Kickstart your sprint process on Monday
- Set a long-term goal.
Start by asking your team, "Why are we doing this project? Where do we want to be in the future?" Take the time to discuss and clarify the goal, ensuring everyone is on the same page. Write the goal at the top of the whiteboard as a guiding beacon throughout the sprint.
- List sprint questions. Uncover the hidden assumptions underlying your goal and transform them into specific questions. Note these questions on a separate whiteboard. Here are some prompts to help you generate ideas: What are the key questions we need to answer during this sprint? What conditions must be met to achieve our long-term goal? If we fast-forward to a failed project, what factors might have contributed to it? For example, if your assumption is "To attract new customers, we need their trust," rephrase it as a question: "Will customers trust our expertise?"
- Make a map. Using the same whiteboard, create an initial map that illustrates how customers will engage with your product or service. Depict their journey through the essential steps involved in solving the problem at hand. Maintain a concise map, focusing on 5-15 crucial steps that effectively address the challenge. Continuously seek feedback from the team during this process to ensure accuracy. Update and refine the map as discussions progress throughout the day.
- Consult the experts. Devote a significant portion of Monday afternoon to conducting one-on-one interviews with experts from your team, organization, or external sources who possess specialized knowledge relevant to the project. Allocate approximately 30 minutes for each expert conversation. Begin by introducing the sprint, providing a brief overview of the long-term goal, sprint questions, and the map. Engage the experts in sharing their insights, filling knowledge gaps, rectifying misconceptions, and suggesting additional sprint questions or opportunities. Adapt the whiteboards accordingly by adding new sprint questions or modifying the map based on expert insights.
- Take "How Might We" notes. During the expert interviews, each team member should have sticky notes and a marker. Label the sticky notes with "HMW" (How Might We) and convert interesting insights into questions, writing one question per note. Set the notes aside for later organization.
- Organize "How Might We" notes. After completing the expert interviews, gather all the "How Might We" notes and arrange them on a designated wall or board where they can be easily seen and accessed by the team.
- Prioritize "How Might We" notes. Facilitate prioritization by using dot voting. Distribute two large dot stickers to each team member and provide four stickers to the Decider, who has the final decision-making authority. Allow everyone to silently vote for the most valuable "How Might We" questions by placing dots on the corresponding notes. Observe clusters of dots that indicate priority areas. Remove notes with multiple votes from the wall and position them on the map, aligning them with the relevant steps.
- Select a target. The Decider must choose one target customer and one target spot on the map. This choice will shape the focus of the remaining sprint activities, such as sketches, prototyping, and testing. If the Decider seeks input, ask each team member to privately choose the customer and event they find most important. Collect the choices on paper and display the votes on the map. Discuss any significant differences of opinion, and then let the Decider make the final decision.
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