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Creating the Huddle Helper App – The Idea

Creating the Huddle Helper App – The Idea

You told us you want to know more about the process we use to build custom software. You got it. Follow along as we build our new Huddle Helper app. This is the 1st post in that series.

Two years ago we cooked up an idea to give out "hamburgers " to our coworkers as a way to publicly recognize each other for living our core values.

Sure, the concept was cheesy. But the intent—expressing our gratitude—wasn’t.

The Pain Points

Since its inception, we’ve seen some mixed results. From what I have observed, people have a desire to give hamburgers to show their gratitude. But our current manual platform makes it challenging to give them out.

Pain points include:

  • Lost hamburgers – We only give out hamburgers (a shout-out and a sticker) during our bi-weekly staff meetings (which we call “huddles”), so many times people come unprepared or forget about what happened the last few weeks.
  • Manual steps – Sometimes people forget to manually add the hamburger sticker to the recipient’s laminated poster.
  • Forgetfulness – Even when someone adds a sticker to our poster, it’s hard to remember who gave us the hamburger and why.
  • Absence – Sometimes the person we want to recognize isn't present at the huddle.
  • Time passing – It’s time-consuming to tally how many hamburgers each person receives in a given time period. We all want to know who “Hamburglar of the Year" is, right?

Chris Rouw's Poster

Pictured: Chris Rouw's Poster

I became concerned that people would stop giving out hamburgers—and thus stop showing gratitude—due to these pain points.

The Importance of Gratitude

Over the past 12-15 months I have learned a lot about the importance of gratitude. One person who writes and talks a lot about gratitude is my friend Geoff Welch.

I had the privilege of meeting Geoff about a year ago and have learned a lot from him. He heads a project called Powered by Humanity , which I highly recommend you check out.

During a recent huddle, we were giving out hamburgers and I realized a couple of things:

  1. I’m okay at showing gratitude. This is definitely something I need to work on.
  2. Our current hamburger platform is less than ideal.
  3. I don't want to kill the hamburgers. Having a platform to show gratitude at Far Reach is too important to not do anything.

Introducing Project "Huddle Helper"

I’m a software guy and entrepreneur, so I thought we should create our own digital platform that helps our employees give out hamburgers. That’s where the idea of creating the Huddle Helper app started.

I shared my idea with the team and asked for volunteers to build out this platform as a side project. Three people signed up, and we got started on the project.

Our project team talked about why we wanted to volunteer for this project and we came up with the following goals:

  • Make it easy to express gratitude
  • Use the same product validation and software development methodologies we use with our clients
  • Create a platform with features that are scalable for the future

The Blog Posts

We think creating a series of blog posts will be a great way to document our experience. Sharing how we build custom software will be valuable to both our project team and others.

In this series, we’ll document the process of creating the Huddle Helper app, covering the following topics: 

  • Discovery Phase
    • Product and feature validation
    • Defining personas
    • User experience (UX)
    • Prototyping
    • Defining the minimal viable product (MVP)
  • Development & Deployment
    • Scrum – What it is and how do we use it?
    • Development – How we work
    • Quality assurance
    • Deployment for testing and production
  • Post-launch
    • Onboarding
    • Engagement
    • Analytics and metrics


App And Custom Software Development Process

I’m thankful for those who are on the project team. And I’m thankful for the opportunity to share this journey with you.

See, I’m already practicing my gratitude!

Read part two of the series, Value Proposition Canvas.