Crossroad organized and facilitated a Hackathon with the explicit focus on the (internal) customer and a thorough teambuilding

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


The Mazda IT department was looking for a good way to end a year long corporate training program. It needed to incorporate the Mukainada spirit of the program, teambuilding and renew the focus on the (internal) customer. Crossroad suggested a unique approach that covered all of these in a fun and active program.


Because Mazda had set a clear organizational, behavioral and service goals for this event we organized a Hackathon based on the principles of Service Design.

As preparation for the actual Hackathon we organized a one-hour kick-off a month before, comprising an introduction to the Service Design principles (including some exercises). This way we set expectation and set a challenge for participants to do some preliminary user research and to come up with possible new or enhanced services.

During the actual Hackathon the different groups had 12 hours to work from ideas to a minimal viable services. From a Low-fi to a High(er)-Fi user tested prototypes. They did so using our Service Design set of tools. We also made sure the team kept on going even when they got stuck, prototypes failed or fatigue crept in. After 11 hours the groups started demonstrating their prototypes in front of a jury (consisting of heads of other departments of Mazda) and the winner was chosen.


The group created 21 pitches, 16 prototypes of 7 ideas and there were 2 winners (both winning ideas will get the chance to be further developed). There was a lot of hard work and a lot of joy during the day.
More important, many employees were positively activated because they were able to put something personal into the ideas of their team. This worked motivational and gave collegueas the opportunity to see each other in a new light.

Due to the techniques we offered and difficult questions we asked, participants were nudged to reflect on their internal customer (even when the concept they were creating wasn’t actually for that customer). They explicitly mentioned that they enjoyed the exercice and needed this renewed focus on their customer.