When working in a sprint-based cycle it can be easy to become focused on what is next in the backlog, fulfilling business needs and requirements. This is precisely why Bango decided to run an Innovation week across the development team. Innovation is one of the six SPIRIT values Bango lives by, so it made sense to dedicate a working week towards it.
Set over five days, the aim of the week was to allow developers to try out something new, with the goal of having something presentable to the rest of the team by the week’s end. It could be as simple as learning a new programming language or as complex as building a new service, we set no limitations.
Ideas soon began to flood in. A selection of these included: Alexa skills to interact with the Jira API, researching machine learning, trialing New Relic for performance monitoring and learning about the Electron framework.
Ending the week with demonstrations in front of the rest of the team members and Bango stakeholders, we saw how everyone got on in executing their ideas. Minus Alexa giving us the silent treatment and a couple of connection issues, everyone was able to successfully demonstrate their ideas as a working concept. To make things more interesting we also dished out some amusing awards for the four categories: ‘Best idea’ (lightbulb on a rope), ‘Best business benefit’ (a magic wallet), ‘Best idea, that didn’t quite work out’ (a chocolate teapot) and ‘Best overall’ (an inflatable trophy).
Overall, we all agreed that the week was a great success – everyone got involved and challenged themselves to learn something new. We were clearly able to see growth and development in these skills in just five days. Going forwards, the team is going to take a handful of the proof of concepts forward. It just goes to show that allowing individuals to innovate isn’t only beneficial for themselves, but also for the business.
– Sarah Nightingale, QA Engineer
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