Keeper Solutions in Atlanta – Bringing an Outsourced Team, In-House

For the past few weeks, a number of our developers have been working in-house with one of our clients in Atlanta, Georgia. Our client is a fast-scaling recruitment marketing and technology company. They specialize in the designing, building and scaling of recruitment strategies in order to create meaningful connections between organizations and the professionals that help them grow.

Keeper Solutions has a team of developers that has been working exclusively with this client. This arrangement mainly takes the form of a dedicated remote software development team, where our developers work alongside the company from a remote location. However, in order to build a stronger working relationship, our client wanted to work in-house with the team and we were more than happy to oblige. 

This is a part of the Keeper Solutions service offering that we rarely discuss. Modern technology has made it simple for in-house teams and remote software delivery partners to work together seamlessly. It is one of the main reasons why outsourcing software development has grown so much in recent years and is expected to increase by 70% between 2022 and 2023, according to new research from Commit

While we firmly believe in the power of remote outsourced teams, we also understand the importance of face-to-face interactions and getting to know teammates in person. Our team traveled to Atlanta, to meet the in-house team in what was a hugely beneficial experience for all.

In-House Ideathon – Intensive Brainstorming Sessions

One of the key events that took place during our team’s in-house visit was a ideathon used to generate ideas for revamping a current product that the software development team has been working on.

What is an ideathon? An ideathon is much like a hackathon but without the hacking! An ideathon is a short, intensive, brainstorming event used to generate fresh solutions to existing challenges in their communities. Participants work in teams and use innovative ideation practices such as design thinking to brainstorm on possible solutions.

During this in-house ideathon event, the company’s development teams were broken into groups of four. Here, groups were specifically arranged so that developers could work with people they don’t usually work alongside so they could gain first-hand experience of their working habits, techniques and methods of problem-solving. The ideathon took place over the course of an entire week with groups presenting their ideas to the entire company towards the end of their stay. See the diary below to see how our developers got on.

This exercise was further proof of the value of in-house visits as teams got to work in close quarters with one another over an extended period of time. It was a remarkable success as one of the ideas was taken on board and added to the pipeline.

Keeper Solutions – Diary of a Developer

Day 1

On day one our team of developers met with senior management personnel at the company headquarters. Our team was introduced to a number of in-house staff and were shown around the office and the local area. Together, they then held an in-person strategy meeting to put a plan in place for the two weeks and to discuss the company’s future objectives. 

At the end of the day, the entire team (both in-house and remote) went to a product launch which was scheduled for that evening. The evening provided an excellent opportunity for everyone to connect and get to know each other outside of work.

Day 2 

On the second day in Atlanta, our team set up their workspaces, and met with more of the in-house team. The day started with the regular stand-up meeting which was followed by discussions about new products and prioritizing what tasks and features the software development team would be working on in the months ahead. 

Towards the end of the day, the company CEO walked our team through the company’s history and vision for the future. Our team reported back to us to tell us that, not only did this provide great inspiration, but it also helped them to gain a better understanding and insight of the company’s philosophy and direction it was heading with its new product range.

Day 3

After a daily meeting and finishing some DevOps tasks, our team met with the Director of Sales who explained how the company markets and sells its key products. This was followed by a talk from the company’s
Head of Customer Success who described how the company communicates and works with its customer base. Again, this insight was invaluable in helping our developers to gain a better understanding of the company and its products. 

At the end of day three, teams were broken into groups of four for an ideathon – a hackathon type exercise used to generate fresh solutions to existing challenges. Teams were broken into groups of four, mainly with those they don’t typically work with. A brainstorming session was held alongside the idea-ton. 

Day 4, 5, 6 and 7

Our developers had meetings with their assigned teams for the ideathan, where the goal was to revamp an existing product that was currently being worked on. Brainstorming sessions continued throughout the day. As our team lead later said “every day is a type of brainstorming session.”

At the weekend, our team had a chance to take in a new city and explore the sights.

Week 2 

During week 2, a number of colleagues flew in from around the country for the company’s start-of-year event! This was a brilliant experience for our team, as they got a great sense of what the company’s spirit, together and hopes for the coming years. While we don’t want to give away too many company secrets, our client is preparing for a new product launch and discussed potential strategy changes such as a move towards sprint-oriented project management. Our team got a chance to hear from more department heads, who explained the make-up of various departments and their roles. Together, everyone planned the next 30/60/90 days.

The event was closed out with the final of the ideathan competitions where competing teams presented their ideas to the entire company. A team led by Keeper Solutions’ team lead, Ivan, was declared winner, taking home bragging rights but also giving the company the idea it needed to kickstart a brand new project. 

Our team left Atlanta after two weeks, feeling inspired, re energized and more than ready to take on the year ahead.