GMO Pepabo boosted dev team sharing
GMO Pepabo, Inc. provides internet services focusing on rental servers and ecommerce sites.
They are developing a rental server "Lollipop!", A handmade online market "minne", and a platform "SUZURI" where you can make and sell original items.
This time, I visited the Suzuri department, which has introduced Scrapbox since December 2017, and talked to Yuta Kawai and Yuta Kurotaki about the history of introduction, actual usage, and future of Scrapbox utilization.
GMO Pepabo, Inc. Suzuri Division Product Team
GMO Pepabo, Inc. Suzuri Division Product Team
Information sharing was overwhelmingly insufficient. There were challenges before introducing Scrapbox.
First of all, please tell us what prompted you to introduce Scrapbox.
Kawai: At first, I personally knew Scrapbox and became a fan, so I had contact with it from the beta version in 2016. While using it alone, I suggested to the team members, "This may be useful for work" The SUZURI division at the time wasn't communicating well despite the small number of people, sometimes even when some of the members were planning projects top-down there were ideas that went missing. At that time I was an engineer, and felt frustrated, saying to myself, "If we knew before the release, we could all aim for something better." We had opportunities to talk verbally, but there was no culture to leave records in a document. After trying various documentation tools and task management tools, I arrived at Scrapbox. That's how it happened.
When you introduced Scrapbox to SUZURI Division, what kind of application did you start using?
Kawai: At first, I started to use it as a daily report. I had some team members who did not attend the morning and evening meetings that I used to do every day, so I shared information only among those who could participate. By putting the daily report in Scrapbox I could supplement such a situation. By updating the daily report from the first page with updates from everyone, we now have a clear idea of what everyone is doing (whether they attent the meeting in person or not).
It's also useful for pair programming! One appeal of Scrapbox is that it can be widely used.
I think it's been about a year and a half since you introduced it. Can you tell us how you use Scrapbox now?
Kurotaki: We use it in various ways for each team, but for example, in the growth team, Scrapbox is useful for organizing project tasks. Each member drafts their tasks on the page and arranges them in priority order while we look at it together. You can also show the page to the product owner and explain about how to proceed. There are also two engineers who share one page and perform pair programming. However, if we proceeded with the work in turns and looked back at the last two people, it is also effective in the sense of double checking. I think that synergy creates new ideas and better work gets done.
Pair programming is a very interesting use. I heard it for the first time.
Kawai: The SUZURI Division had been doing pair programming while communicating verbally before introducing Scrapbox. The conversation was lively and the decision-making was quick, but there was a problem that the content of the conversation was not recorded history. Then... by using Scrapbox, the process of decision making remained and I could confirm questions like "What kind of discussion happened and why was this conclusion reached?" I think Scrapbox has great compatibility with pair programming.
Got it. What else are you using it for?
Kurotaki: Scrapbox is also useful for meetings. If you create a dedicated Scrapbox page before the meeting starts, all the participants will write on that page. This allows the minutes to be completed without deciding who is in charge of taking notes.
Kawai: I work out of the office sometimes, but I've been holding a meeting called "EVA lunch" where people who like EVA (Neon Genesis Evangelion) gathered to eat while watching, and I was also using Scrapbox there. Compared to everyone writing their impressions freely, it was silent when in a face-to-face meeting. But in Scrapbox some members made a mess expressing their unique world view. (laughs) I think that communication between members deepened.
You do use Scrapbox in many situations. By the way, how many pages are there now?
Kawai: The number of pages? I hadn't really thought about it ... (Mr. Kawai checking Scrapbox) It seems there are about 3300 pages.
Kurotaki: We rarely think about the number of pages, such as "Goal: XX Pages!" Or "Let's make at least one page per person every day." For example, pagination is conspicuous when using other services. But I'm too conscious of it, and I feel strange that I have to sort it out, but that's not the case with Scrapbox. The number of pages doesn't become heavy as it increases. Of course, in the lower right corner you can understand the number of pages because it is displayed, but I do not care about it day to day. I just write like a daily conversation, I write naturally, and the pages grow naturally... that's all. ”
From 6 people to 30 people at once. Suzuri's Scrapbox culture changed when staff increased.
It seems that recently the team has grown rapidly, but I hear that Kurotaki also joined the SUZURI Division in the middle of that growth. Please tell us your candid impressions when you first used Scrapbox.
Kurotaki: At first, I didn't really get the meaning of using this tool because I had the impression that it was "just a document tool that enables collaborative editing." I learned about the "it's all ok to write" culture and became addicted to it. Now when new members come in and create the first page, I am actively writing in it, adding links to keywords, and sharing the world of Scrapbox. I'm looking forward to telling people what I see, and recently I've hosted a casual Scrapbox study session (laughs).
Kawai: I think Scrapbox was adopted smoothly because there was a “Kuroko-like” presence from Kurotaki in the team. As a Kuroko-like activity, if new members made their own pages, well, existing members write "Welcome," and they would be surprised if they're used to closed documentation tools (laughs), but it reduces the hurdles to writing on pages made by others, and the culture will spread even more.
Editors note: Kuroko is a charismatic star player from the popular Japanese manga Kuroko's Basketball.
For example, did existing members teach new member how to use Scrapbox or share rules?
Kawai: No, I haven't really taught it, and there is no such thing as a manual. I wonder if Kurotaki voluntarily held a study session? (Laughs) Rather, everyone uses it differently. It is also interesting that I discovered it because the number of departments increased and the purpose and way of making new pages are different. Some people suddenly make a new page and start a discussion from scratch, then there are some people who draft the profile page and then start a page. Just as different people have different ways of speaking and tempo in everyday conversation, the usage of Scrapbox has individuality. ”
Kurotaki: For example, some people write daily reports like a diary on their profile pages, and some people create new pages. Scrapbox follows the atmosphere of the team as it is, without getting too rough but without strict rules. It's fun.
Company-wide expansion at three offices in Tokyo, Fukuoka, and Kagoshima. What's their future with Scrapbox?
Finally, please tell us about your plans for future Scrapbox utilization.
Kurotaki: I would like to spread it to other business units. Actually, there was another in-house software that was used to share information across business units. Due to various reasons, it is currently stopped. We hope that Scrapbox can complement that. In addition, GMO Pepabo, which used to be located in Tokyo and Fukuoka until now, has recently established a new Kagoshima base, which is why it is farther away than before. Currently, we are using Scrapbox at the Kagoshima office as well, but we hope to introduce it throughout the company in the future.
Kawai: The concept is exactly the same as Mr. Kurotaki said. I tried using Scrapbox at the SUZURI business department in Tokyo and found that the same business site could work very effectively as a communication tool even with a scale of 30 people. When it comes to the ground, it seems necessary to think about it, such as writing down the rules to some extent. I would like to further analyze how to use it for company-wide introduction.
Thank you Kawai and Kuroki!
Translated from the original text by Kenta Kita, with photos by Shingo Shimojo on May 9, 2019.
Scrapbox lets you instantly capture and find knowhow at any scale, both solo and with a team.
You can rapidly capture things like notes, manuals, tasks, code, meeting minutes, and research results. All pages are automatically connected with bi-directional links, allowing you to seamlessly work across even tens of thousands of pages.