This book gives you a field-tested, step-by-step, process for taking any idea from its infancy to a go/no go decision—in just five days. It probably sounds too good to be true—I sure was skeptical. However, author Jake Knapp, created the Google Ventures sprint process and has led sprints for everything from Gmail to Google X which gives him some pretty serious credibility.
Sprint is an interesting and entertaining read filled with great real-world examples of how different companies used a sprint to answer critical business questions. The format follows the framework of an actual sprint so you understand what happens each day along the way. While each sprint is an exercise in speed and urgency it’s not at the expense of good thinking. It really drove home how much can be accomplished when there is a very tight, shared deadline against a focused objective—and meeting-a-rama is not part of the equation.
You’ll want to go and immediately run a sprint when you get back to work after reading this book. It’s so logical to focus your best thinkers for five days in order to save hundreds of meeting hours, time going down blind alleys, and the politicking that comes along with any change. But the resistance to trying a new way of problem solving is anything but rational. In fact, just convincing management and team members to take 5 consecutive days to dedicate to solving one specific business problem—no matter how critical—seems daunting. The authors are very clear about what can (and has) gone wrong in previous sprints--most specifically not having the decision maker there for the entirety of the session.
It certainly seems worth the effort to pilot a sprint (assuming your problem is appropriate) within your span of control in order to help make a business case to management. With the pace of business ever increasing, anything that can help make better decisions faster is worth trying.