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Team Retreat Recap

Last week, Kluge did a reboot.

Our international team sat down together to talk about where we are now and where we are heading.  After the intensity of Silicon Beach Fest, it was a much needed reset on the big picture.

Here are a few highlights from our retreat.

We kicked off with a high level discussion about the goals of the retreat.
+Retrospectives on product and website launches
+Examination of process
+Increasing efficiencies and happiness
+Planning for longterm growth

Arturo gave an inspirational talk to pump us up for the day.  Kluge is converging in new ways and there are many opportunities on the horizon.  We want to be strategic about how we grow so we continue to have a consistent voice and brand.

I ran a Design Thinking Workshop based on Stanford Design School’s Crash Course.  We split up into two teams and interviewed each other about gift buying to identify product needs and work on rapid prototyping. The core of design thinking is focusing on the need that is often unsaid by the target users. Listening, observing and prototyping to test various solutions until one meets a previously unmet goal.  Since some of our team members live in South America and Europe, we used a variety of cloud-based tools to help us communicate.  Skype to send files and chat, GoToMeeting to speak and Google Docs to document the process.
Arturo and Steve generate ideas on paper

Justin and Cameron interview their user, Daniel Sabal

Julio led us through a dynamic discussion on improving workflow with Git. We were all impressed with his presentation because it included interactive examples. Engineers, like designers, often come in and out of projects and the ability to share a clean code base is paramount.

Abraham conducted an experiment by having everyone draw their ideal process.  Then, we compared them side by side. We found that we had a lot of similarities in the way we describe our process but we were having trouble communicating it effectively in a diagram.

At the end of the day, Arturo said “we got way more done today than I thought we would.”  We came away with several drawings and lists of goals and action items, including the request to do another retreat day.  This is because our small, committed team showed up prepared and passionate about improvement.

And truly, that is the way Kluge works – making things better one day at a time.