We’re coming off of the high of a rapid-fire, two-day company hackathon, where we worked on a variety of projects that were pitched by members of our team. If your company has never participated in a hackathon before, it may seem a little counterintuitive to halt daily operations in favor of working on pet projects, but here’s why it’s a worthwhile pursuit.
Discover pain points of various departments—and figure out how to solve them
When employees have the freedom to work on projects of their own making, they often bring up hurdles that their department or team is facing. Being able to not only bring attention to a problem but also suggest a viable solution is a powerful way to take steps towards correcting issues that may be interfering with someone’s ability to do their job. Even if the project isn’t fully completed by the end of the hackathon, it offers a great jumping off point for tackling the problem in the future.
Increase inter-department collaboration
Within a company, it’s easy to fall into a routine of only actively communicating with those directly involved in your day-to-day role. Certain members of different departments may never have a reason to work with one another. Having a hackathon allows companies to stir the pot so that people who rarely interact get to join forces to make something amazing. And when different minds come together, the projects created can come out stronger than they would otherwise.
Create some really stellar customer-facing projects
Even if your hackathon only lasts for a day or two, it could be enough time to create some really cool projects or mockups for what the company could achieve in the future. By giving people free time to carry out projects that they deem important, you’re going to find yourself with a host of good ideas that, more often than not, you’ll want to fully integrate in the months to come.
So if your work environment is feeling a bit stale, give a hackathon a try and see what cool things your employees are able to create.
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