Hackathon events (or “hack days”) are a fabulous way of getting the best from your community: a challenge, socialising and intense creativity all mixed to deliver and test bold ideas.
While many people might raise risks around holding Hackathon events, there are significant benefits, and this is reflected in the growing popularity of the hack day format.
1. Create and test ideas rapidly: Prove good ideas quickly, and reduce the cost of failure by closing bad ideas quickly.
2. Increase collaboration: Encourage cross-functional and cross-team collaboration. The rapid iteration is very efficient and intense.
3. Generate excitement: Participants explore adventurous ideas in an exciting and safe environment, where it is ok to try crazy tangents.
4. Boost talent attraction and retention: Generate PR buzz in the community, and improve staff morale.
5. Generate a competitive advantage: Boost your overall productivity with this lean approach to ideation.
1. Boost cross-department collaboration and community.
2. Generate new ideas or solve challenges rapidly.
3. Close down bad ideas quickly – i.e. “fail fast” so that your organisation saves resources.
4. Improve staff morale.
5. Contribute to a more enjoyable working mix.
1. Encourage new open standards.
2. Share solutions to common problems.
3. Raise the profile and stature of your organisation.
4. Improve your staff morale.
5. Generate a stronger, more innovative community.
1. “No actionable ideas ever come out of Hackathons.”
2. “People might steal ideas from one another.”
3. “Why should we help the competition?”
1. A simple, open challenge to excite everyone: “How might we … ?”
2. Slick and timely event management: Good resources, great MC, help, support, hot food and good coffee & refreshments.
3. Pre-formed teams: Encourage people to make teams before the event.
4. Maximize the Hack Time: Get started quickly and do not force people to sit through sponsors’ presentations. Get in, kick off, Hack!!
5. A great venue in a great location: Make it inspiring, bright, with fun stuff nearby for the evening.
6. Short demos and good prizes: Well organised demos, slick AV management, fun judges, and prizes with humorous categories.
Short on time?
Use these templates to help with business best practice:
- Digital Transformation.
Digital Transformation is the development of new capabilities to enable organisations to achieve faster and more efficient innovation.
- New Product Development (NPD).
- Innovation Templates
Related Business Best Practices
I work in an old-fashioned organisation. They are very risk averse. How might I make the case for a Hack Event?
There are a variety of approaches to managing innovation pipelines. Here are some tips, information and templates.
We are planning to hold a Hackathon event. How much does it cost?
If you are planning a Hackathon event, here is a great schedule – tried and tested with many hack events.
From the founder of BBC News Labs and the #newsHACK hackathon event series, some tips and tricks.
All Business Best Practice
See all Business Best Practice here.