23 August 2019
Most companies can probably sympathise with the predicament of having so much ‘urgent and important’ work to do, that ‘important but non-urgent’ work gets pushed back. But we’ve found that our best ideas come about when we take a step back from the day to day – and that’s where our annual Ship-it Day comes in. After a break in 2018, this initiative was brought back, bigger and better than ever.
What is Ship-it Day?
Inspired by Atlassian, the day involves teams from all departments collaborating to produce a new product, feature or improvement to our services in just 24 hours. Traditionally viewed as a ‘hack’ style event, it may sound like it’s just for developers and engineers, but the most successful ideas come from collaboration: research from commercial and product teams, production by development and pitched by sales and marketing.
Something new to this year was how we categorised winning projects; rather than a stand-alone winner, everyone was asked to vote based on our four company values:
The “it needed to be done” project – this is about working on something that adds value to your day-to-day work. It could be a feature on a product you work on that never made it into delivery, tidying up a shortcut, or seeing a general improvement or efficiency.
The “outside the box” project – an interesting project utilising a new way of doing something, adopting new technology or service that adds value to the business.
The “we shipped it” project – while the goal of all ideas is to work on something deliverable, this isn’t always practically possible. This category is for any ideas that are fully delivered during the timescale.
The “we win as a team” project – this is for any idea that utilises the skill-set of team members from different departments working together, with extra respect given for any team that incorporates members across multiple geographic locations
What does a typical Ship-it Day look like?
Before the event actually started, there were a number of workshops and open forum discussions for people to share their ideas, commit to research and establish teams so the day can get started without a hitch.
On the day itself, all teams were invited to get going on their project from 12pm until 12pm the next day with an extra hour to finish and submit their video presentations. In between there were scenes of excitement, frustration, celebration, fatigue and the next day panic as we all tried to hand our projects in on time.
We were kept well fuelled and those that stayed over-night were entertained by movies, games or powered through for as long as they could.
How were the winners selected?
All teams were asked to submit a video presentation of their project to the slack channel and the whole company was invited to watch and cast verdict using custom emojis in each of the four categories.
At 4pm, just in time for beer o’clock, the four winning teams were announced and awarded their prize of the highly in-demand ‘Commify Ship-It’ coaster!
Hopefully it won’t be long until you start to see a number of these projects officially shipped and you can use them yourself.
Last but not least, a big thank you to Mike Hawkins and Paul Smith whose ship-it project was to ‘ship Ship-It’, at which they clearly succeeded!