Demystifying the hackathon - Deepstash
Demystifying the hackathon

Demystifying the hackathon

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Demystifying the hackathon

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Hackathon

... is a term used in reference to innovation jams and describes an event that pools eager entrepreneurs and software developers into a confined space for a day or two and challenges them to innovate. A hackathon goes beyond a simple brainstorm session as it also focus on results and jump-starting a way of working.

For large organizations in particular, 24-hour hackathons can be adapted to greatly accelerate the process of digital transformation and even achieves startup levels of novation. Although often they are less about designing new products and more about “hacking” away at old processes and ways of working.

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  • Centers on the customer process or journey and supports a clear business target.
  • Involves employees from all relevant areas to find different ways of working a problem. 
  • Challenge participants to reimagine an existing method to try to find the most efficient way to improve the customer experience.
  • Sessions start with ideas but end with a working prototype.
  • Output includes a clear development path that highlights all the steps needed to accelerate production and implementation.
  • The hackathon concludes with a presentation to senior leaders, including a real-life demonstration of the new prototype and a roadmap of IT and other capabilities needed to bring the final version to market.
  • Once the teams agree on what to do, those responsible for execution create a virtual model that the group vets, refines and re-releases in continual cycles until the new process or app meets the desired experience criteria.
  • Management prevents the dissipation of enthusiasm and energy created on the hackathon by placing new processes to sustain it. 

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