367th Training Support Squadron continues its Mystery Mondays

By Tech. Sgt. Michael A. Thibodeau
367 TRSS, Innovations Development
March 22, 2012

Mystery Monday is an innovative idea of the 367th Training Support Squadron to build teamwork while increasing job knowledge. The squadron's mission is to determine the root cause of perceived problems and to build interactive multimedia instruction for Air Force aircraft, missile and munitions maintainers.

Mystery Monday for Feb. 13 was revealed as a FedEx Day; a one-day creative burst of brainstorming, prototyping and presenting. According to Staff Sgt. Garrett McCullough, who headed up the event, "FedEx Day is based on a practice from the Australian software company Atlassian, where, once a quarter, employees can work on anything they want relating to the company, any way they want, with whomever they want; they just have to show the results to the rest of the company at the end of 24 hours."

They call these "FedEx days" because teams have to deliver something overnight. That one day of wholesale autonomy has produced a vast array of software fixes, ideas for new products and upgrades for existing products for Atlassian. The goal of FedEx day is to engage and energize employees. The employees have fun and the organization gains great innovations. Everyone has ideas and this gives them an outlet to unleash the power of those ideas which might have otherwise been sidelined because it was not understood how it worked or what benefit it would provide. Airmen are a natural resource for creative input; however, the value of that input is oftimes intrinsically linked to the amount of creative freedom provided, as proven through decades of scientific research. Mystery Monday, an innovative idea itself, took a day off of showcasing innovation to Airman and instead allowed the innovation of Airman to be showcased.

In preparation for FedEx day, 367th TRSS Airmen presented creative products and processes and assembled teams to provide a prototype within the 24 hour constraint, breaking up normal dayshift work schedules to afford coverage as needed. In all, seven projects were organized, initiated and executed, including: World Wide Marketing, designing a squadron Web Page, computerized Motion Capture, Gorilla Marketing, creating a Digital Sponsor Package, designing a new Purchase Request Checklist, and creating Mobile App designs for innovative learning applications. Projects were presented to the squadron the following day by each group's team leader and voted on by squadron members. The winning team, led by outstanding performer Tech. Sgt. Lisa Sparks, created a mobile app entitled "Jedi Marshalling." Squadron members were enthusiastic about the event and look forward to doing it again.

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