Running Startup Sprints

Just to be clear, I don’t run. These Sprints has nothing to do with physically running.

After reading the book called Sprint, this inspired me to try Sprint with a few startups.

Sprint book

As a mentor, I already help a number of startups so as an extension to this, Startups Ignite  organized Sprints for a  few startups with a small team of people with different perspectives to play the different roles the startups did already not have. Startups Ignite supplied the facilitators, myself being one of them.

What is a Sprint?

According to GV, “The sprint is a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers. Developed at GV, it’s a “greatest hits” of business strategy, innovation, behavior science, design thinking, and more—packaged into a battle-tested process that any team can use.”

Running Sprints

This 5 day Sprint process should be a great learning experience for everyone. More Sprints may be scheduled again.

I am running a 5-day startup Sprint (over two weekends 6/3 to 6/5 and 6/11 to 6/12) for 4 startups at a co-working space. Not just myself, of course, but with 20 other engaged individuals.

Learn more about the Sprint process

I encourage anyone interested to read the book/ebook, listen to the audiobook and watch the videos of how to run a Sprint.

Let me know if you are interested in hearing more about it aside from the book.

I will add lessons learned once we have completed the four Sprints.

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One thought on “Running Startup Sprints

  1. Henrik de Gyor says:

    After doing 4 Sprints at a time (the first time we did a Sprint), I thought I would share some lessons learned.

    1. Only one (1) startup per Sprint team. Every task takes time. Do not combine 2 or more startups per Sprint team. At first, we though we could combine resources for 4 startups into 3 Sprint teams due to limited resources. We learned within the first hour of Day 1 that was not possible. We quickly adapted and continued with 4 Sprint teams for 4 different startups.

    2. Every day of a Sprint will be a full 6+ hour day. Do not schedule less.

    3. Don’t have more than one of each role per Sprint team. Don’t have two facilitators on one team, but have a backup. Two designers will have different ideas on how to do whatever…
    Smaller teams work better and faster. Odd numbered is best.

    4. When you run multiple Sprints at a time, you can rotate teams around to review work with fresh eyes, differing perspectives and more votes when it comes to doing heat maps.

    5. Test your bandwidth before doing any virtual or remote interviews. Don’t assume it will work.

    6. Almost all interviews were done virtually each hour of Day 5. We attempted to use Google Hangouts on Air which would record directly onto YouTube. After a number of technical challenges, we moved to other virtual screensharing tools and recording tools to get the job done.

    7. Practice your prototype testing and interview questions. Walk through the whole interview process and time it. Test the tools you will use.

    8. As the book recommends, Always Be Capturing (ABC):
    -expectations before starting the Sprint.
    -the work at every stage with your cellphone cameras.
    -the work at the end of every day.
    -for marketing with audio and video.
    -experiences after the Sprint.

    Would I do multiple Sprints at the same time again? Yes, it works as long as you are adaptable and organized.

    Running Sprints was great experience and plenty of learning for all participants, especially the startups. We resolved several challenging issues for the four startups involved and adapted quickly when we found a snag with an open mind.

    Henrik

    Like

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