1. Playbook
  2. Running The Org

Running the Organization

Contacting Ops

For ALL ops (office/finance/admin) related inquiries, please email Office Requests and CC [email protected].

To set up the above mentioned Office Requests contact, please follow the steps below:

  1. Go to your Gmail inbox

  2. Go to Contacts → Create a new contact.

    First Name: Office
    Second Name: Requests
    Email: incoming+datopian-office-office-requests-14747497-5cl6vuzhmxhbsbmy20tqb8lak-issue@incoming.gitlab.com

This automatically generates GitLab issues for the Office and allows us to keep track on your requests and deal with them promptly.

Getting Paid

We have updated our process to make it as smooth and easy and possible. Please find all the information you need in step-by-step process & FAQs.

Expenses and Travel

You must submit your expenses from the business trip as soon as possible, ideally, within 10 working days after the trip. Expenses submitted later than 5 months will not be paid. The same rule applies to non-travel expenses.

If you have any company expenses to be reimbursed for:

  1. Use the Expense claims feature in Xero to upload your expenses/receipts.
    • Another option would be to download the Xero Accounting Application on their phone on Android or iOS.
    • Log in with your account.
    • Click on ‘Business’.
    • Scroll down to ‘Expense claims’ and click on the button.
    • Fill out ‘New Expense’:
      • Purchase amount – Amount on the receipt.
      • Description – Short description of the expense type.
      • Spent at – Where did you spend it? Could be a particular institution/restaurant/station, etc.
      • Spent on – Date on the receipt.
      • Account – Could be:
        • 6411 – Travel expenses.
        • 6412 – Travel meals expenses.
        • 6451 – Entertainment expenses (clients).
        • 6452 – Entertainment expenses (internal).
        • XXXX – Any other expense type account suitable for the expense in question.
    • Receipt – Attach a copy of the receipt (expense) by clicking on the A4 paper next to Reference. (Make sure amount, date, merchant are readable).
    • Currency – If you have expenses in different currencies for that month, convert the expense in XE.com into the currency you are paid in.

Please remember to specify in the ‘Tax Rate’ box ie:

Amounts are Tax Exclusive and Tax rate as Tax on Purchases 0% (we are all self-employed).

  1. Make sure to submit your expenses for approval (or else they won’t be visible for any other person but yourself).
  2. Send an email to Office Requests and CC [email protected] confirming that the expenses have been submitted.

Travel Arrangements

All business-related travel arrangements must be approved by a member of the Leadership team.

  • The first thing to do is to research for the flights and the accommodation you want to book according to the budget agreed with your project manager.
  • Send an email with the links to Office Requests and CC [email protected].
  • Remember to include all information needed for the booking:
    • preferences in terms of flights and accommodation (late check-ins, breakfast, window seats, pre-order cabs, etc.).
    • Full name, birth date, phone number; airline miles account number if they are using frequent flier programme.
  • The ops team will book the requested hotel & flight and forward the confirmations to you.

Note: Remember to store all receipts from the trip or else they can’t get reimbursed. See Company Expenses section.

Team, Hours, and Office


The usual timezone we use in Datopian is aligned with the current standard timezone in UK (unless otherwise agreed within your team).

Also, in this Link you can check the location of all Datopian members in case you need to know in which time zone a colleague is located.

Core Hours

Our general working hours are 8am UK – 5pm UK. Not necessarily when you work but when it is permissible to schedule meetings.

Phone book

You can find team members' phone numbers, usernames, phone numbers in Team Phonebook.

Please email [email protected] if there are any changes in your personal details.

Email Groups

The following are the key email groups used by Datopians. This is not an exhaustive list but a list of the main ones in use.

all-team@EveryoneImportant general comms
bizdev-team@BizDev TeamCommunications that BizDev should see
leadlinks@Lead LinksUsed to write to Circle Lead Links
delivery@Delivery leadershipcc when sending important delivery emails
delivery-team@All PO/SLsCommunication that PO/SLs should see
jobs@Gabriela and relevant LLsTo be used for people to apply to Datopian
office@Ops & Finance TeamFor all Ops-related matters
finance@FinanceFor finance matters, eg, invoicing or pay queries
people-team@Gabriela and relevant LLsFor all People (HR) related matters
support@Shubham, Irakli, Ismail, Isaac, OsahonUsed externally & internally for support related issues
sre-team@Site Reliability TeamFor all SRE matters
tech-lead-team@Rufus, AnuFor tech lead-related matters


Remember, we're not a traditional organization and we practice self-management and self-organizing. Thus, time-off is not something approved by your "boss" (who is your boss?). Rather it is something to discuss and negotiate with your peers and overall resourcing coordination team as they are the ones affected.

In short, we ask that you be mindful of business priorities when choosing which days to take off and that you liaise with your colleagues and team, especially with the scrum master and product owner on any projects you are involved in.

Whilst there is no hard and fast rules we recommend giving reasonable notice, for example for a two week break something like 2 months notice in would be recommended.

How to organize time-off:

Please, follow the steps described bellow:

  1. Discuss with your team and with your Project Lead / Scrum Master.
  2. Email [email protected] and [email protected] to inform them.
  3. Update your personal calendar and the All-Team calendar accordingly.
  • Holiday
  • Out of Office (unpaid / taking the day off without making it up)
  • Off (taking a day off and making it up later in the same month, such as on a weekend)
  • Sick Leave (please review the section below for information on sick leave)
  1. Set up your vacation reply (below are the instructions on how to do it)
  • Open Gmail
  • In the top right, click Settings ⚙ > See all Settings
  • Scroll down to the "Vacation responder" section
  • Select Vacation responder on
  • Fill in the date range, subject, and message (template message that you can use):


Thank you for your email. I am currently out of the office with limited email access. I will be returning on (Date of Return).

If you need immediate assistance during my absence, please contact (Contacts Name) at (Contacts Email Address). Otherwise, I will respond to your email > as soon as possible upon my return.

Warm Regards,
Your name

  • At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.
  • Important Note: ensure you have agreed with a teammate before including them as the alternative contact in your “vacation responder” email

If You're Ill

If you’re not feeling well and you’re unable to work, notify your Scrum Master / Product Owner as soon as possible. The notified person will then let teammates know.

Please add an "Out of office" and include an alternative contact.

Password Management

All Datopian credentials are stored in Bitwarden. Please reach out to the Ops team ([email protected]) if you need access to any accounts. Once confirmed, an account in Bitwarden or relevant application (e.g. Heroku) will be created for you with the appropriate access.

Registering for New Services/ Portals

We use [email protected] to register for most services/ portals and configure the billing settings to ensure all invoices are directed to [email protected] for paid services. If you are creating a shared account, please email the OPS team ([email protected]) with the following information:

  • Name of Platform/ URL (ie Zoom)
  • Username: [email protected]
  • Password: paste the password in privnote and include the URL
  • A short description of the purpose for this account and who should have access to it (ie Zoom is a video communications tool we use for meetings; OPS and management should have access to it)

Access to documents/ Folders

If you need to request an access to a file or folder the best practice is to ask one of your teammates to share it with you (you can often guess who of your colleagues might have access), otherwise if you request it via the doc, it sends an email to everyone who has access. If one of your colleagues would like to grant you access and he/she finds out that this has already been done by someone else, it would be a waste of time for him/her. To avoid this type of situations, it would be better to ask someone specifically.

Updating Datopian's Skillbook Database

When reviewing/utilising the information in the Skills Database, we would love to see up-to-date and accurate information, so that Datopian has a clear indication of its soft & hard skills pool in order to accurately complete RFPs, project staffing and general resourcing.

For this reason, we created this short form that Datopians should fill out when they obtain any new skill.

GitHub/ GitLab Permissions

The following are the current permissions for GitHub and GitLab:

Dev LevelsGitHubGitLab
Junior DevsMemberMaintainer
Senior DevsOwnerMaintainer
Tech LeadsOwnerMaintainer/ Owner (if upper management)


Please contact your scrum lead and cc [email protected] if you need to be exempt from these guidelines. Once the scrum lead confirms, a member from the ops team will adjust your permissions accordingly to ensure you have greater access.

Displaying proudly your Datopianness

Firstly, if you like us (we know you do!), please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn!

If you would like to post an article, tweet, share something or simply have an idea about a new post, please send an email to Office Requests (CC [email protected]) and describe your idea. They will either post it for you or give you access so you can do it by yourself. Feel free to reach out to our Comms team for any further related requests.