Facilitating innovation through the 5-day sprint methodology
The need for a more inclusive and supportive workplace
For the past few years, Fujitsu has been trying to create a more inclusive and caring work environment for their employees. The company values diversity, and they wanted to make sure that everyone working for them had access to support. At the heart of the project was a desire to address the workplace challenges facing people with autism. To do so, they considered how assistive technology might be used and approached Nodes, who ran a five-day sprint, or hackathon, to get some real, practical solutions.
What followed was five days jam-packed with brainstorming sessions. Nodes provided the framework and methodology. In conjunction with the Fujitsu team, they were able to target and identify the various potential difficulties an employee with autism might face. The result was a prototype. It was built on the existing concept of the buddy system in operation at Fujitsu. This new app, called Buddy Connect, connects every single employee with a buddy: another member of staff who can provide a bit of support or a friendly chat. Users can assess how they feel with a simple colour-coded system (green for great, red for not so much) that triggers an action. Plus, the app contains several planning and scheduling tools to make the day manageable and avoid any overwhelming pile-up of tasks.
A working model for the future
Once the prototype was built and tested, Nodes and Fujitsu collected as much feedback as possible. Though employees were generally happy with the app, they highlighted a few areas that would need some attention, such as putting a little more thought into privacy, and, perhaps, making some training and resources available to buddies providing support.
All in all, it was a successful process which provided a foundation for the future. And Fujitsu is committed to creating a caring and compassionate atmosphere for every employee, from the first day of work. In the words of Nodes client service director, Christian Nielsen: “Buddy Connect can make a significant difference, because it is made to facilitate the creation of a natural relationship between likeminded individuals. According to our findings, that’s all people need. A trusting relationship to another human being. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Tell us how we can help you and a member of our global team will get back to you within one working day.