Book review: Sprint (Part 4 — Day 3)

Once you’ve starting to think about possible solution — during Day 2 of the sprint — the next step is to take your huge pile of solutions and decide on which solution(s) to prototype. In the morning, you’ll review and critique the different solutions and select those solutions which you feel have the best change of meeting your long-term goal. In the afternoon, you’ll take the winning scenes from your ‘solution sketches’ and convert them into a storyboard. The goal behind this storyboard is to have a clear plan in place before you create a prototype to test with customers.

Decide

The main objective for the third day of your sprint is to decide on which solutions to prototype. In “Sprint”, Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz suggest a number of techniques to optimise your decision-making process:

  1. Art museum: Put the solution sketches on the wall with masking tape.

Fig. 1 — How speed critique works — Taken from “Sprint”, p. 136:

  1. Gather around a solution sketch.

Rumble

A “Rumble” is a test whereby two conflicting ideas will be prototyped and tested with customers on the final day of the sprint. Instead of having to choose between two ideas early on, a Rumble allows your team to explore multiple options at once. If you have more than one winning solution, involve the whole team in a short discussion about whether to do a Rumble or to combine the winners into a single prototype. Knapp, Zeratsky and Kowitz suggest a good decision-making technique, “Note and Vote”, which you can use at any point throughout the sprint where you and your team need to make a decision (see Fig. 2).

Fig. 2 — Note and Vote — Taken from “Sprint”, p. 146:

  1. Give each team member a piece of paper and a pen.

Storyboard

Creating a storyboard is the final activity on the third day of the sprint. The goal here is to create a plan first before you start prototyping. You’ll take the winning sketches — see “Decide” above — and combine them into a single storyboard.

Fig. 3 — Example of a storyboard — Taken from: http://www.chadbeggs.com/storyboards.html

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From experience, creating a good storyboard will take a good couple of hours. What makes a ‘good’ storyboard? Knapp, Zeratsky and Kowitz list a good set of rules to help you and your team to fill out your storyboard:

  • Don’t write together — Your storyboard should include rough headlines and important phrases, but don’t try to perfect your writing as a group. Group copywriting is a recipe for bland, meandering junk, not to mention lots of wasted time.

Main learning point: The third day of your sprint is all about ending the day with a storyboard that you can use as a starting point for a prototype, that you and your team will be creating on the fourth day of the sprint.

Related links for further learning:

  1. https://uxmag.com/articles/why-we-need-storytellers-at-the-heart-of-product-development

Written by

Product at ASOS, author of "My Product Management Toolkit", family, boxing and founder of @hiphoplistings and blogging via http://t.co/uGr5nRye

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