Monday — Map Goal & Target

Morning guys. It’s Sprint #4, Day 01! Who knew we’d make it this far?

Now. I know you’ve done a few of these, and I know you’ve probably got a lot on at the moment. But I think it’d be awesome if you manage to focus this week and run a super tight sprint process. This one last time.

It’s really easy to think that we know best. That we can do these kinds of creative / innovation processes without much thought any more. I think that all the time. And I’m sure you do too. But I think we’re wrong. I think we need processes to focus our energy and our minds. Because, despite being the smartest beings in the history of history, we’re also utterly stupid some of the time.

So it’s 5 days. 1 simple process. And an awesome team of humans.

Day 01 — Getting clear

Jake and the guys at GV have designed Day 01 to help you get clear on what the challenge is. You’ll discuss the brief and the goal. Map the current state of things. Discuss the challenge with experts from different fields. Then decide on one target to focus your energy for the next 4 days.

👇👇👇 ~ Check out this article from the official GV Sprint publication ~👇👇👇

This is the point where you can really challenge the brief that you’re getting. Challenge your team and clients’ assumptions. And question your own assumptions too.

You’ll know this from Design Thinking and Idea Generation theory: remember that we often always leap to the easiest solution or conclusion when faced with a problem, and that is often the least innovative and most predictable one.

To-do before you start:

  • rearrange the room to make it Sprint ready
  • get a healthy and decent breakfast & coffee before you come in
  • decide who will be the Decider for those moments when discussion will get you no further
  • divide up your day so you can work smart and focused
Okay. Here’s what you need to get done today…

(I was going to write this out from my own perspective, but the GV post is so comprehensive that it would have been a complete waste of my time an energy, which I’d rather put into supporting you guys through Slack and calls. So I’ve copy-pasted key elements from this article below.)

Write this checklist on a whiteboard. When you’re done, check off this first item. See how easy that was? Keep checking off items throughout the day.

Set a long-term goal. Get optimistic. Ask: Why are we doing this project? Where do we want to be in six months, a year, or even five years from now? Write the long-term goal on a whiteboard.

List sprint questions. Get pessimistic. Ask: How could we fail? Turn these fears into questions you could answer this week. List them on a whiteboard.

Make a map. List customers and key players on the left. Draw the ending, with your completed goal, on the right. Finally, make a flowchart in between showing how customers interact with your product. Keep it simple: five to fifteen steps.

Lunch break. Eat together if you can (it’s fun). Remind your team to choose a light lunch to maintain energy in the afternoon. There are snacks if you get hungry later.

Ask the Experts. Interview experts on your sprint team and guests from the outside. Aim for fifteen to thirty minutes each. Ask about the vision, customer research, how things work, and previous efforts. Pretend you’re a reporter. Update long-term goal, questions, and map as you go.

Explain How Might We notes. Distribute whiteboard markers and sticky notes. Reframe problems as opportunities. Start with the letters “HMW” on the top left corner. Write one idea per sticky note. Make a stack as you go.

Organize How Might We notes. Stick all the How Might We notes onto a wall in any order. Move similar ideas next to one another. Label themes as they emerge. Don’t perfect it. Stop after about ten minutes.

Vote on How Might We notes. Each person has two votes, can vote on his or her own notes, or even the same note twice. Move winners onto your map.

Pick a target. Circle your most important customer and one target moment on the map. The team can weigh in, but the Decider makes the call.

Key Ideas

  • Start at the end. Start by imagining your end result and risks along the way. Then work backward to figure out the steps you’ll need to get there.
  • Nobody knows everything. Not even the Decider. All the knowledge on your sprint team is locked away in each person’s brain. To solve your big problem, you’ll need to unlock that knowledge and build a shared understanding.
  • Reframe problems as opportunities. Listen carefully for problems and use “How might we” phrasing to turn them into opportunities.

Facilitator Tips

  • Ask for permission. Ask the group for permission to facilitate. Explain that you’ll try to keep things moving, which will make the sprint more efficient for everyone.
  • ABC: Always be capturing. Synthesize the team’s discussion into notes on the whiteboard. Improvise when needed. Keep asking, “How should I capture that?”
  • Ask obvious questions. Pretend to be naive. Ask “Why?” a lot.
  • Take care of the humans. Keep your team energized. Take breaks every sixty to ninety minutes. Remind people to snack and to eat a light lunch.
  • Decide and move on. Slow decisions sap energy and threaten the sprint timeline. If the group sinks into a long debate, ask the Decider to make a call.

~Good luck guys! Slack us if you have any problems.~

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