Edlund – successful setup of the first team at KMD Poland
KMD Poland is definitely perceived as a good partner not only for expanding different kind of services and operations ran by KMD A/S but also by new companies, that became a part of KMD Group. This year Edlund A/S, a company acquired by KMD A/S in 2016, decided to open a software development center in Poland. How did an expansion and setup look like and what are the planes for the future? Read the story to find this out.
Edlund A/S is Denmark’s leading provider of solutions for the management of life insurance and pension portfolios. With more than 20 years of experience, Edlund achieved a 60% market share in Denmark.
As a fast growing company, Edlund also needs more competent people working on their Industry Solution. That is why they decided to expand their R&D department and build three new teams in Poland this year with plans to grow further in the years to come.
Since 2002, the solution is based on .NET stack, which resulted in creating an extensive solution. It consists of standard modules, which are accompanied by a lot of customer specific modules and extensions. This creates a codebase with millions lines of code with around 200 active contributors.
Welcome to Valby!
In the last days of March first of our colleagues working for Edlund have visited their office for an onboarding event. Even though Denmark greeted them with cold and rainy weather, they were soon rewarded by the look of the office. The buildings are located in Valby, Copenhagen district, which is not as one would expect an office district but mainly a residential area with a lot of single-family houses.
Besides having to know the office and company’s history the team also had a chance to get a hands-on experience in development of the LifeLink system. It’s the leading industry solution for the policy management within the life insurance and pension industries.
Our colleagues also had a chance to talk with Morten Steiner, the CEO of Edlund, as well as with the CTO Hans-Henrik Mejløe. They both emphasized that creating teams in Warsaw, in collaboration with KMD Poland, is an important step in supporting their strategic initiative of transforming the system into an industry standard solution.
On the 9th of May, another Polish team members came to Valby to meet with the Danish team members and also to take part in the onboarding. Jakub and Darek joined Edlund already in April and had their onboarding by then, so this time they just joined Holger, Mikkel and Julie, to work together.
All the newcomers have attended regular 3 days onboarding, just like everyone new to Edlund. Starting from June, all the new developers joining Edlund will have common onboarding session regardless if they will work from Warsaw or Valby. But also this time we had a kind of pilot for such an onboarding as besides 4 Polish people, also 2 Danish ones joined. On the last day of the visit, the team also got an introduction to the tasks.
Karolina and Jakub were first two, who joined Edlund to establish the team at KMD Poland. We interviewed them to find out, how everything has gone for the last months.
You both have gone thru the Edlund’s successful start up at KMD Poland. Which part was the most challenging and why?
The most challenging part was to find the right people, who would fit to our team and meet the expectations. Especially when it comes to language skills, because it’s very important to effectively cooperate with our teammates in Denmark. Working for Edlund in Warsaw also requires frequent travels to Denmark, being an open-minded, communicative person. The company structure is flat, so we’re always able to reach easily anyone in the company. We were very positively surprised, that at each and every stage we were taken into account. We felt we’re an important part of the company and the team spirit is very crucial for successful cooperation, based on partnership. The are no communication barriers or organizational silos. We’re happy that most of the documentation is provided in English.
Jakub, tell us a little bit more about your role in Edlund’s team. How does it differ from the previous one in your former project at KMD Poland?
Jakub: My role is being a technical leader for the Polish team. This means I’m responsible for ensuring the highest technical quality is delivered all the time. Since the team has a dedicated scrum master I can focus on the technical part and still be an active developer. Due to our fairly recent startup this all is also accompanied by contributing to establishment of an effective setup between Polish and Danish part of the team.
What about the rest of the team? What are the plans for the future regarding the project?
Karolina: We’re planning to have aprox. 20 people and several teams in R&D department by the end of this year. The first team has been established on a pilot-phase basis so that the future teams will learn from it’s experience. All teams will have distributed setup: with several experienced Edlund developers located in Denmark and also newcomers located in Poland. There is also a project manager in Denmark, me as people manager in Poland and a scrum master on the Danish side. The aim of such a setup is to ensure effective knowledge transfer and easier startup of the new people.