The idea of hackathons stems from our corporate values that are built on the concept of improvement. Continued growth and moving forward are the key values both for the head of our company and our team, and hackathons have become a part of our internal communication.
How have we come up with this idea? Our company holds extensive international experience and develops a wide range of solutions contributing to the simplicity of our clients’ processes, internal systems, and providing even greater value to their end clients. During the discussions with our team, we have noticed that while caring for our clients we have forgotten to take care of ourselves. We then started exploring the ways to engage the experience and knowledge within our company, improve our internal processes, and address the emerging issues.
Knowing that each of our team member has a lot to offer in terms of experience and knowledge, we decided that we wanted to share that with others, grow and improve together. Hence, we decided to prioritize hackathons as a great way to optimize the processes within the company and learn together, share thoughts and ideas.
How have we started organizing hackathons? At first, we formed two teams, picked the team leaders who would guide and assist their respective teams. We allocated a few weeks to ideas generation. The team members had and enjoyed an absolute freedom: each of them could show their own experience, creativity and other skills and help to find an idea that would be useful for the company. The teams met again after a few weeks to generate a shared solution: each of the members had the chance to present their own idea or proposals on improvement of the company’s performance. Each participant could freely choose the way to pitch the idea: starting with presentations to prototype building – there was a lot of room for creativity! And all of it - during the working hours! All the participants pitched their proposals during the idea acceptance phase, followed by a couple of hours of discussions. Each team then picked one idea to continue developing during the hackathons. Each idea was considered and the solution suitable for everyone was selected by voting. After idea acceptance, the teams rushed to start the activities, and we launched our hackathon marathon. The timeframe set for the marathon was several months. During this period, we would complete our work week and dedicate the Fridays to idea implementation, solution and prototype development. Both teams would present their progress to each other every couple of weeks to track the progress, share the issues encountered, and hear out the colleagues’ recommendations.
Besides the benefits of improved team building, communication skills and improvement, the hackathons are the way to see the actual first steps from which the need to improve the processes begins, how the tasks are prepared, what is included in them. Observation of these processes taking place during the hackathons help identify the client and company's expectations even better and offer even more refined solutions to our clients.