What are the benefits of collaborating across borders?


With the rise of remote work, the world has become more connected than ever. At Expertum, we undertake medium to large-scale projects both nationally and internationally. Our team of experts frequently collaborates with colleagues from different countries and cultures. To gain insight into their experiences, we asked Brankica Miko Rozmajer and Max Tuinman a few questions about working in an international team. What does that actually look like?

Can you tell us how large the team is? And what are their specialities?

Brankica: Currently, I am working on an international project with a team located all over the world: Netherlands, India, Italy, China and Croatia. There are 12 people in the reporting team who cover different areas of expertise. Since most of the work needs to be done in the backend part, around 80% of resources are focused on building data models and reports, while the rest of the team is focused on front-end tools and visualization of data

This was my first time being part of an international project. This basically meant that business went on all day due to different time zones. The team that I was part of was the Order 2 Cash team. Therefore, our main focus was on helping the business gain insights into topics related to procurement and stock. This specific team consisted of 8 developers, who mostly worked on the back end, of whom I was one. The reason for that is that creating and testing the requested data model takes the most resources.

How many meetings do you have during the week to discuss the project?

Brankica: We have stand-up meetings with all developers covering the same reporting area on a daily basis. The main purpose of these meetings is to trace progress, avoid overlapping, and identify and resolve any blockers. On a bi-weekly basis, we also have sprint reviews and sprint planning meetings. Depending on the business requirement, we organize meetings with people from the business in order to identify their needs and business rules that need to be applied to the data to gain valuable insight into it.

Max: After the meetings, Brankica mentioned sessions with the business regarding requirements, discussing progress, and testing deliverables. The number and duration of these sessions were developer-specific. In general, I had a 30-minute session three times per week.

How do you experience to work in an international team in general?

Brankica: I love it, especially in our team. There are people from different parts of the world and different ages, so it’s nice that I can learn about different ways of working and thinking. Embracing the diversity of perspectives and experiences within your team, regardless of age, can lead to a more dynamic and successful work environment.

I really enjoyed the diversity of working in an international team. It meant connecting with people from all over the world, which, in my opinion, is an extremely interesting experience. The differences in culture resulted in an additional layer of different perspectives on the types of topics we covered during this project.

You both worked together; what did you learn from each other?

Brankica: Max is a young developer but, first of all, a really nice person who often brings a fresh perspective, creativity, and understanding of the latest trends in front-end tools. He also brings a unique energy and enthusiasm to projects, which is inspiring.

: Working with a developer and consultant with the skillset and experience that Brankica has is something that, I think, every starting developer wants to do. Because it is one of those opportunities where you can learn so much in a short period of time. For me, it resulted in learning a lot more about back-end developing but also on ways to communicate with the business. For that, I am very grateful. Finally, she is someone who has a lot of humour, which makes working with her very pleasant.

How do you experience remote working? Are there times when you get together with the team?

Brankica: Even though we aren’t located physically in the same place, the whole team tries to cooperate with each other, share knowledge and build a friendly and positive atmosphere. I believe those factors are crucial because when the atmosphere is relaxed, communication in the team is better and this is a way to prevent conflict and misunderstanding but also feelings of isolation. In short, I think that with respect, kindness, openness, caring and trust within the team will return to all of us many times over.

Since this was an international project, remote working was going to be a very logical consequence. This means that I did not see most of my fellow developers or contacts within the business. However, due to the type of fellow developers, like Brankica, who worked on this project, it did not feel like constantly working remotely. Due to daily sessions, we were all in close contact with one another.

Finally, what advantages does an international team have?

Brankica: Working within an international team gives us the opportunity to build a team that can provide different sets of skills, knowledge, experience, and education. The main benefits of working in an international team include cross-cultural interaction, access to new cultural creativity, ways of thinking and innovation that will enhance the speed of development and improve productivity.

Working within an international team gave us the opportunity to have access to different types of views. Whereas an average team already exists with different views. An international team, which additionally has cultural differences, adds an additional layer to this. In our case, this results in more creativity. Where the work atmosphere created within the daily sessions was the glue to make everyone feel connected.

Branka en Max

Our experts

Brankica Miko Rozmajer (Senior BI consultant)

I have 20+ years of professional experience in the design, development, and implementation of business applications in SAP BI. I’ve handled multiple projects for different customers and different BI reporting areas, such as O2C, retail, P2P, finance and controlling, REFX, production, and claims.
I am passionate, independent, responsible, hardworking and open to lifetime learning and adopting new technologies.

Max Tuinman (BI consultant)

I started my first year as a professional Business Intelligence consultant, mainly focusing on front-end development through SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC). Halfway through the year, this focus adjusted mainly to back-end development through SAP Datasphere.
I am energetic, hardworking, responsible, curious, and highly motivated. Furthermore, also eager to maximize the requested results.

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Steve Klein

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