People Story

Teamwork deluxe: collaboration while launching a product

When you launch a product, people tend to be very focused. On the next programming step. The marketing collateral. The trade show. The sales spin. Do the involved teams also take a look at the impact of the product it has on the world? Is it part of their daily thinking? How does collaboration change when you do that? When the latest model of our oscilloscopes hit the market, our teams behind the scenes were VERY aware that the R&S®RTO6 would be a game changer in various industries. They would take part in the development of autonomous driving, of e-mobility, of digital communication. “It’s not just a marketing claim,” explains Tim, the product manager. “Our development teams were adamant to step into our customer’s shoes, since the product will really touch base with our future lives.”

Teamwork deluxe

Different perspectives a high value

“A customer-centric approach is extremely important when designing a GUI” comments Claudia whose main focus lies in the usability of the user interface. “Where do people expect the functions, how do they interact with the optical design?” The software developer brought together design specifications and usability – all in the name of customer friendliness. Armin, lead software engineer in the US team, took a deep dive into the GUI for communication protocols. “We had more than 25 protocols as our team responsibility. We had a dedicated performance and improvement plan in place and a laser-sharp focus.” All the time being in synch with the other teams, e.g. in Munich, to align even the tiniest detail. As a product manager Tim liaises between the parties. “I’m used to being flexible in my ways of thinking” the doctor of physics describes. “Software developers, application engineers, designers, marketing and sales people – they come with different backgrounds and interests. It’s a challenge to be an interface to them – a very rewarding one.”

"Errors are often mysterious and complex. This is why software developers need to be creative, communicative and absolutely oriented to detail."
Armin, Lead software engineer

Team effort: apart while being close

The teams’ secret ingredient: open communication. The pandemic changed the usual ways of working. People scattered in home offices were in danger of losing touch with their colleagues. They were forced to find new ways. “Our teams were already placed around the globe, so we were partly used to video calls. But this launch took it to another level,” Tim spells out. The R&S®RTO6, as all other oscilloscopes from R&S, allows for easy remote access. The teams met up on screen virtually and shared the latest updates in the GUI – while at the same time accessing a real oscilloscope placed in their lab. “Perfect when you really want to streamline the GUI, because you get the exact feel and data for it.” Claudia comments. The software developer valued the input of her hardware-related colleagues. “I experienced the team as specialists who were open to new ideas, always taking their time to reflect and support.” Armin seconds: „We started each day with time we dedicated to each other. How could we support each other even more? It became essential when we were apart and not meeting up in our labs.”

Tim Paasch-Colberg

„Everyday was filled with expert knowledge from measurement technology, programming or GUI design. Never stop learning!“

Tim, Product manager

Learning curves: forgiving error culture

Armin’s software team has implemented a zero-error policy. All team members invest in sustainable work results: Every single protocol has to come through with absolutely no error. This high standard has become their second nature. „It’s not about NOT making mistakes. Mistakes are essential for learning. We take ownership of our tasks – and errors. We have established a forgiving learning culture: it clearly enhances our results.” Reflection became vital to the learnings of the teams. This was also visible in Claudia’s GUI development team. „Blaming never took us anywhere. We were open when we spotted errors or glitches. What mattered then was looking at how we could solve the issue. These discussions influenced how we viewed the product in a more holistic way.“

"Even under tight deadlines we kept track of the ball: the specs were clear, the overall goal well-communicated to everyone. Challenge accepted!"
Claudia, Software engineer

Launch highlights: experts on eye level

What was the highlight during this launch? Our US lead software engineer Armin concludes: “We established a sparring culture that was characterized by trust, know-how and respect. We used the different strengths of our team members to get the best results.” The interface developer Claudia enjoyed taking over new responsibilities: “Orchestrating the different GUI programming was a fantastic opportunity. The people I lined up on this project formed a comprehensive and impactful team.” Product manager Tim is sure: “This launch accumulated multinational, interdisciplinary experts. We were able to exchange views and to learn from the best. We were able to tackle the high complexity of the launch because people used our collaboration to elevate the product. They were all seeing the bigger picture: We are creating the future we want to live in ourselves.”

Noha & Joel
Meet the people behind our new R&S®RTO6 oscilloscope! In the video above, Product Manager Noha and Product Planner Joel answer our curious questions about how they mastered collaborating across different continents and even give a little insight into their dress code when working from home.