Ship Some Thing. That was the motto for our InnoDays 2018. We spent 4 days in the Bavarian mountains with an amazing view but limited wifi to work on new ideas outside of our normal office routine.
About 50 of us set off on Monday morning to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. After about an hour of hiking up the mountain we arrived at Tonihütte - our home and office for the next 2.5 days. At lunch we discovered that the location was not only great because of the view of Zugspitze, but also because of a great variety of super tasty food.
We officially set off our InnoDays in the afternoon with project pitches. Everyone was allowed to pitch their ideas to the group within a 5 minute timeslot and only the help of flipcharts and an appealing pitch. We had 18 wonderful ideas for projects that had the goal to ship something at the end of these 2.5 days.
After the pitches we had a marketplace to form teams. Pitches needed at least 3 people to be funded and worked on. If you could not get two others to join you, you had to give up your idea (for this time) and join another team. That is how we ended up with 10 project teams.
From Monday afternoon until Thursday morning the participants were working in cross-functional teams. We had people from our locations in Bottighofen, Munich and Poznan attending. What is more important, is that we had participants from many different departments (Business Development, Data Intelligence & Data Analysts, Online Marketing, Service & Complaints, IT Operations, Product, Software Engineering, UX & Visual Design). Everyone could engage in the teams and brought their expertise. The teams helped out each other to create a first version of their ideas.
After being spoilt with amazing food (we even had “Spanferkel”) and having undisturbed time away from the daily business, we are proud and happy to have 12 (more or less) shipped projects. On Thursday morning we had the presentations of all projects in front of a little jury consisting of our CPO, Head of UX and Director OTA. Each team prepared a 5-minute presentation including a live-demo of some kind. Afterwards the jury and the participants decided for a winning project team that got rewarded with a little present.
Since we are all very proud of the projects and the rest of the company also wanted to know about them, we did the presentations again once we were back in the office. To share with everyone and to hopefully have more people signing-up to the next InnoDays @ HolidayCheck.
What I liked especially was not only the projects that were done, but the new people that I met and the connections that we could build. In the mornings, people went hiking or did yoga. And in the evenings we played board games, sat at the fire outside the hut, and had wonderful conversations. We had the chance to get to know people better that usually work in different departments or initiatives. Everyone learned something new either technical or personal or both.