Delivering modern and impactful solutions can be difficult in an ever-changing technology landscape. However, this is not a negotiable piece of who we are as LPL-ers, so we’ve created our own internal program called SPACE. This program gives us a set amount of time during the workweek to improve our skills and advance our experiences alongside our client work.
Our SPACE time, sometimes referred to internally as our innovation time, is our chance to:
- Experiment with new ideas and methodologies
- Stay up to date with new technologies
- Build internal and external tools and products
We’ve intentionally kept this time abstract to allow free exploration. But in that ambiguity, it can be difficult to achieve meaningful momentum. As such we’ve pioneered two roles fulfilled by team members to act as mentors and guides:
- CAPCOM: Short for “Capsule Communication,” this role is the go-to person to encourage each individual’s exploration in their SPACE time, handle communication of our program, and help craft tangible objectives.
- Flight Director: Drawing from a similar inspiration as CAPCOM, this role collaborates closely with the CAPCOM to review SPACE activity strategically and align exploration initiatives to personal and/or company growth initiatives.
How Does It Work?
Each quarter, our team has the opportunity to “pitch” an idea to the broader company. After our pitch session, people can sign up for a project that interests them or decide to work on a solo project. From there, we have dedicated time each week to work on our projects.
At the end of the quarter, we have a Demo Day (which has actually grown into Demo Week now that we’re growing so much!) where we show off what we’ve been working on. Team members can expect to see products our team has built, conversations around lessons learned, and plenty of fun!
Our Mission Themes
Spearheaded primarily by the CAPCOM, we encourage our team to explore areas of interest in their professional life in our SPACE time. Often, our team’s missions fall into these four themes:
Our core competency is in the creation of digital products and applications, so we’re always practicing this skill set.
A great example of this would be WarRoom, which was a product built by our COO, Scott Weisman, and a few others to change the way that lawyers managed their deposition notes. This SPACE project became a revenue-generating product for LaunchPad Lab.
In our industry, the horizon always has a foggy picture of “what’s next.” It’s our job to leap forward and make sense of what’s coming next to roll this knowledge into our core competencies.
For us, this also means exploring new roles and new technologies. A few years back, one of our team members used his SPACE time to explore coding, and fast forward to now, he’s one of our tenured developers! Check out the video about his transition here.
To drive solutions, we must be experts at root-cause problem identification and pragmatic approaches. These solutions are focused on delivering key end-user outcomes.
One of our recent Demo Days produced a product that solved an organization-wide problem for a non-profit. Two of our team members helped to create a progressive web app that served as a universal contact book for employees, solving the problem of paper contact information.
As a culmination of the other themes, innovation is how we come together to deploy new and impactful solutions for ourselves and others.
Our team uses this time to push comfort zones, test the capabilities of our technologies, and more. As an example, our CTO Brendan Hennessy worked with a few other team members to create an IoT device to measure the levels in our team’s coffee keg.
The Future of SPACE
Running since 2014, we are constantly iterating on our SPACE program and looking to implement improvements to further manifest our goals. In the time our SPACE program has been operational, we’ve seen how it has impacted us in numerous expected and unexpected ways in terms of career growth, technology proficiency, process improvement, and solidarity in team culture. As our team grows, SPACE will, too. We look forward to the contributions of our team members and how this program will continue to level up our skills.