NWG are really excited to be creating another fantastic showcase of innovative thinking and new technology in Newcastle from Monday 9th to the Friday 13th July 2018”

Sprint!

NWG have adopted the Sprint methodology to realise step changes in business performance in key areas. We have used this methodology successfully many times but beware Sprints are different to the traditional workshops that you may have experienced. You move through Sprints at pace (hence the term) to get tangible results quickly so they feel a bit different too.

Our first Innovation Festival in 2017 was centered around 6  sprints designed to solve societal and environmental problems such as flooding and looking how businesses can improve the environment . You can see the results of some of those sprints on our website www.Innovationfestival.org . In 2018 NWG’s Innovation Festival promises to be bigger and better, once again we are using sprint methodology to tackle 12 problems. 

What is a Sprint?

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NWG have adopted the Sprint methodology to realise step changes in business performance in key areas. We have used this methodology successfully many times but beware Sprints are different to the traditional workshops that you may have experienced. You move through Sprints at pace (hence the term) to get tangible results quickly so they feel a bit different too.

Our first Innovation Festival in 2017 was centered around 6  sprints designed to solve societal and environmental problems such as flooding and looking how businesses can improve the environment . You can see the results of some of those sprints on our website www.Innovationfestival.org . In 2018 NWG’s Innovation Festival promises to be bigger and better, once again we are using sprint methodology to tackle 12 problems

 


What does a Sprint look like?

Every Sprint is unique and dependant on the problem to be solved various different tools and techniques will be used to help guide the Sprint team through the process.  The structure of the Sprint itself will be developed by the Sprint Facilitator who will be trained to design and deliver the Sprints themselves. 

Within each Sprint there will be a Sprint Sponsor who is the person within the business who owns the issues being addressed by the Sprint.  The Sponsor may have to make tough directional choices during the Sprint but this is fundamentally important to ensure that when decisions are required they are made there and then.  The Sprint Sponsor is also the person who identifies the necessary skills (and therefore people) required in the Sprint team, so the Sponsor is the reason you have been asked to be part of the team.  You will be invaluable to help solve the problem at hand and don’t forget that your opinion matters!

All Sprints follow a basic framework for each day regardless of the tools and techniques selected.  On Monday, you’ll map out the problem in detail, and pick the most important place to focus to solve the issue. On Tuesday, you’ll sketch competing solutions on paper.  On Wednesday, you’ll make difficult decisions and turn your ideas into a testable hypothesis.  On Thursday, you’ll hammer out a prototype in some way shape or form. And on Friday, you’ll test it to see what the feedback is on your solution.  This will enable you to know you’ve got a winning solution or you’ll ‘fail fast’ and learn quick!  If your Sprint is shorter than 5 days, the activities remain the same, they are just condensed into a smaller number of days.

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If you are a detail person and would like to read more about Sprints then a really useful book to get detailed insight is Sprint by Jake Knapp or visit http://www.gv.com/sprint/

 

What does a Sprint feel like?

Aside from using lots of post-it notes and sticky dots for idea voting, Sprints give your brain a good workout.  Indeed you will find that Sprints are very tiring and you will probably go home at the end of each day feeling exhausted.  This is because you will be using the creative part of your brain pretty much continuously throughout the Sprint and unfortunately this is not the part you normally use continually at work!  We are used to working in our left brain, where we follow logic, process etc so this is a break from the norm for most of us.

No doubt you’ll be excited to take part in the Sprint but I think its worthwhile understanding the emotional rollercoaster that you’ll go through on the Sprint itself.  It’s best summed up by this tweet.

As you’ll see (and hopefully experience) whilst you may go through a dip mid sprint, please keep the faith as it’ll all work out in the end and you’ll leave the Sprint with the enthusiasm you started!  It has been verified many times over by Sprint participants and it is certainly the journey I went through on my very first sprint!