Exercise № 7

The secret ingredient: Teamwork!

Hand in hand to get the best recipe

Why are we so fascinated by a pizza in connection with optimization issues? Well, it’s easy and quick to make, highly customizable and it always tastes great. If it’s prepared in a team, there’s another aspect to consider: communication. Before you can even make a start, you have to agree on various parameters: the amount, the mixed herbs, tomato sauce, the topping, who’s in charge of what and the baking time.

In addition,  one person will know more about the ingredients, another will know more about the preparation. If we transfer this example to OPTANO, we can also say: our optimization expertise complements  our clients’ process experience. Therefore, this exercise will focus on  the factors of agile teamwork and how this influences the speed of software development. Are you ready to enter the kitchen?

Unit 1

Working together in the same direction: that’s how your project teams stay on target!

Go to unit

Unit 2

Strictly confidential: the most important ingredients for successful teamwork in optimization projects.

Go to unit

Unit 1

Unit 1:

Heading in the right direction

Training goal

Kitchen rules

It may be just a pizza but if you want to ensure that your team gets optimal results, then certain success factors are necessary.

We have put together the most important elements of our project experience. It is vital to work on these factors before you actually start a project .

Success factors for good teamwork

  •  Check your capacities: how much of your staff would you like to or are able to to have for an optimization project?
  • Which framework parameters and targets do you want to set for your team to work on?
  • Define the desired main targets and side benefits of the participatory processes: professionalization, visionary development, etc.
  •  Choose suitable team candidates based on their skills and competency, communicative abilities and leadership qualities, always with regard to the actual task.
  • The project team must develop a mutual vision of what is to be achieved.
  • The targets must be accepted as a mutual challenge.
  • Roles, tasks and means of ommunication must be transparent and clearly understandable for all involved.
  • Everybody has his/her specific role: OPTANO as the optimization experts, you as a client in your specialized field.
  • Strengths and abilities must be evenly distributed among everybody and must be clear to everybody.
  • Appoint moderators: they structure, bring the team together and approve intermediate steps.
  • An open and respectful working atmosphere makes all team members feel welcome.
  • A pronounced feedback culture ensures that quiet objections are heard, not just loud ones.
  • Routines and established means of communication  offer project members a solid framework within which they can work.
  • A culture of commitment regarding agreements guarantees that deadlines are met and that employees can depend on one another.
  • A meta- level for moderators helps to keep professional and personal relationships separate from one another.

»Good teamwork always works when individuals serve the project, not when the project serves the individual«

Unit 2

Unit 2:
Secret recipes

Your piece of the whole!

Rapid results using agile methods

The Team:  At the heart of agile software development is an inter-disciplinary project team that organizes itself and in which each member has a specific role. This is different to classical procedures since those involved set a broader focus. Requirements are determined at an early stage, errors are pre-empted and eliminated.

The Vision: Based on a mutual product vision, the team puts together its package of tasks which have been prioritized based on their importance before they are implemented.  The applicable elements of the product vision arise quickly, even in the early phases of the project. A pleasant side effect is that the success of the application is apparent within the team and beyond and ensures that company employees are more willing to accept the new software.

The adaptability: Am Ende ist das Ergebnis reicher an Ideen und schneller am Markt.Integrating  new ideas and modifications to the process at any time is just one of the big advantages of an agile working method. In comparison to other classical methods, the entire project and time schedules needn’t be scrapped just because a few preliminary results deviate from you had been expecting. At the end, the result is richer in ideas and faster on the market.

Speed:  A fast and high-quality implementation saves money. With the client and developers working closely together, the team collects all the requirements and quickly converts these into executable code. This results in a protype that is easy to use.

The Prototype: Based on the prototype(s) the software runs through an iterative process. Problems or criticl aspects of the new software are identified and taken into consideration as early as possible.This means that the quality increases noticeably.

The acceptance: Functioning prototypes mean that the software is accepted more readily in the company. Users won’t take a sceptical approach to using the software. Instead,  they will be more appreciative of it. This is trust in advance that pays off.

Extensive application The aim of the project is go from prototypes to having a sophisticated solution as company software as soon as possible. A stable environment is imperative here: namely the modular technology platform. Here, individually programmed protypes come together with proven standards.

Modularity: Using developed modules where they can be adopted without modification is effective. These are simply supplemented in the platform by the new elements that are to be developed. The advantages of individual software merge with those of a tried and tested standard solution.

Scalability: Apart from the simplicity and speed of implementation with which the modular technology platform convinces, it also facilitates scalability. Growing demands on the system don’t have to be pre-empted, they can be adapted quickly and normally without needing any additional resources.

Agile Project Work

How your team can pick up speed

At a leadership or management level, the focus is not necessarily on how to get a result but how the result benefits the business. An essential factor here is the speed of implementation.

Based on our overview you’ll quickly discover which factors benefit the rapid introduction of a marketable software solution.


»Agility in projects ensures faster implementation and gains a high degree of flexibility at the same time.«

Homework № 7

Plan strategically!

Homework № 7: A Pizza for the Team!

A customary round pizza has to be cut into as many slices as possible so that everyone in the team gets one. You only have to cut the pizza 4 times in order to get the maximum number of slices.

How many people does your team have if you have got the maximum number of slices and everybody gets one each?

Get more fun out of this brainteaser: Try and work it out on your own first and then in your team. You’ll be surprised at how much faster you find the right answer.


Send your answer


1st Prize:

A photoshoot styled on our campaign
If your name is drawn you will have the opportunity to choose a theme for your own personal photoshoot. It can be a hobby, a business issue, whatever you want. The only conditons is that it is complex enough and fits on a 1x1m table. The photoshoot will take place in Bielefeld, Germany. Travel expenses within Germany as well as an overnight stay in a hotel are included in the prize.

2nd – 5th Prizes:

A hardback edition of »Things Come Apart.« by McLellan

6th – 10th Prizes:

Game »Die Kunst Aufzuräumen«

Legal Notice:
Objects which are dissembled will not be reassembled. Further technical agreements concerning the photoshoot will be clarified in advance. The photoshoot  will take place in Bielefeld. The winner and OPTANO will be transferred the rights to the finished product once the negatives have been handed over.

Legal Announcement

Terms and conditions of participation

This competition isn’t just for glory and prestige! Our first prize is a photoshoot styled on our campiagn. Conditions: You correctly answer all 10 of our fairly mind-boggling questions in our Exercise! Campaign. You can follow our campaign in our Newsletter which you will receive as soon as a new exercise is online.
The competition closes in fall 2020.

Terms and Conditions of Participation


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