On your marks, set, sprint!
When we think of sprints in an ordinary sense, often we think of the almighty 100m sprint final in the Olympics. Athletes that compete in the 100m sprint event get to claim the title of the “fastest human on earth”, and gain a huge reputation, despite the whole event lasting 10 seconds (or even less, if you're Usain Bolt!).
The ultimate goal in an Olympic sprint is to maintain sprint velocity for as long as possible to be able to cross the finish line and claim victory. It's short, it's fast, but the reward can be life changing to those that succeed.
From the Track to the Boardroom
Sprints have also become a common tactic in the startup world. And like Olympic sprints, they can be just as fast, powerful and rewarding when it comes to accelerating business operations. It involves a short few days or weeks of intensive activities, often following a specific methodology to solve pain points in the business in a quick, successive manner.
Sprints in a business sense is about involving the whole team to allow for everyone to share their ideas and thoughts, thinking outside the box to come together towards a common goal. The startup environment can be very fast-paced, and business can move extremely quickly which can sometimes lead to discrepancies in strategy and misaligned business goals among the team, because everyone is so focused on their own work. But, by taking the time out of everyone's schedule to perform a sprint and really knuckle down on what the overall business goals are for a startup can boost the growth mindset among employees.
Here at LastBasic, we recently carried out a five day sprint with the full team, working in various teams on problem-solving activities to work towards a common goal for 2022 – here's what we learnt.
Sprint, LastBasic Style
Our business is focused on three main pillars – revolution, community and inventors. And in this particular sprint session, we focused around the improvement of the expert interactions, and how we can improve their engagement with the platform – our experts are the cornerstone of what we do here at LastBasic, and in order to achieve our ambition as the global meeting point for inventors and experts, we want to make sure that our experts are seen as the superheroes of our business.
By following the five stages of the sprint: assumption, sketching, decide, prototype, test, we learnt that we needed to create a more attractive ecosystem for designers and engineers and talked through the strategies of how we could improve it – because everyone was hyper focused in the sprint, it allowed us to picture the perfect solution and test it accordingly.
Why Sprints are Key for Startup Growth
Feedback from the team following our sprint demonstrated that it was a positive experience for LastBasic. Our people valued hearing from everyone in a way that was structured and learnt that we can align quickly if needed. It provided a clear path toward our goals for the next year and beyond, while allowing us to build pillar themes for our messaging as business.
For startups with ambitious goals and limited resources, having regular sprints to realign goals and focus on areas of the business that need specific attention and improvement allows the business to make speedy changes and implement them quickly. When done right, it can be an efficient use of everyone's time, increases the morale of the team, and propel your startup into new, exciting territory.