May 30, 2014

Kicking the Tires, Lighting the Fires

Kickstart Day logo smallEarlier this month, the Seapine product development team held their latest Kickstart Day. Kickstart Days are when Seapine employees take a day away from their normal work to focus on new product innovations. Everyone has 24 hours to complete their projects and present their work in the wrap-up meeting. The goal of each Kickstart Day is to give Seapiners a chance to work on ideas and improvements outside the scope of their normal tasks. Participants often work away from their desks in one of Seapine's comfortable common areas, in teams or individually. [caption id="attachment_14357" align="alignleft" width="200"]Yans team small Teams are encouraged to work away from their desks.[/caption] A total of 22 people participated in the latest Kickstart projects, including QA analysts, technical writers, co-ops, and developers. Some teams focused on potential feature enhancements for our product suite, while other teams investigated internal tools and processes that could improve our development and testing efforts. Once each team had presented their work and answered questions, the audience rated each project for usefulness, progress, originality, innovation, presentation, and "other." The other category allowed the audience to award points to the idea they liked best, the project they felt was the coolest, or whatever else they thought was important. [caption id="attachment_14361" align="alignright" width="199"]Katherine and Dan present the winning project. Katherine and Dan present the winning project.[/caption] The winning team received a small prize and—most importantly—bragging rights. Katherine Tornwall, Dan Klima, Nico Kruger, and Gerhard Kruger took the top spot this time around. Kickstart Days are fun, creative, challenging days that often result in great new features our customers love.   "A lot of cool ideas were looked into and a lot of progress was made on those ideas," said Rich Clyde, Vice President of Product Development. "The event yielded some great work!"