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Designing the right Hack Day experience for your teams

Read 5705 times Last modified on Thursday, 19 February 2015 22:56
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Importance of designing and delivering the right Hack Day experience for your teams

Organisations are different to one another, as are teams, and the people that make up those teams within a company. Delivering a tailored Hack Day experience for your business is such an important part of achieving your specific goals and objectives as well as engaging with your staff by running a Hack Day event that inspires creative and different thinking. 


Planning and selecting the right approach are key factors to delivering a successful event that is both meaningful for the participants as well as comfortable and fun.  

What you don't want to do is deliver a generic cookie-cutter Hack Day event and hope for the best. Understanding your specific environment and designing an experience that meets those needs is crucial to ensuring people connect with and have fun throughout the Hackathon.

Defining your objectives - Be clear on expected outcomes

It's important to approach a Hack Day event with a clear understanding around what you're looking to achieve at the end of the day. Hack Days are a brilliant way of bringing teams together, sparking internal innovation, promoting different ways of working, encouraging broader team collaboration or attacking a certain issue within the business.

More often than not, you'll achieve more benefits than expected. However, it’s very important to spend time articulating the specific objectives you are looking to achieve during the Hack Day preparation process.

The following framework can be used to help define your objectives.

As a... Management team, organisation, product manager, team leader, business owner etc..

I want to...  deliver a meaningful Hack Day experience within my organisation that;

  • Brings different roles and functions together (who wouldn't normally interact on a day to day basis) to work together in a focused way.
  • Enhance team collaboration and interaction
  • Kick starting innovation within my organisation
  • Allows teams to think outside the box and discover new ways of doing things differently
  • and so on...

So that...

  • Teams and people feel appreciated within the organisation for what they can offer
  • Employees can see that we are trying to make a positive change within the business
  • Ideas are generated and valued from all people within my organisation
  • Innovation and different ways of approaching things are looked at favourably and encouraged
  • People feel connected with the work they do and want to own the outcomes
  • and so on...

Discovery and tailoring an event that aligns with your particular journey is an important part in the success of your event.

Understanding the background & people - Discovery

The more background and understanding that you can gain on the intricacies within your organisation to align with any specific objectives you may have; the higher the chance your event will really hit the mark. Teams participating in the event will be far more connected and driven if they can easily relate with the theme linked to an hosting an internal innovation event.

Engage people from across the business during the Hack Day discovery and planning process - ask their opinions and include their feedback in the end result.

Deliver something meaningful to your teams

Ownership of the Hack Day event and outcome needs to live with your staff - Essentially the event has to connect and have real meaning for the participants involved to make things a success. Don't limit the use of Hack Day events to simply churn out new products or finish off projects that are struggling to make the light of day - people are smart and will see through the real agenda of just "getting shit done". The real success of these events occurs when your staff become completely immersed in the event and start to own the outcomes and ongoing benefits. If your teams feel a real connection and alignment between your company values and how an event is delivered, you'll see real benefit in the longer term.

Hack Days Australia (www.hackdays.com.au) can help your organisation connect your specific objectives with a tailored Hack Day event (theme, structure, logistics etc) whilst also delivering a meaningful and contextual and high value experience to the people and teams participating in the Hack Day. 









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