There’s truly no better opportunity for innovation than the relocation of your team to a new place where nobody is distracted by regular life. We strongly recommend including a hackathon, design sprint or at least a half-day brainstorming session into the schedule of your company calendar.
For a digital agency overwhelmed by client projects, a company retreat can be dedicated to re-designing internal processes or rebranding. If you are a product company, this is the perfect opportunity to brainstorm new products while your team is all together in a new and inspiring place.
Let’s talk about hackathons.
📋 Preparation is key
With good preparation, you can get impressive results even in just one day. Discuss ideas for the hackathon a couple of weeks before the retreat. Try to collect business problems and challenges and organize them into one place (a shared spreadsheet works great!).
♻️ Mix different people
Try to mix people who never normally work together. Combine developers with marketers or salespeople with designers, etc.
👥 Keep teams small
The ideal size of a temporary hackathon team is between 3 and 5 people. The goal of the hackathon is to build something functional. The larger the team, the more people spend time talking rather than making.
Forget everything else. Regular projects and daily tasks can wait for a day or two. Dive deep and focus exclusively on hackathon projects and the work you’re looking to accomplish.
⚙️ Build something functional
End your hackathon with presentations showing functional demos, visual prototypes, or proof of concepts developed during the session.