Innovation Day

Toby MacLachlan, 11 November 2019

Innovation Day might sound like some ham-fisted new government initiative to boost national productivity. And one day it might be, but for now it’s a monthly day of blue sky innovation that we do at Ignite.

Aren’t you innovating all the time?

Sure, that’s what the marketing people will tell you. But really who ever gets a good chunk of time to chew ideas over with their teammates, to build prototypes, try new technologies? Pretty much no one – day to day work is too full on. So we started doing Innovation Days

How does it work?

MI App

One day a month (always a Friday), we schedule no regular work. Everyone comes in to the office and splits into self-defined teams. Teams include business analysts, devs, testers, senior managers and board members…basically everyone! The challenge is this: come up with an idea and build a working prototype to show to everyone at the end of the day. It can be anything: from a sales tool, to a new customer interface, to a new app.

And then what?

Pretty much all of the ideas we’ve worked on have been great ideas. But not many actually work. The great skill of Innovation Day is not coming up with a killer idea, but the ability to break it down into its most basic form so that it can be built in a day. It just so happens that this is great practice for the day to day business of delivering software projects. And good fun.

What have you come up with?

Too many things to list, but here are some highlights: a visualisation of the timeline of a policy (that went into production environments a week after the innovation day); a live MI smartphone app for MD/CEOs; a project run entirely through Microsoft DevOps; a super-fast batch automation test tool for schemes; and an advance site health monitor.

If you’re reading this and you’ve got any ideas – send us a message on Linkedin or privately and we’ll see if we can’t build it for in a day…

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