July 08

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What you can learn from ‘Sprint’ by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky & Braden Kowitz (2016, 220 pages)

How do you deliver a product or service that customers want?  How do you make progress in a short time on a critical project?

Agile methodology (see the last book I reviewed here) suggests that work should be approached in short bursts of intense activity or ‘sprints’.  In these sprints, you can bring the right people together and focus on creating a proof of concept or Minimal Viable Product (MVP) which you can use to test and see if there is a demand for what you want to build.

In their book ‘Sprint’ the authors provide a step-by-step guide to setting up and running a sprint.  They split the sequence into six steps.

  1. Set the stage – make sure you have the right problem, the right team and time and space
  2. Monday – set the context, agree on a start and end point, and a rough map between them.  Then choose the target – a manageable but ambitious part of the problem to solve
  3. Tuesday – think of possible solutions, remix and improve your ideas, finish the day with a solution sketch from each person
  4. Wednesday – decide and refine, critique everyone’s ideas and select one or two most promising, then create a storyboard (a step-by-step plan for the prototype)
  5. Thursday – build, create a prototype that you can put in front of customers
  6. Friday – test, put the prototype in front of customers and gauge their reaction. Everyone should watch and see it the prototype met the weeks challenge

Sprint is a great book for understanding how to execute sprints.  A day-by-day guide offers clear advice and guidance on the outcomes you need to achieve.  More importantly, the book provides checklists and tactical tips on how you should execute a sprint.  Sprint is a great book for an introduction to sprints, but to see the real benefit I would also read books on agile methodology ( a great one is Scrum).

I hope you find this helpful.  For more information, follow the links below.

Amazon Link – Sprint: How to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days

Link to webpage