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Hackathon |hækəθan|
noun
A hackathon is a gathering where people collaboratively create and code a new or enhanced service over a short period of time

Having a Hackathon in a company or business context is fun and extremely challenging. It results in:

  • new minimal viable services or products ready to be launched
  • new or enhanced team spirit (better than any climbing course in the Ardennes)
  • reactivated individuals because they can put something personal in the projects

There is one important opportunity that can be added to the list:

  • A renewed focus on the customer during and after the hackathon

 

Hackathon + Service Design

We all know that saying we need to focus on the (internal) customer is important, but how to get this focus and maintain it in an effective way is hard. In the micro-cosmos of the hackathon the complete process and struggle of keeping the focus on the customer are simulated. To help new Service Design methods can be learned and practiced in a safe way. The training transfer is high because a hackathon is a condensed form of a typical project on daily work life.

 

= Renewed Focus on the Customer

We did a hackathon with the Mazda IT department in Belgium. The resulting minimal viable services were great and teamspirit was even better than before.

Multiple participants came to us afterwards and told us that they struggled with the questions we asked about how the customer would experience it, what customers they contacted to check assumptions, etc. Even though they didn’t find it easy, they acknowledged that this is sometimes missing in day-to-day work  and that our questions and the techniques will come in handy to refocus once in a while.

 

Is keeping the customer-focus a challenge for your team(s) or could it be even better?

Do you think a hackathon at your company could help?

Contact us, and we will make it happen.

 

By David Suijkerbuijk