arrange their own rules:

  • A person in the squad is responsible for the organisation of the stand-up meetings.

  • The stand-up meeting is carried out separately for each squad, with each squad member having a maximum of 1 minute to tell us what they’re working on.

  • The stand-up meeting starts promptly at 11:45 (everything should be prepared beforehand, including access via Jitsi or Zoom for those attending remotely).

  • Every VSHNeer arrives at the stand-up meeting prepared and ready.

  • Individual tickets aren’t discussed at the stand-up meeting.

  • It’s not told in order, but in random order.