But Did We Enjoy Doing It?

Photo of Bill Basler working

So what is Operation Overnight?

The ultimate test of team dynamics. A collaboration of goals. And, a leap of faith into the unknown. You’re put on a team you don’t work with regularly. You have one day to build a new Web site. From scratch. At the end of that period of time, it has to be delivered. To make it even more challenging, you don’t really know many of the requirements going in.

If you got that project at work, I’m sure you’d think about getting the old resume together. What happens if you don’t get it done? What if there are too many requirements? What if you don’t like the people you’re working with? How do you know if your deliverable will be good enough?
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Operation Overnight: Making a Life by What We Give

Photo of a thank you card reading, "Thank You Geonetric!"

Why Operation Overnight? Why 24 hours?

We don’t stay up 24 hours because it is a cool thing to do, we stay up 24 hours to touch lives. And we touch lives through the websites that we build for these very deserving non-profits in our community. We give by doing what we do best – helping these organizations create a presence on the Web that will enable them to reach more people – people that might need help as well as people that may want to donate their time or money.

It’s that simple.
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Scrum, Minimum Viable Product and Operation Overnight

Image of Geonetric's Operation Overnight logo

Last week Geonetric held its second annual Operation Overnight, a 24-hour volunteer event that brings teams from across Geonetric together with local area nonprofits in need of website makeovers (or even first websites). Despite it being a 24-hour event with the feel of a hackathon, many of the basic tenets and concepts from Scrum are applicable. In fact, I posit that a Scrum approach is more important, not less important, for an event like this.

Breaking the day’s work into manageable sprints, having a sprint board, hourly standups, retros, and a clear investment in backlog grooming — all help. In fact, this year I introduced a new concept to our Operation Overnight team: the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). What’s an MVP? Kenneth S. Rubin, noted Scrum theorist and author, introduces it this way:
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Why Non-Profits in Linn County, IA Should Apply for Operation Overnight

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Anne – Molly – Kevin R. – Kevin S. – Nicole

If you are a non-profit headquartered in Linn County, IA we encourage you to apply for Operation Overnight by July 1, 2013. During last year’s Operation Overnight, four non-profits received brand new websites built by Geonetric’s experienced Web designers, developers and marketers. This year, it could be you we help!

In case you need more incentive to apply, here’s a sneak peak at some of the people who would be working on your site and why they think having a new website would help you.

“Having a presence on the Web is one thing. Having a high quality presence on the Web is another. Our teams will strive once again to build an experience for your site visitors that is better than what you can get elsewhere… and for free!” – Kevin Reiter

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Continuing the Operation Overnight Mission with Mission of Hope

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It all started with a crazy mission… Operation Overnight: building new websites for local non-profits in a 24-hour time span. One of those sites we built during Operation Overnight benefited Mission of Hope. Imagine that, on a mission to help Mission.

Mission of Hope is a great organization that’s a Christ-centered ministry offering support to those in need – free meals, shelter, worship, a food pantry, jail ministry, clothing and support services. Working with the ladies from Mission of Hope was truly inspirational. Tina and her team are so passionate about the program that it was contagious! I thought it was just me, but when we finished the Operation Overnight mission and launched the site, every team member looked at each other and agreed we were not done. What else could we do?

There are many ways anyone could support Mission of Hope – give time, money, clothes, or food. We decided the most meaningful way would be to roll up our sleeves and REALLY get involved by volunteering to help serve lunch for their free noon meal program. And this is not a one-time thing. Geonetric committed to volunteer once a month going forward. We wanted to see Mission of Hope in action!

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Giving Back: Operation Overnight

Geonetric has been building some of the most advanced websites and digital campaigns in the healthcare industry for over a decade. We’ve done all kinds of neat things for our community, and this year, we made community involvement one of our highest-priority company goals.

But what’s the best way for a bunch of software engineers and strategists and designers and project managers to give back to our community?

We first considered doing something like Habitat for Humanity to build a house for someone in need, but a quick review of the typical construction skillset of our team made it clear that we’re not ready for something like that. Here’s an example of a toothpick-and-marshmallow bridge constructed by one of us* at Bring Your Kid to Work Day, slowly falling over:

No, we should not build a house.

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