Hey, I'm Jake, from GV.
And I'm John.
Also from GV.
And we're gonna talk about Monday of the sprint week. So, congratulations! You're starting on a sprint. That's awesome. By the end of this week, by Friday, you're gonna have a realistic prototype, and you're gonna be testing it with five target customers. So, one thing to keep in mind throughout the week is that you're gonna have a lot of decisions to make. And just keep in mind that you're going to end up with a concrete prototype, and you're gonna end up with some data at the end of the week. You don't have to make every decision perfectly. You just need to keep moving through the sprint and getting that prototype. And that test is gonna go a long way towards giving you the benefit you need to start this project off in a strong way.
Yeah. When you start your sprint on Monday, it's gonna be really tempting to start thinking of solutions right away. After all, that's—that's why you're there. That's the whole point of the sprint... is to try to solve this problem. But we think it's really important to slow down a little bit and try to build a foundation first, to have everyone talk about what they know, to, sort of, share knowledge and also build a shared understanding of that problem. And that's to make sure that you're not wasting your team's time and effort focusing on the wrong part of the problem. So, the way that we do that is to create a map of the problem and to select the specific point on that map that you wanna focus on. It can feel a little bit slow to do that because it's basically a full day of talking and writing on the whiteboard. But you'll have to trust us—it's super important. It makes sure that the rest of the week is really fast and really efficient.
So let's talk about what happens, those activities on Monday. First thing, you're gonna do something we call "Start at the End." So, that means you're gonna fast-forward. You're gonna look ahead to six, twelve months, even further. And if this project goes perfectly, if you put on your optimistic hat, what it's gonna look like? And you're gonna write down a long-term goal that sort of expresses that perfect future. And then you're gonna put on your pessimistic hat, or put your optimistic hat on backwards—whatever you prefer. And you're going to list out all the questions, all of the risks, all of the assumptions, all the things that might trip you up and prevent you from getting to that golden future expressed in the long-term goal. Then you're gonna make a map. So, you're going to make, sort of, a simple diagram showing how a customer moves through your product or your service. And you're just gonna start with a rough draft of that map.
Yeah. All of that is in the morning. So, after lunch, you're gonna come back, and you're gonna do "Ask the Experts." This is the where you talk to people, some of whom are already in the sprint with you, and some of whom may work in other parts of your company, who are experts on some part of the problem. And you're essentially just gonna interview them.
Ask them questions. You should use a timer to make sure that those conversations don't go on too, too long. But the big goal here is to have them improve your map, to look for things they can add to your map, mistakes they can fix, ways they can enhance your understanding of the problem. While everybody is listening to those interviews, you'll have the team take notes using a technique called "How Might We." Now, it's a little dorky. And it's going to feel a little bit unnatural to some people. But we think it's really helpful because it makes sure that the notes are all in the same format. And that makes it a lot easier to organize and sort through those notes later. And that's exactly what you're gonna do. After the interviews, you'll paste all the notes up on a window, or a wall, or a whiteboard. And you'll have the group sort them out into different categories. And then vote on the ones that seem the most interesting or the most useful for building your prototype.
And then you're ready to pick a target for your sprint. So this is the decider's job at the end of the day on Monday. Look at all that stuff. Look at the map. Look at the "How Might We's" and choose one specific target customer, one specific spot on the map. And then look at those questions from the morning and choose the ones that you wanna try to answer in your sprint. And this sounds really hard, but by the end of the day Monday, when you've gone through all that information, it's usually pretty easy for the decider to, sort of, make that call.
And then that's it. The information is booted up in everybody's head. The focus of the sprint should be clear to everyone on the team. And you're all ready for Tuesday, when you're gonna actually get start sketching, coming up with solutions. You've set the stage for an excellent sprint.