Have you ever tried to convince your manager to give your entire IT team a day off to work on whatever they feel like? He might think you’ve been in the sun to long and need medical attention: “Do you have any idea what this will cost me”. “Aha…” you reply “… but do you have any idea what you stand to gain.” This article should give any manager enough reasons to give the Fedex day concept a go.
Recently we organized our first Fedex day. My colleague Rob van Lanen already made a blog post about this subject and usually we try not to blog about the same subjects. This one however got me so enthusiastic that I can’t help myself, sorry Rob :-).
So here we are, explaining to our developers that they get to spend 24 hours on whatever they want as long as it has something to do with our company or product. The only catch is that, if they decide to participate, they have to present the results to the company the next day. Not knowing what to expect our developers jumped forward and started generating ideas, trying to get other colleagues to help and preparing for what promised to be a fantastic day.
Our first team consisted of 5 colleagues working together to create an Android app for our e-learning environment. The second team was giving the MCV Razor view engine a try and wanted to know whether Razor might be better than our own self fabricated view engine. One developer wanted to implement a build server to enable nightly builds. He had ordered a programmable socket and a couple of lights (red, yellow and green), to create our very own build (traffic) light. I decided to join the party and create a Windows game that downloads questions via a web service from our
So here are the results of this one day:
- We had the best team building activity ever! Even one week later the team is still in frenzy over the great time we had.
- The organization was baffled by the Android application, this was the winning team by the way, and it was a promising start to what could become a great asset to our company.
- We have a fully operational build server with warning lights when builds or tests fail.
- We found out that the Razor view engine integrates with our own html5 view engine seamlessly.
- We have a functional game with real time questions.
I guess the only “downside” to this day is the fact that the company got so enthusiastic that they now want to know how long it will take to get the software ready to go live, although from a managers perspective I suppose this isn’t a downside at all.
By the way. Do check out the blog-post by Rob, he has a lot of additional info in it.
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Update - team picture of Fedex day presentation: