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Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days Hardcover – March 8, 2016
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“Every business leader I know worries about the same thing: Are we moving fast enough? The genius of Jake Knapp’s Sprint is its step-by-step breakdown of what it takes to solve big problems and do work that matters with speed and urgency. A sprint is a cure for what ails companies in an ever faster world.”
—Beth Comstock, vice chair of GE
"The key to success, often, is building the right habits. But which habits work best? Sprint offers powerful methods for hatching ideas, solving problems, testing solutions—and finding those small, correct habits that make all the right behaviors fall in place."
– Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit
"To quote one of my colleagues, “don’t get ready, get started”. Through hard won experience Jake Knapp and the team at Google Ventures have refined an efficient, hands-on approach to solving your product, service and experience design challenges. Try the book and try a Sprint."
– Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO and author of Change By Design
"Read this book and do what it says if you want to build better products faster."
– Ev Williams, founder of Medium, Blogger, and Twitter
"Sprint teaches you a novel process for solving really thorny problems in just 5 days. It's full of helpful, entertaining stories that will make it easier for you to succeed. What more, exactly, would you demand from a book? I wish all business books were this useful."
– Dan Heath, co-author of Made to Stick, Switch, and Decisive
About the Author
Jake Knapp created the Google Ventures sprint process and has run more than a hundred sprints with startups such as 23andme, Slack, Nest, and Foundation Medicine. Previously, Jake worked at Google, leading sprints for everything from Gmail to Google X. He is currently among the world’s tallest designers.
John Zeratsky has designed mobile apps, medical reports, and a daily newspaper (among other things). Before joining Google Ventures, he was a design lead at YouTube and an early employee of FeedBurner, which Google acquired in 2007. John writes about design and productivity for Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and Wired. He studied journalism at the University of Wisconsin.
Braden Kowitz founded the Google Ventures design team in 2009 and pioneered the role of “design partner” at a venture capital firm. He has advised close to two hundred startups on product design, hiring, and team culture. Before joining Google Ventures, Braden led design for several Google products, including Gmail, Google Apps for Business, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Trends.
Top customer reviews
I'm going to use the Sprint checklists every time I run a workshop from now on.
This book is notable for the things it leaves out of the design process.
An example is brainstorming. At one point in history, every collaborative design activity had to involve brainstorming Jake and team actually discourage spending time brainstorming in Sprint. After some reflection, I'm starting to see the wisdom of leaving it out.
This doesn't mean they discourage creative or divergent thinking, only that classic brainstorming as a group can create unwanted digressions.
Another Design collaboration staple Jake leaves on the cutting room floor is creating exhaustive documentation and analysis of every step in the Design Sprint process. He promotes focusing the documentation work on the product prototypes, and user feedback which is very wise advice.
If you want to try running a Design Sprint I strongly recommend you do 2 things:
1. Read the The Design Sprint -- GV - Google Ventures [...] site thoroughly as well as
Michael Margolis -- Medium
[...] articles as there are a lot of IU important and helpful hints in there, E.g. Use Gotomeeting to stream and record the interviews on Friday and get the camera Michael recommends.
2. Make sure at least 2 of you read the entire book, ideally everyone should read it. The Sprint is a great process (I've used many and this is definitely one of the best) but there are many important steps day by day and it's hard for one person to stay on top of all of them.
Good luck, if you stick to the process I think you will have success.
It's a very detailed, practical guide and I just went for it and followed all the instructions in detail (down to buying the office supplies) - it gets you from big picture thinking to testing your ideas in a week. I found each person in our group seemed to excel at a different part of it: Introverts and Extroverts, techies and non techies. The hardest part was convincing people to spend five days in a meeting, but I found their timetable pretty generous -- we finished early some days. We found Monday the most meeting-heavy day so one tip might be to let the team know that it won't be as intensive after that. Some might be worried they'd be in for five full days of intense discussion -- they aren't.
There's a lot to like about the book, but I'll start with the tone. It suits the methodology perfectly - it's energetic, it doesn't seem to take itself too seriously, and it is direct. It's a refreshing read and has the effect of making you want to try the process right away.
From a format perspective, the book is primarily laid out according to the five days of a sprint which further helps with its applicability. The five main sections of the book cover each of the five days of a sprint with practical tips, lessons, and real world examples embedded throughout.
The content will feel familiar to those versed in design thinking...but entirely accessible to those who are not. Much of what is contained in the book will strike you as a very sensible approach; however, in practice you often see the exact opposite applied and groupthink and inaction typically reign. And that's where the book shines. It really gives you a roadmap for applying this process, that once underway and properly facilitated, will feel like it's the method you should use to navigate those really tricky business challenges. Sprint reveals a simple but profoundly powerful approach to making progress and determining next steps without guessing.
Drawing on MIT's Joi Ito's challenge that we become Now-ists (dropping traditional planning and resource management that postpone solutions), taking-on innovation with what we have within reach, being equipped with this book and Jake Knapp's other artifacts that openly populate several online platforms, we can now go ahead quicker and with more certainty in order to change our world for the better.