The All Star Design

Written on 25 June 2013


Inspired by my entry into the Tough Mudder race, Julian (our CEO) wanted to participate in sporting events that were fun, less physically challenging, and which involved some lighthearted competition between the gang working at Tobias & Tobias. So this summer we kicked off our T&T All-Star Games ‘13.

The competition involves the following games – ping pong, golf, bowling, darts, pool, and archery. These activities don’t involve putting on your sweat pants and risking life and limb – archery notwithstanding. However, they improve the mental health at work. Some of the games will be team events, but the majority will be head-to-head. The idea is for the gang to participate in as many games as possible, in order to win points, and as I’m sure you’ve gathered points mean prizes. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the tournament for placing 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Most say that “it’s not the winning but the taking part that counts”, but for me, it’s not about the taking part, it’s about the winning! The T&T All-Star Games is about building on the exciting community spirit that we embody, encouraging team building, and ultimately having fun.

As part of the games, we needed to create a leaderboard. I wanted to get out my felt tips and bits of cardboard to create a Blue Peter-style leaderboard, but our design team were quick to offer their services and request that we create an online leaderboard.

With little time and resources before our first game, we had to quickly design and build a website. With client work squeezing our resources, we had to act quick – it was a challenge!

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We began with a workshop that included the visual designers, a developer, and me. We adopted an ‘Agile’ way of working by constantly assessing the direction of the project throughout the development lifecycle. This approach meant we continually challenged ideas as we went along. During the workshop, we also came up with the idea of having an online countdown to the tournament to attract attention and get more participants.

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The T&T team was empowered to make decisions on the spot. As a team, we established and clarified the requirements, agreed on the look and feel of the leaderboard and agreed how it would be built. We then prioritised the tasks and we decided who would deliver what, and estimated how much effort would be involved. Our developer coded the software at the same time as the designs were being created.

The collaboration between the designers, the developer and me, meant we could easily determine what could and couldn’t be done, and do it! This way we could quickly discard ideas that were not achievable within the timeframe. It was a really great way of working, to have the opportunity to work together. It was a fantastic project which lifted the team spirit and kept us enthusiastic and motivated.

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The creation of the leaderboard website is an excellent example for me, of how the team works so well together. With guerrilla-style rapid development, we managed to produce a great website and have fun. Although we had limited time and resources, we had unlimited goodwill.

The leaderboard project has been a massive success and is a testament to the calibre and attitude of our team. I would like to say thank you to everyone who was involved in this project, especially to James, Andrei and Lukasz – they were good sports!

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