Recently, we held our first remote quarterly business review, called Quarterly Impact Update (“QIU”). While our QIU event is largely focused on internal reporting and team building, we had an unusual highlight this time around: our first-ever “Drag-n-Drop-athon” Challenge.
What is the Drag-n-Drop-athon Challenge? An internal competition where teams compete to design and build an app (of any nature) featuring Kintone’s new IF function feature.
We say “drag-n-drop-athon” because Kintone is an application development and deployment platform that utilizes a drag-and-drop interface to build apps. This was ideal for our competition because while some of our team members can code, the vast majority cannot.
A ‘Society Brimming with Teamwork’ Begins from Within
Kintone’s purpose for existence is to “build a society brimming with teamwork” by “developing and sharing the best software and methods for teamwork.” But we firmly believe that we can’t have our desired impact externally unless we have it figured out internally first. Over the years, we have done many different team-building activities and exercises, including strengths and weaknesses sharing, problem-solving sessions, values sharing exercises, escape rooms, and more. The Drag-n-Drop-a-Thon was a new take on this theme.
Team composition parameters were specifically designed to foster team development, and fairness. For example:
- Minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 members per team
- Minimum of 2 different departments represented on the team
- Maximum of 1 sales engineer per team
One of the primary goals with this format was to give people a chance to team up and work with members outside of their department.
A Team Challenge Built To Test Our Latest IF Function
The Challenge focused on our team members learning and using a new, very powerful conditional business logic feature that was recently added to Kintone: the IF Function. The IF Function essentially enables commands wherein “If certain data parameters are met, then do or display something else accordingly.”
Challenger teams were given one week to develop their solutions and presentations and then 15 minutes during QIU to deliver their designs and answer questions from the judges.
Solutions presented were judged on the following criteria:
- Best Use (creative, complex, efficient) of IF functionality
- Practicality / Potential Applicability for end users
- End user experience - The UI/UX of the solution
- Teamwork – in concept, development efforts & presentation
Five Amazing Challenger Teams
Five teams (23 total Kintone employees)signed up for the Challenge, an impressive 50% of the total company.
Meeting remotely during lunch hours and after hours, teams developed remarkably unique and creative concepts and worked out their plans and scripts for their presentations.
The teams were as follows:
TEAM #1: ABCD
Euna Kim (marketing)
Brittany Wilkins (marketing)
Erina Tashiro (organizational strategy office)
Nim Grinvald (organizational strategy office)
Project: the team developed an amazingly detailed sales prospect scorecard solution which, in a clever and hilarious way, turned into a dating app by utilizing Kintone’s localization feature.
TEAM #2: The Winners
Haokun Wang (marketing)
Malena Harrera (marketing)
Miri Ohashi (sales)
Carina Chiang (sales)
Larissa Suguitan (customer success)
Leo Liao (sales engineering)
Project: The Winners built a delicious and super-functional ice cream store customer order, processing, and inventory solution using IF Functions to calculate the total charges for special flavors and extra toppings, among other things.
TEAM #3: GSD Crew
Kyle Novitsky (sales)
Michael O’Connor (sales)
Isabel D’Andria (sales)
Christian Dior De Jesus (marketing)
Steve Hallam (sales engineering)
Project: The GSD Crew developed an extremely powerful timesheet solution that seamlessly managed the traditionally tricky accounting for weekends, holidays, overtime, doubletime, and working past midnight.
TEAM #4: Da Pump Gens
Taro Onodera (sales engineer)
Marie-Claire Beaufait (customer success)
Lisa Niihara (sales)
Project: The Da Pump Gens deployed by far the best play-acting while presenting their solution. Their design combined a COVID-19 screening test and certification process for young students wanting to return to school with a learning management system for those students who had to take tests while remaining remote.
TEAM #5: Team #GTG
Lena Furuki (marketing)
Georgina Lopez (sales engineering)
Hiroki Nagata (sales)
Vincent Dang (HR)
Kevin Veloira (customer success)
Project: Team #GTG developed a powerful suite of HR solutions including a recruiting and hiring app that deployed very significant conditional business logic to determine suitability of candidates. Team #GTG also displayed excellent teamwork with their well-prepared and smoothly executed presentation.
(Please note: the templates for all of these solutions are available to clients and prospects. Just contact us at email@example.com)
Tough Work for the Judges
Our head of sales, Yu Tanabe, the head of our non-profit community, Tim Edingfield (big kudos to Tim who came up with the idea for the challenge), and I had the unenviable task of judging all these great solutions and wonderful presentations.
We used a custom Kintone app that let us record and tabulate our scores for each challenger team in real-time and display the relative scores in a bar graph without displaying which judges selected which scores, even to ourselves. I built this app myself in about 20 minutes without knowing a line of code—a testament to the power of Kintone universal accessibility.
In the end, Team #GTG won by just a sliver of a margin, with 53 points out of a possible 60. Second-place finisher Da Pump Gens earned 52 out of 60.
WINNER: TEAM #GTG
The interesting thing about Team #GTG was that the five team members represented five different departments at Kintone: Lena from marketing, Hiroki from sales, Kevin from customer success, Georgina from sales engineering, and Vincent from HR. Another proof point for the power of diversity!
To The Winners Go The Spoils
In addition to the very substantial award of bragging rights until the next Challenge, Team #GTG was also awarded with a donation in their name to their charity of choice (they chose to split their donation and give to both The San Francisco Foundation and the American Cancer Society), and a gift certificate to each team member for Amazon or a local ice cream shop.
All in all, it was a super fun and creative experience for myself and the team. Thank you to all our Kintonians for support in making it happen and for participating with such energy and ability! I can’t wait to do it again at our next QIU.
I think a few Kintonians summed it best in our post-QIU survey:
“It was a lot of fun!! Really glad I could participate and collaborate with team members who I don't usually cooperate with on a daily basis.“
“It was a great reminder of how powerful our tool is and how creative we can be as a team.”
“IT WAS AMAZING! I LOVED IT!”
About the Author
Dave Landa is CEO of Kintone and has been on the forefront of the Cloud revolution driving strategic business development on the executive teams of multiple leading Software as a Services (SaaS) application providers dating back to 2004.