Last week was a very special week for the DataCite team, because we had our first in-person team retreat in over two years! Some of the team members met for the very first time, as eight people joined DataCite since our last full team meeting in Amsterdam early in 2020. As of today, the DataCite team is made up of 19 staff members working remotely across eight countries, who are from ten different countries and speak ten different languages.
During the three-day team retreat in the Netherlands, the different teams and functional units were able to get to know each other beyond the regular Zoom calls. It was a chance to zoom out of everyday remote work. A chance to interact in person. From early morning runs until late night discussions, we enjoyed meeting face to face. Taking advantage of the longest day of the year, we discussed daily issues and strategic questions in numerous sessions. From time to time, the team split up into the different teams and functional units and here is a short recap of what happened.
With several new team members joining the engagement team over the past two years, the team retreat was a perfect opportunity to discuss the structure of the engagement team with its various functional units. It was great to see that the Adoption, Membership, and Outreach units independently set related goals for 2023 that will keep DataCite on track with the strategic plan next year. On the second day, we took an important step in the stakeholder mapping process that will help us implement the communication and event strategies. Our engagement team meeting ended with a productive session on collaboration between product, development and engagement teams.
The product and development teams started off their face to face work on the product design. What looks like a spare time activity is actually an innovative product design method called Lego serious play. Following this intense but fun session, the development team worked together on bugs, issues, their prioritization and the improvement of internal technical workflows.
Throughout the annual retreat the full team met several times to exchange ideas and goals for DataCite. Day two was dedicated to discuss the vision 2022 together with the multi-year strategy followed by a picnic in the forests around Arnhem. In fact, due to sunny weather and the beautiful surrounding most of the meetings took place outdoors. On the third and final day, we wrapped up the annual retreat with fruitful discussions around DataCite Commons and the future of DataCite.
Remote. Global. Together.
In the concluding remarks, all team members agreed that it was a great feeling to finally meet in person. Not only because of the amount of work done (we needed more time!), but also because we got to know each other better. This retreat reassured us that we are a committed team building and maintaining DataCite’s infrastructure and services. What we all took home was the following message: We are remote, global, and together.