We recently talked to Martim Schnack, tech-lead at Rare Carat, to find out how the startup manages to efficiently collaborate on projects, making sure that all project-related information is stored at a centralized place that’s easily accessible for their globally distributed team members.
About Rare Carat
Rare Carat is a diamond startup that aims to change the way people buy diamond rings. The Kayak of diamonds, as the company calls itself, uses IBM Watson technology to compare the price of diamonds across various online retailers and thus makes comparison-shopping simpler. The startup team consists of about 17 people, among them two members of the IBM Competitive Projects Office, which collaborate with Rare Carat on an Artificial Intelligence bot that in the future will talk potential buyers through their first diamond purchase.
The Challenge: Collaboration in a Distributed Team
The Rare Carat team is distributed across the globe, and thus relies heavily on online tools that offer real-time collaboration and can be accessed from anywhere. Confluence by Atlassian is their go-to application for documentation and organization of all their projects. “Confluence is where all our organizational and project-related knowledge is stored,” explains Martim Schnack.
Alongside Confluence, Rare Carat originally also used Mindjet MindManager for planning and brainstorming, however, they were dissatisfied with the tool overall and particularly missed the option to integrate maps in Confluence. “Eventually I started looking for another mind mapping tool, and so I found MindMeister, which turned out to be the best application by far,” Schnack says.
The Benefits of Using MindMeister and Confluence
Rare Carat now uses MindMeister in the definition and ideation phase of all their projects. “Whenever we start a project, there are so many meetings, ideas, and conversations that take place – it’s vital that we have a way to organize, group and prioritize them,” says Martim Schnack.
|“MindMeister is a great way to visualize our thoughts, ideas and priorities.”
— Martim Schnack, tech-lead at Rare Carat
“We usually have one branch in the mind map that functions like an idea inbox, while another branch is used to create tasks with due dates, which can then be assigned to the team members responsible. MindMeister is thus both a planning and a task management tool for us.”
For Rare Carat, one of MindMeister’s biggest benefits by far is its Confluence integration. “The integration was a big deal for us because it means that we can create mind maps right inside Confluence and embed them alongside our other pages which are dedicated to documentation, research, design, development and so on. This way, our ideas and plans are always right where we need them, and we don’t have to switch back and forth between tools all the time.”
- Confluence is used to document organizational and project-related knowledge
- MindMeister provides easy solution for visual thinking and planning
- Mind maps can be embedded in Confluence pages to ensure they are part of the overall knowledge base