Dorling Kindersley Limited is one of the largest illustrated publishers in the world, covering a broad range of topics from pregnancy and gardening to cookery and Star Wars.
DK’s senior leadership team were considering the challenges inherent within their content management platforms. This included building on their foundational Google Workspace tools to manage archive, assets and data in a cost-effective and accessible way.
With the help of CTS, the idea of a Hackathon was born. Designed with a clear articulation of the business challenges in mind, it would see employees from both CTS and DK collaborate together to solve a problem.
Peter Buckley, Technology Director at DK explained the importance of finding the right partnerships. “With a clear understanding of the problems you are trying to solve, it’s possible to break new ground very swiftly.”
On the first day, the attendees were shown how to use Workspace / GCP environments made available for the Hackathon. The morning agenda included:
Sharing user stories/success criteria
Splitting into teams for discussion
Asking and developing any questions
While reflecting on the experience of conducting such an event during lockdown, Peter described it as a “gem in the dirt, with a real moment of thinking differently, meeting and working with new people, and experiencing something that they haven’t before.” Especially after the “frustration and fatigue of home working.”
Peter further described day two of the collaboration as “One of the best rapid-prototyping experiences I have ever been involved in. The CTS team brought knowledge, enthusiasm and energy to the event; with a healthy amount of competitive motivation ensuring that the teams stayed focused on the goal.”
After the initial hackathon, there were a number of team presentations, and after much deliberation, the winner was announced. Congratulations to Team B.
“It created something that was very tangible: from a technology perspective, getting seniors behind a technology project is incredibly important,” said Peter. “I was able to get buy-in from our COO because he was able to witness what was possible. It was beyond a one-pager or a business case. It was far more empowering.”
Stuart Cummings, CTO Work Transformation at CTS adds, “seeing how inspired the customer was when the solutions were revealed and how enthusiastic they were about taking it forward confirmed to me the value of these kinds of engagements. I can't wait for us to do more.”
Does partaking in a hackathon sound like your sort of thing? Reach out here to find out more.
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