It’s impossible to move fast if you don’t know where you’re going, which is why the first day of your sprint should begin with pinpointing the problem you need to solve. The best way to start this process is by identifying the challenge you’re facing.
So, simply pose the question, “what’s our challenge?”
For instance, some companies are challenged by high-stakes projects in need of direction, while others face tight deadlines and need to speed up development. Just take Blue Bottle Coffee; this successful coffee chain from San Francisco raised $20 million and set up an online store that sells fresh coffee beans.
In the beginning, they had no clue where to start because neither their designers nor their web developers knew anything about how to tackle the problem. Even so, in the first few hours of their sprint they began to understand their challenge: translating the cozy appeal of a coffee shop onto a computer screen and coming up with the best online design to replicate the in-store experience.
After identifying your challenge, the next step in a successful sprint is to build a diverse team of seven that includes two key roles: a decider and a facilitator. The former is someone who takes control and settles disputes, often the CEO, while a facilitator is in charge of managing time, summarizing discussions and smoothing out the process.
But why the five other people?
Well, experience has shown that seven is the magic number. If you add more people, the sprint will be sluggish because the team generates too many discussions that can take time to settle.
What’s more, a diverse group is also important because you need people who bring the right input and ideas, regardless of their position in the company – or even whether they are an employee of your company at all.
For instance, when it came to Blue Bottle’s sprint, the CFO offered up some powerful insights even though he didn’t know much at all about tech.