+ Set the stage
Before your sprint begins, you’ll need time and space to conduct your sprint. Below you’ll find detailed checklists for everything you need to do before the sprint begins.
But first, check out this video! The GVdesignteam answers some of the most common questions that come up during sprint planning (NB with some reservations since Google Design Sprint is originally designed for offline sprints Monday to Friday).
Checklist for ‘Set the Stage’
❏ Search for & schedule experts. Schedule fifteen- to twenty-minute interviews with experts, spread across all phases of the innovation process. Ideally, plan for two to three hours total.
❏ Pick a Facilitator in your team. She or he will manage time, conversations, and the overall innovation process. Look for someone who’s confident leading a meeting and synthesizing discussions on the fly. It might be you!
❏ Block the days on the calendar. Reserve time with your team as well as for yourself.
❏ Choose a video meeting space. We recommend https://hangouts.google.com/
Key Ideas for your team meetings
• No distractions. No phones allowed (unless of course you are using the device to access the virtual meeting space)
• Timebox. A tight schedule builds confidence in the innovation process. Use a timer to create focus and urgency.
Kick off your sprint by sharing knowledge, understanding the problem, and choosing a target for the week’s efforts. It might seem crazy to spend an entire day talking and writing on an overall level, but if you don’t first slow down, share what you know, and prioritize, you could end up wasting time and effort on the wrong part of the problem. The structured discussions create a path for the sprint week. In the morning, you’ll start at the end and agree to a long-term goal. Next, you’ll make a map of the challenge. In the afternoon, you’ll will get to ask questions to the experts outside and inside the case company and finally, you’ll pick a target: an ambitious but manageable piece of the problem that you can solve in one week.
But first, check out this video! The GVdesignteam explains what happens during ‘Understand’ and show some examples (NB with some reservations since Google Design Sprint is originally designed for offline sprints Monday to Friday).
Checklist for ’Understand’
1) Approximately 15 minutes
❏ Write this checklist in a shared document. When you’re done, check off this first item. See how easy that was? Keep checking off items throughout the day.
❏ Introductions. Do a round of introductions. Point out the Facilitator and describe her/his role.
❏ Explain the sprint. Introduce the five-day sprint process. Run through Google Design Sprint and this checklist and briefly describe each activity.
2) Approximately 45 minutes
❏ Set a long-term goal. Get optimistic. Ask: Why are we doing this project? Imagine the impact your effort will have on people, planet and profit in six months, a year, or even five years from now? Write the long-term goal in a shared document.
❏ List sprint questions. Get pessimistic. Ask: How could we fail? Turn these fears into questions you could answer this week. List them in a shared document.
3) Approximately 1 hour
❏ 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 inbetween showing how customers interact with the product.
4) Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes
❏ Ask the Experts. Ask relevant questions to the case company an interview outside experts (aim for interviews of fifteen to thirty minutes). Pretend you’re a reporter. Update long-term goal, questions, and map as you go.
❏ Explain How Might We ideas. Reframe problems as opportunities. Start with the letters “HMW” on the top left corner in a shared document. Write a lot of ideas. 5) Approximately 30 minutes
❏ Organize How Might We ideas. In a new shared document 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 ideas. Each person has two votes, can vote on his or her own ideas, or even the same idea twice. Move winners onto your map.
6) Approximately 15 minutes
❏ Pick a target. Circle your most important customer and one target moment on the map.
• 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. 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.
• 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 in a shared document. 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. Remember to take breaks every sixty to ninety minutes and 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, call for a vote.
+ Question 3?