Ask our Sprint Manager: Rita Amaral

Rita Pereira
October 18, 2023
 min read

Sprint Manager: have you ever heard of this role? If you haven’t, you’re in the right place!

From orchestrating team efforts to optimising project timelines, Rita Amaral’s role at Leadzai is full of challenges and crucial to the company’s success. In addition to her professional endeavours, we can get to know her more personal side in this article. Why are organisation and a methodical mindset so important in her life? Why does she enjoy writing online content? How did she conceive the idea of the Leadzai Book Club?

Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and read on for the answers to these questions.

The 14th of June 2021 marks the beginning of your adventure at Leadzai. What motivated you to accept joining our team?

At the time, I was looking for an opportunity that integrated 3 things: I could work in tech, I could work in a small company, and I could work in an international environment. Leadzai checked all the boxes. The recruitment process was very transparent, and I saw how people gave me space to ask questions. In addition, what motivated me the most was the opportunity to learn.

You are currently our Sprint Manager. Can you elaborate on this role’s responsibilities and daily challenges?

The Sprint Manager supports the Tech Team before, during and after the sprint. It also provides support to the Product Team in terms of backlog management. I would say a third of the job is about implementing and following processes so everyone is aligned and the work is visible to them. The rest is talking with people from different departments to solve problems.

Rita's home office

What is your favourite part about your work?

What I like most about my role is that I can help everyone improve their working methods. I like to improve processes so everyone can have more time for activities that bring the most value. I like the challenge of solving problems every day. Sometimes it is stressful, but I like that every day differs from the one before.

How would you describe our team’s spirit?

I think our team is very supportive of each other. Whenever there is a problem, everyone is available to help, regardless of expertise. When a new member joins the team, one of the first things they mention is that despite having so many questions, they all get answered. We are busy people, but we don’t refrain from extending a helping hand.

Célia, Rita, Duarte & Diogo playing a game at our last teambuilding event

Your passion for writing and communicating shines through in your newsletter, Rita Life Design, and Linkedin Page. How did these projects start, and what keeps you motivated?

Blogging has been a big part of my youth, and when I started to work, I had a blog about personal development because I was interested in that topic. I started writing on LinkedIn in March 2020 during the lockdown, as other people were also beginning to explore the platform. For me, writing content is a form of creative expression and a way of sharing ideas, opinions, knowledge, and experiences. I get a lot of ideas from other people’s content, so if I share my experiences, someone else might also benefit from my thoughts and mistakes.

Writing is a big part of me, so what keeps me motivated is the new things I learn every week. If I get new insights and think they may help someone, I like to share them through writing.

The organisation theme is one of the most recurring in your newsletter. From your perspective, how impactful can a methodic mindset be in someone’s life?

When I was young and struggling with studying, my mother always said, “Everything has a method”. If we found a better study method, results would come. For me, organisation is about finding a method that works in your favour and allows you to focus on the essential items. By doing what brings value, you will have better results.

Also, I firmly believe that discipline brings freedom. I want to do a good job and have time to live my life. So, I need to follow a system that helps me have a prosperous career and a joyful life.

Can you share some tips and tools for increasing productivity and organisation?

My ultimate principle is: if it is not in writing, it doesn’t exist. Writing down everything is the first step. If I don’t know what I need to accomplish each day, I don’t know if I am on the right track. Even though our minds are supercomputers, we usually forget a lot of information. So, we need to get it out of our heads. A piece of paper or an online to-do list is perfect. Then I think everyone should work on their communication skills, as a big chunk of our jobs is to talk with people in writing and verbally.

Another of your passions is reading, as evidenced by your role as the founder of our Leadzai Slack book club. How did you come up with this idea?

Books have tremendous benefits. They empower us with creativity, imagination, knowledge and empathy — that’s what makes us human, right? Books are so good, but the latest stats show that Portuguese people read less than one book per year, so I wanted to change that. In the Book Club, people share what they are reading, provide feedback and ask for recommendations. When you have people talking about books, they may inspire others to read more.

Which books have changed your life, and how?

I’ve read many books, and the most impactful are the ones where I had a great experience reading them or because they made me change my life. There are so many, but I can mention some I read recently: “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen; “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman; “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Piketty, “Factfulness” by Hans Rosling.

If you had to choose between never travelling or not reading a book again, which would you choose?

That’s easy; I’d prefer never to travel again. I can compensate for travelling with books, as narratives can make me travel, in my mind :)

Rita’s Favourites

A film: I have three favourite films, so it is hard to choose one, but I will pick ‘A Few Good Men.’

A song: Here Comes the Sun, by The Beatles

A place to visit: London

A pizza: a plain margherita with fresh mozzarella (the white one!)

An ice cream flavour: Hazelnut

Thank you, Rita, for your generosity!

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