I am Dimitri, officially Dimitrios, and I was born and raised in the biggest European city before Asia. Thessaloniki lays on the coastline of the Thermaic Gulf and inhabits around 1 million people. The city is founded in 315 B.C. and named after the sister of Alexander the Great. Throughout the centuries, it has been home to many cultures including Greeks, Turks, Jews, and Romans. Any of them left a twist so that any visitor can hardly not feel at home.
As a kid, I wanted to be a chemist and that’s why my high-school specialization included chemistry, maths, physics, and biology courses. However, upon graduation, I have been enough agile to pursue a bachelor’s in Economy. The school’s curriculum has been really wide-ranging from micro and macroeconomics to accounting, auditing, econometrics, finance, marketing, management, and an enlightening student exchange period in Sweden. Upon graduation, I still hadn’t found what I wanted to do when I grow up. Instead, I’ve just decided to start with a tech master in informatics and management. Eventually, I’m still here.
Given my entrepreneurial inside, I have done pretty diverse stuff. Throughout the years I have been managing roadmaps, breaking down tasks, preparing product requirement documents, running meetings, crafting financial plans, and communicating with internal & external stakeholders. I adore automation, short and clear emails, and clean spreadsheets. In 2012 I have graduated from the university with a running hardware startup, a nationally awarded product that tried to disrupt recycling. Ambitious? The failure was messy but the whole ordeal was a lesson. From 2014 onward I have been focusing mainly on product management while on the side doing community building for local techies and entrepreneurs.
🧰How I work
My way of working is always evolving but as of now here are some standards.
CommunicationsI use chat for simple everyday discussions, and emails for the formal ones that need to be referred later on. I am trying to avoid long meetings and always have an agenda. I should follow up if needed or log notes where everyone has access.
WritingI usually start with a skeleton where I am throwing random thoughts, I then parse my text to make it readable and use my last parse for making it simple.
Product DevelopmentI am working with agile frameworks for small cross-functional teams of 5-7 people. Mainly using Scrum and Kanban principles but not doing it by the book. I believe Scrum outperforms any other framework especially when sprints are short and the team is catching a pace.
PrioritizationWhile there might be this urgent feature that I’m trying to keep for the next sprint, I prioritize using mainly the value/effort framework. Trying to keep requests in a different place than requirements and make sure I equally get all stakeholders' input before I start.
DesignI enjoy crafting low-fidelity designs using Balsamiq. I then present to the team so that I get an initial effort estimate, coming back for fixes and pushing them straight to an artist. I am sure they know how to create better experiences than I do.
PresentationsCrafting a presentation follows my Writing routine with some constraints. Twenty words per slide are more than enough. Showing something that moves, but not just animations is a key to engaging an audience.
LeadershipHere I stand with the flat leader definition. I try to advise rather than command, commands are for the computers I work with humans. I am simply trying to compile clear goals, receive commitment, and let people work with minimal pings. I am available to help and use retrospectives for making our team better.
Finding the right mix of the below elements can make an organization thrive.
SimplicityMost important, using simple language creates common understanding among everyone in a team. Using clear-cut processes may let an organization scale. Anyone can do something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple. I am always trying my best to find the simplest way of explaining or expressing something.
TransparencySharing information freely empowers peers and lets them become one team. The goals, as well as the way to achieve them, become visible. Confusion is eliminated and trust is flourishing. The younger generation was born with open information in their hands, they wouldn’t enjoy working in grey areas.
Diversity & InclusionGenerally speaking, I recognize, respect, and value differences. Especially, I don’t really understand why I shouldn’t do that, but wait… that’s a different discussion. I am always trying to include any given part of the team so that magic happens.
Ownership & CraftmanshipI thurst for carefully made works built by responsible contributors or teams. I feel like those works are made with love and respect for their users. Love, respect and responsibility creates the foundation for shared value.
🪁In my free time
I enjoy playing semi-professional basketball, hiking, and being a traveler, not a tourist. I feel lucky for traveling before the Google Maps era, using analog maps to find my way around road trips throughout European countries. Lately, my free time has been eliminated so that I spend time with my baby daughter. She is lovely!