Hackathons (literally Hack-Marathons) have been hugely popular in product development circles. The idea is that developers, designers and product managers collaborate over a short, intense period of time to develop prototypes, new features and new products.
As Head of Projects at Ticketmaster, John McIntyre has been involved in such as this one below in 2016 and a more recent public hackathon where Ticketmaster teamed up with Transport for London to explore innovative ways of combining Ticketmaster’s events API, with TfL’s public transport APIs.
But no one has ever thought of holding a PMO Hackathon…. Until now!
It’s surprising that no one has thought of it before: PMOs are constantly ‘hacking’ systems and meshing data together to produce reports and actionable insight. Using tools from Excel and SharePoint, through to BI tools like Tableau, Domo and Microsoft Power BI, PMO experts have become adept at extracting data from finance and PPM systems and translating it into actionable MI.
So we will make history now, with the first PMO Hackathon. We are calling on PMO Professionals from all industries to join us at Ticketmaster’s London HQ to explore new ways of gathering and presenting information, and gaining actionable insights.
Where is it being held?
4 Pentonville Road
The PMO Hackathon will take place from 2pm until around 8pm.
It takes place on Wednesday 18th October.
How will it work?
We’ll get together at 2pm, when John formally kicks off the Hackathon. We’ll generate ideas that people want to collaborate on and form into teams. To make the Hackathon more interesting, we’ll be adding an element of competition to the proceedings. All teams will present back on what they have worked on and how they have got on. A judging panel will award prizes to the best teams. At some point during the Hackathon pizza will appear, and we’ll transition from tea/coffee to wine/beer as we move into the evening.
What sort of things will teams work on?
That’s down to the teams. We will encourage attendees to share ideas, and teams can form around the most popular ideas. You may have ideas in your head now that you’d like to collaborate on – if so, please bring them along! Don’t worry if you don’t have a ‘killer idea’ – they’ll be enough suggestions and ideas for everyone to work on during the day. Here’s a few examples to get your creative juices flowing:
- Developing new project reporting standards that work well on mobile devices
- Automating mundane/repeatable tasks in Project Server, or some other PPM tool
- Creating Excel macros to produce consolidated portfolio risk logs, with trend analysis
- Visualising portfolio projects data using D3 or Gephi
- Creating dynamic information radiators that sponsors will WANT to read
- Developing automated ‘audit bots’ that can undertake basic project reviews, freeing up valuable time
What skills should I bring to the table?
Let’s be clear, people can learn a lot from their peers at hackathons, but hackathons are not training sessions. You do not have to be an expert developer, but for you to be able to contribute effectively to a team you should be comfortable finding your way around a dataset, be familiar with one or more PPM tools, be comfortable developing PMO reporting and be passionate about simplification and automation. We will be inviting a few subject matter experts to join us for the day, but the bulk of the work will come from you!
Can I work on a problem that I am experiencing in my organization?
Yes! The more real-world topics we can hack, the better. Please note that as you will be working in teams and sharing ideas with PMO people across the community then you will need to be comfortable that the data and systems you use are not confidential, and that you are authorized to use them on the day. If in doubt, bring dummy data and examples to work on.
This all sounds a bit serious – is this for me?
Absolutely. Hackathons are collaborative and fun. You get a unique opportunity to collaborate with your peers from other organizations, gain valuable experience and shape the future of PMO Reporting and Actionable Insight Generation.
Book early to avoid disappointment! Tickets are just £10