There are struggles and inconveniences that everybody faces in their everday worklife, right? Like, not remembering a colleague’s name that you urgently need to contact in order to push forward your project. Or when your IT manager is on vacation and you need access to a specific Google group. Every job, every work environment, has impediments you need to accept? Well, you shouldn’t. As Stylighters, we sure don’t. Tackling those issues is one of the reasons for us to organize a “Ship-it Day”.
What does ‘Ship-it Day’ mean?
Imagine, you had 24 hours with all your colleagues and all their different skill sets at your joint disposal – engineers, communication experts, folks from finance, agile coaches and so on. Together, you could find solutions for the problems bugging you in your day to day work – or come up with completely new ideas benefiting the company. You would do this free from your daily tasks, without having to keep immediate revenue goals in mind.
The whole team could join!
We held a successful Ship-it Day last May for our engineers, as well as others developing a great invite management tool for our event team. This time we’ve decided to turn things up a notch and invited the entire company, organised by our Agile Coach Torsten: “Inviting the entire company to participate was an experiment in itself. We thought that everyone should have the chance to contribute. Many non-techies were hesitant at first, arguing they lack the necessary expertise. But they then quickly learn that their unique capabilities are just as important.”
It all kicked-off last Thursday, with everyone who already had an idea for a 24 hour project presented it in front of the group and invited people to join. The different Stylighters then decided on the projects they wanted to support. Several teams formed and work then immediately started on their projects.
So what did the Stylighters come up with? Two teams worked on the issue of improving communication amongst Stylighters – by getting them to get to know each other better. The Face-Game App, available as a web version as well as an Android app, is an easy and fun way to memorize the names and roles of all your colleagues. “Our company has grown so fast in the past year. We want to preserve our company culture, with its personal relations and close ties. Getting to know everybody is an important first step”, explains team member Adrian.
Another app – a similar goal: “Find Me Lunch” provides people within that network with varied lunch options closeby, and connects them with other people also interested in joining for lunch.
And as another Stylighters group dealt with the issue of optimising our invoice management, the infrastructure team set up a program that enables employees to manage their Google Group subscriptions on their own.
Ben is the IT manager at Stylight, he explains what his personal motivation is for working on this tool for Ship-it Day: “Currently, I have to manage all the changes in group membership subscriptions. While this could be easily done by every colleague – I needed a simple and intuitive self-service tool for this. And this is what I built.”
“Two things keep surprising you, when you organise a Ship-it Day: the variety of ideas your colleagues come up with entering the event, and the solutions and workarounds they develop in that short period of time, even though they’ve never worked in this specific team before. Even if not all solutions might instantly be applicable – you learn a lot from the experience. Especially to this regard, the Ship-it Day was a success”, says Torsten.
Interested in staging your own Ship-it Day? To make sure your Ship-it Day projects succeed, here are a few tips and tricks we gathered from our participants:
Stylight wouldn’t be Stylight if we didn’t celebrate our achievements. The teams participating were awarded prizes for each of the categories: ‘Biggest improvement effective as of tomorrow’, ‘Biggest long term business value’, ‘Biggest user value’ and ‘Biggest improvement under the hood’.
Eager to learn more about the Ship-it Day at Stylight? Then watch our video below:
|By Rashid Elshahed|