Innovations, Life @ABTasty

AB Tasty Top Chef Tech

by Angelique de Taddeo
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At AB Tasty, we’ve noticed that bringing fun into our work helps develop great projects. And as we like to give some flavor to everything we do (all will agree that everything is better when it’s “tasty” 😉), we’ve found a new – and funny – way to work within our technical team.

We are open to innovative styles of cooking

Working for a company experiencing hyper-growth, we need to accept the fact that things continually change (especially in the tech industry). The changes we go through impact the way we work, including our processes and methodologies.

In the product/tech team, we used to have development cycles of 3 months. We noticed that those long development cycles weren’t ideal as they didn’t give a rhythm to the team’s work (when deadlines are far, you feel like you have plenty of time to start working), but we also noticed that with so much time, we were losing our focus on priorities by trying to get things done into too much detail (and sometimes spending time on tiny issues more than on our final goal).

In trying to solve this issue, we came up with “Top Chef Tech”, a friendly competition in which we reduce those cycles to 6 weeks, and split each cycle into phases:

  • Weeks 1 to 4: The cooking phase. The tech team preps the ingredients and puts their projects in the oven to cook.
  • End of the 4th week: The taste test. The brigades conduct a Top Chef Tech meeting to sample their dish and to determine if any adjustments are needed.
  • Weeks 5 and 6: The plating phase. This is when the brigades finalize the plate and add spices and garnishes based on the feedback they received during the Top Chef Tech meeting.
  • End of the 6th week: The judging phase. Awards and green lights for the coming cycle of projects.

The recipe for a good Top Chef Tech meeting

For this meeting, we need the right team members:

  • The Chefs and Masters: they act as the judges during the meeting. They observe, test and smell the impact of each presentation to determine if the plates can be improved or only deserve praise. And of course, everybody has to call them “Chef” or “Master”!
  • The kitchen brigades: represented by a technical team leader and product manager, they present their plate to the Chefs. We have four kitchen brigades participating in this meeting.

Team spirit is strong at AB Tasty, therefore employees have a deep trust in one another. It helps a lot when it comes to letting one of your team members present your work.

The meeting is organized in the following way:

  • Each brigade is represented by two team members (a product manager and a tech team leader).
  • Those team members will present their meal to the Chefs. Once their presentation is done and validated, the next brigade will enter the room and present their meal too.
  • During each presentation, the Chefs share their thoughts with the team.

Brigades can’t assist in other brigades’ presentation for now, but the rule might change with time because at AB Tasty, we sell and value the “test & learn” approach. So in everything we do, we embrace mistakes because if you never make mistakes, it means you never take risks.

What can you win?

Just like any Top Chef, you can receive trophies rewarding you for your talent. At AB Tasty, we give the following gifts to the winning teams:

  • Golden knife
  • Silver knife
  • Wood knife
  • Paper knife

 

These knives represent not only the teams’ achievements based on their goals, but also their enthusiasm during the process. And if a team wins up to 3 golden knives, the team members will not only be deemed “Top Chef”, but will also get a bonus at the end of the cycle.

What’s on the menu?

Every 6 weeks, the brigades present the Chefs with the project they want to add to our menu. Of course, each project is aligned with our roadmap and vision, and the Chefs validate it before the brigade starts to work on it.

At AB Tasty, client satisfaction is key. That’s why our roadmap is built around our clients’ needs and our prospects’ expectations.

To determine our menu items, our Product Managers present our priorities, and our Tech Team Leaders help them define the time needed to cook each idea. It’s easier for our teams to cut each recipe into actions as this way, we can easily estimate the time we need for each action.

So Chefs – mettez-vous en place and get ready for some friendly competition – we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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