What was special about the offsite camp in Portugal is, that we managed to achieve a lot in the five days during which the workshops took place. An important goal of the offsite was to discuss the very foundation of what Factorial is made of. This included the vision, mission and company values as well as the overall strategy that we follow.
What I especially liked about it was that rather than just handing out a pamphlet with the values written on it, the team collaboratively defined the values, the mission and vision. With this approach all colleagues participated in the discussion and decided for themselves how it should be.
In order to understand the Factorial strategy, much time was invested on the second day of the offsite to bring the team up to date. Using the goal setting method OKR, the strategy was explained by representatives who contribute to the respective objectives. Little focus groups offered the chance to speak up and reflecting on each objective, leaving the team in the position to comment and question rather than only accepting the outcome.
Another full day of the program was dedicated to a hackathon. During this day, the team was divided into 5 groups while every group was build with members of all units. The idea was to collaboratively work on the task of how to contribute to the happiness at Factorial. The results, presented during the evening were quite impressive, ranging from a self-written mood meter to a social intranet that highlights shared interests and hobbies.