When Almanac launched an open source template library on Product Hunt in October 2021, we had no idea we would set in motion a chain of events that would help to change the culture of Scrums.com – a 350+ person company.
Nor did we expect Almanac to play such a pivotal role in changing the responsibilities of the company's leadership team – each of whom is now responsible for reviewing and documenting knowledge to help the company build a robust repository of knowledge.
A mission-critical leadership objective for a company that had previously struggled to scale its headcount and service offerings because of the frenzy that was created every time tacit knowledge walked out the door.
So we sat down with Gerald Neves, CEO of Scrums.com (formerly known as SovTech), to get the full story on how Almanac has helped his team avoid stressful situations, preserve important company knowledge, and scale from a core team of 180 to 350+ people.
Here's how it all went down:
The business consists of a core team of software developers – headcount stands at 350 today – and a network of 10,000 talented tech experts.
These developers – or remote African software engineers – form global product teams that develop bespoke, tailor-made software solutions for Scrums.com's clients. They rely heavily on documentation to deliver projects on time, in scope, and according to budget.
But every time an employee left the company, Scrums.com lost all of their hard-earned, domain-specific knowledge. This presented Scrums.com with a classic knowledge retention problem – one that would send the remaining development team into a mad scramble for information every time an engineer left.
The work around work created unsustainable friction. Managers and new hires would take on a huge amount of stress scavenging for information, or the "magic of what happened along the way," because the company didn't have a central source of information and knowledge.
And it wasn't for a lack of effort, or solutions. The company tried just about every solution out there. They gave Stack Overflow, Google Docs, and Confluence a shot. They hacked together their own bespoke, in-house tools themselves.
But, according to Gerald, "none of them really worked because we didn't have an organizational mandate around where information was supposed to live, nor did we find a product that people actually believed in or were excited about."
And luckily for us, the Scrums.com team was hungry for a solution.
They had tried all of the products out there, but when they came across Almanac, they knew we had built a new approach with a fresh take on things.
"The product had cool, innovative features, and we liked where the product seemed to be going. Plus, open source was part of our DNA, so when we saw the open source template library and the ability to do Git-like version control on documents, we knew we had to try out Almanac."
The team had built several of its own solutions, so it was a good testing ground for a new one. Plus, if the team couldn't be convinced to use Almanac, then Gerald didn't stand much of a shot convincing the other teams to migrate to a new platform.
Initially, the team had some reservations.
They weren't sure how long it would take software made by a startup to mature, and reach the enterprise standard of quality and reliability they were used to.
But the team persisted, and gave Almanac a shot nonetheless.
Almanac started as a better way for the Scrums.com team to take individualized notes.
But as more and more people started to collaborate heavily on those notes, the company found an even more powerful use case for Almanac: they needed a knowledge base, or a centralized repository of company information.
So that's exactly what they set out to do.
"Using Almanac just felt natural to us – merging, version control, and reviews were exactly what we were doing with our code and programming processes. And once our CTO tried Almanac during our trial phase, we went all in on Almanac because he really loved the product."
"Almanac made knowledge management a core part of our culture – in a very practical way."
"Almanac also changed a core part of our leadership culture and our expectations for leaders – now they are charged with reviewing work in order to build a comprehensive source of company knowledge."
Since moving over to Almanac, knowledge management has become a core pillar at Scrums.com, which has impacted the company in a number of beneficial ways.
Now, when an employee leaves the company, project-specific knowledge doesn't leave with them, so managers and new hires aren't sent into a mad scramble trying to pick up the pieces.
The company can scale its headcount, and service offerings, without worrying about the ensuing chaos that comes with bringing on more people and more departments.
It's just one of the many ways that Almanac is helping distributed teams like Scrums.com work faster, and with less chaos, in this new working landscape.
"At Scrums.com, we're pretty excited about the future and how Almanac is helping us to build, access, and use knowledge."
And, if you're tired of constant Slack and email notifications, digital fire drills, and around team chaos, then you need Almanac.
It's the fastest wiki and workflow tool ever built.
In Almanac, you can fly through tasks and requests twice as fast, find what you need the first time around, and eliminate team anxiety once and for all.
Get started in under three minutes today at almanac.io.