The Cartwheel team brainstorms in a team meeting.

In May, Target launched Cartwheel, a first-of-its-kind program that gives guests new ways to save on hundreds of items throughout our stores. Within the first three weeks of launching in beta, the app, which connects to a user’s Facebook account, had more than 50,000 users who’d already accumulated more than $20,000 in total savings. But to bring this innovative new app to life, its project team embraced a very different way of working, using an unconventional workspace for an unconventional project.

Flashback to 2012: The newly formed Cartwheel team was growing—and quickly. Even though their project was just getting started, the group was already as large as a normal project support team and collaboration was becoming a challenge.

"The way we were working was really complicated," says Sarah Peterson, manager, Social Business Strategy. "We knew we needed to simplify, so we proposed a change: We wanted to work more like a startup." So, to streamline the project and get Cartwheel out to guests as soon as possible, the team came up with a new work approach: ditch the cubicles and instead opt for a large, collaborative workspace.

The result is what Sarah calls an "amazing collaboration." "We were able to assemble the team we needed, with all of us taking on more roles than we anticipated," she says. The entire group, including several programmers who came from Target's India office, worked out of one big room for months. The format allowed the team to pull its members together at a moment’s notice, ask each other the right questions and test ideas quickly to ensure the best quality product.

 “When it comes to the hundreds of decisions, changes and iterations of Cartwheel, the team has clear areas of accountability, with almost all decisions based on data,” Sarah says. "It makes things very clear. As chaotic as it is, it's organized."

"The Cartwheel team broke through barriers and modeled a very different way to work at Target. In the process, they showed us all how to work faster while still developing a higher-quality product for our guests," says Bonnie Gross, Target’s vice president of Digital Marketing and Loyalty.

The collaborative, close-quarters approach works beautifully for the team—so much so that they decided to make it permanent. The group just moved to a new team space that features a large open room with rows of tables for team members, and there’s not a cube in sight. The new space will set them up for success as they continue to develop Cartwheel, adding more mobile enhancements and in-store shopping tools and experiences.

Digital careers at Target, like the ones on the Cartwheel team, offer the opportunity to use advanced technology on the job, grow within a talented team and make the shopping experience even better for guests. Want to learn more? Explore and mobile career opportunities at Target.


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