The year was 2016, I was just graduated, joining Clubpetro, a project that was at the beginning and that today is the biggest accelerator of results in the gas station market. Much of this is due to the fact that the company started to use Scrum from an early age. There were no customers, there were no processes, there was no product, much less a team. We only had the purpose that moved us to create the company, in short: we ourselves were not really ready for the challenge.

The thought was precisely to find out where to start. My partners and I saw a lot to be done, but we were barely able to decide where to go. In addition, they worked in other businesses and I was the only one who was 100% available to the project, so I ended up responsible for the company’s day-to-day activities.

As a good new intern, I wanted to deliver my demands. Everything that for some reason ended up under my responsibility, I wanted to deliver. In the best quality and also as soon as possible.

So, things went on without much speed and with me as the solution to most problems. A solution often improvised, but that met the minimum requirements for acceptance.

We couldn’t really use the maximum potential available from the 3 team members, we barely knew how to align our deliveries to a single goal. Although we talked a lot, this alignment was never complete. I was the most inexperienced member and had no idea where we were going. I just knew that the demands were increasing more and more and my time was already getting scarce.

The first customers came, when I started we were 4. In a few months, we were already 20. But there was an important detail: we didn’t have defined processes. We just ran around, desperate, trying to guarantee the result of the product to the customer. Likewise, we traveled the state in search of new customers. An endless run.

Entering a little money, we hired the first people to assume functions that we had standardized. “Commercial” and “Inaugurating the client” were the two areas we had, and in both of them we had already made enough mistakes to understand that we needed a working guide, because although “repetitive”, the areas needed to follow a pattern.

Following this “pattern” was a challenge, as it did not cover all possibilities and was only ready for scenarios that we had already gone through previously. But likewise, this first pattern made us grow and was the engine of our company for the first 6 months.

We grew up, we already had about 40 clients and 10 people on the team. In the middle of it all, I was. Inexperienced and wanting to prove value to members and also older cousins. I think they already saw that I helped, but I saw myself as a “machine” in the process. Delivering demands, but not really knowing for sure how to manage that “everything”.

Individuals before processes and tools, it was one of the first things that made sense to me, after all, without our effort to create that company, none of the processes we created needed to exist.

The demands were increasing and the operational work was taking more and more time. My job was no longer what moved the company, it was no use running, scoring, stealing the ball, dribbling, and kicking into the goal. I needed to learn to play with the team, to really use the individual skills of each member of the team to the full.

Likewise, the standard processes we had created were insufficient, in a startup, everything changes very fast and they needed to be improved and developed over time.

I was helpless in the face of all this. After all, he was one person and was really exhausted from a lot of hard work. The feeling of not being “essential” to the company was starting to bother me. I had no control over what happened, the “bombs went off” and I didn’t even know how to react, but it was all my responsibility.

This feeling eroded me, I wanted to be a better manager internally, to have better results without so many emotions. And to avoid this kind of problem, I ended up making it worse. I started to micromanage my entire team. I wanted to reduce the number of errors, I wanted to stop having the pumps in my routine.

And thankfully, I quickly discovered that this was not the way. The job of micromanaging everything took even more time, stealing my time to think about the future to improve the process and think about the company. Besides, it bothered me to do something with my team that I would never want them to do to me.

I had to go back to school. Not going back to college, but turning to my best friend: Google. I knew that I was not an experienced professional, that my team was not, that my partners were not. But I didn’t understand how companies managed to have 100,000 employees and I couldn’t manage 10. Was I really that bad?

This internal demand did not discourage me, on the contrary, it made me sure that I was not on the right track. And it opened my eye to understand how modern companies did it. I had heard about startups’ management, but I didn’t have any close examples, so I ended up with a lot of reports on puffs, pool tables, and video games.

But Google showed me another way. It was necessary to study, read, devour what existed of material to finally be able to create the company I believed in. He believed that the company could generate much more value and that people could be the great differential of the company.

I didn’t want to be the bottleneck of the operation, I wanted to have people much better than me in the company, I wanted to make the company respect the individual freedoms of each one, I wanted to maximize the resources we had.

I have always liked to understand how companies work, what methods they use, and how they manage them. In my researches, I ended up finding in Scrum the correct methodology to put all this into practice. At least in theory everything was beautiful and worked well. The companies I admired used Scrum and it made sense to try, even with many reports to the contrary on the internet.

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