Fluid Topics/Antidot has thrown a Ship It Day every year since 2015 and this year was no different! On December 16 and 17, we dropped our daily routine and embarked on a 24-hour innovation spree!
Ship It Days are very important in the Fluid Topics culture. They provide a creative outlet for the entire team and give everyone the opportunity to act upon ideas they’ve had for months…but in a really fun way!
Ship It 101
Ship It Days started at the Atlassian company. They’re an opportunity given to employees to get the space and resources they need to pitch ideas and build out their concepts in a short time frame. This event is for anyone in the company, from software developers to CEOs.
There are, obviously, many ways to run a Ship It Day, this is ours:
- M – 2: Launch
The Ship It date is announced to the company.
- M – 1: Ship It order
Employees can submit projects on our JIRA board. There are no constraints on the number of projects submitted per person, nor on the theme on which they will participate. A project can even be submitted on the very day.
- D – 7: Pick your team
People with one or more projects and needing other teammates can, only if they wish, present their project to the whole company in order to recruit and build their team. This generally happens over Zoom.
- Ship It Day : It’s go time
- The competition starts at 11 A.M on Thursday with each team announcing what they’ll work on and who’s part of the team,
- The next 24 hours are all about developing their projects,
- We stop at 11 A.M on Friday,
- At 2 P.M on Friday, the different teams showcase their projects and try to convince that their solution is the best,
- A first vote takes place to select the top 3 projects,
- The selected teams get an extra round to convince the rest of the company,
- A final vote crowns the winning project!
If you’re keen to give Ship It Days in your own company, it’s a fairly simple process to follow. They are one of the best opportunities for rapid learning and personal growth.
Some of our 2021 projects
Obviously, the most exciting moment of the whole event is the presentation at the end. Project presentations consisted of five-minute demos with 12 projects produced by teams of one to six people. As you can imagine, we can’t communicate on all of these projects (yet!) but we wanted to share a snapshot of the some of the innovations that came out.
The League of Topics (a.k.a The Winning Team)
The team created an educational video game to teach Fluid Topics administrators how to configure their Fluid Topics portal. The quests help them discover several Fluid Topics features and make sure they complete each configuration step.
The team created a new “Quizz” component to evaluate the learnings of each user within the documentation and help them know where they stand. Features include a reader to display the quizzes, an administration tab to setup the quizzes and an analytics section to measure progress.
Analytics Dashboard Designer
This upcoming feature will enable users to add a variety of analytics “drag and drop” components onto their documentation portal.
The application is for all non technical users who are not familiar with the XML language. It provides an intuitive user interface to create and generate control files for your unstructured documents.
We’re so proud of the ideas the different teams developed during this year’s Ship It and for their lasting commitment to our company values.
Whether we’re in the office together, or working from home, our company is always looking for ways to inspire and bring new solutions to documentation teams all over the world!
Thank you to the whole Fluid Topics team for putting their heart into those projects and for delivering great ideas!
A working paper by Daniel P. Gross from the Duke’s Fuqua School of Business finds that “competition can motivate creative types to produce radically novel ideas”. Ship It Days are the perfect events to innovate. Employees can influence the roadmap in a direct way and we know for a fact that ultimately, everyone feels more engaged!