Can 6 tech students help a telecom giant innovate in 6 weeks? Telenor Norway wants to solve real problems for real people. As summer interns in Iterate – the lean startup consultancy in Norway – we’ve been hired to build, measure and learn how to unleash the power of future telco technology. Every week we blog about what we’ve learned.
Here’s week 1.
Hello, and welcome to our Lean Summer!
This summer starts of with 6 new summer interns for Iterate, and we’ll be writing this blog to keep you up to date about everything that’s going on.
There was excitement and nervousness in the air as we showed up to the offices at Grensen, but this quickly abated as we were greeted at the door by a smiling boss, balloons in hand. The office was filled with friendly people, coffee, and pastries. A short break and introduction later we were shown around the office space, as well as the equipment we’d be working on.
From the front left we see: Jørgen (Iterate), Nils, Aina, Pia, Kjetil, Nina (Iterate), Pernille, Kari, Therese (Iterate), Iselin (Iterate), and Simen (Iterate).
At Iterate we focus on getting things done quickly and efficiently, so there was no time wasted in getting us started. We went through teamwork exercises and learned through practical tasks how Iterate works with Lean. By the end, we even got to decorate our own corner of the office! This is looking to be an exciting summer already.
Bright and early Tuesday morning we were ready for our first customer meeting with Telenor, in an office space so big it has a bus stop named after it. The customer talked about the first of the two summer projects, Cloud Phone! This is a new idea from Telenor and Iterate, enabling Telenor’s customers to call and text from a web browser. As opposed to other similar solutions this would work directly on your phone number. Think of it as a way to use your phone, even if you don’t have it with you at the time. Still being able to use your phone even if you lose it or it breaks? Sign me up. This project seems really interesting and we hope to contribute to it becoming a reality!
The week keeps on, and we start the day with a breakfast meeting in our office at 7:30am. Being students, we weren’t quite used to early mornings, but everybody showed up ready to contribute. Luckily, there was coffee. After the meeting we made our way back to Telenor to hear about the next project. Telenor is looking to improve customer service and help to their customers, and Iterate has been hired to help. This will involve the new and exciting technology webRTC, known in part from appear.in.
We spent the afternoon playing the board game Playing Lean with Telenor’s own summer interns, a game Iterate created to learn Lean in a new and fun way. Safe to say it was successful.
The day has come to choose a project! Following a few rounds of discussion and questions, the group was split in two. Kjetil, Nils, and Kari will be working on Cloud Phone, and Pia, Aina, and Pernille (yours truly) will be working on Customer Service. Everyone is happy and well underway in planning their new project. We even presented our ides at Iterate’s weekly meeting, and hopefully we didn’t do too bad. They at least liked it enough to bring us along to the summer party at the local karaoke bar! As these things always do it started of slowly with drinks, food, and a small handful of colleagues brave enough to sing. The night ended with the whole gang standing with their arms around each other (or dancing), singing at the top of their lungs not caring if they had a microphone or not. Carola never fails to liven up at party.
Friday morning we all show up to work wondering how on earth we still have a voice. The energy level is not what it was earlier in the week, but we persevere. Team Cloud Phone had their first interview and demo today, by testing their script on other members of the summer team. Great success.
After some well earned lunch, we keep on with the sacred Iterate summer tradition of beer brewing. This was new to most of us interns, and we had a blast. A Blonde is brewing in the kitchen, with a name still under consideration. I speak for the entire summer team when I say this has been an amazing first week, and we can’t wait to keep going. If working life is anything like this, we’re happy to soon be a part of it.
Finally, a good group picture! From the left we find Nils Inge Rugsveen, Pernille Wangsholm, Kari Eline Strandjord, Pia Lindkjølen, Aina Elisabeth Thunestveit and Kjetil Sletten. At the bottom we can see the head of Iterate’s own Osmund, here to help us with the brewing process.
The Iterate Summer Students of 2015:
Nils Inge Rugsveen,
Kari Eline Strandjord,
Aina Elisabeth Thunestveit,
Blog by Pernille Wangsholm