Lean Hackathons – Are You Using Them?

Are you on Facebook? I am but that’s not the point of this article.

No, the point of this article is that I just watched a short video about how the Facebook development team uses what they refer to as “Hackathons” to quickly bring new ideas to reality.

Here is how the FB team explains it.

“At Facebook, a new idea can lead to a huge impact. In our regular Hackathons, engineers spend the night coding and hacking away at new product ideas.”

Now, you might wonder how something called a “Hackathon” could possibly relate to what we as lean and six sigma practitioners do.

My short answer. It does… a lot!

Ideas Come, Ideas Go

You see, too often good ideas come and go. And when I say go… I mean they die. They’re gone forever.

Of course, there are many reasons for this… but I contend one of the main reasons is time, or the lack thereof. People simply don’t have time to try out new ideas.

Learn from Facebook

Well, I think there is something to be learned from the Facebook development team.

What’s stopping you and a team of willing participants from staying late or coming in on a Saturday for your own lean “hackathon” where ideas are tried and tested?

My short answer. Nothing.

Check it out and let me know if you agree

Watch the video by clicking here and let me know what you think. Do you agree with me? Or do you think “we don’t develop software” so this doesn’t apply to me? 😉

2 Comments

  1. Aaron Emerson

    July 28, 2009 - 7:36 am

    We often do small blitzes over the weekend. It seems to really charge people up when we do this.