Better Sprint Creation
John Borden | April 20, 2018
This is going to be brief. No new features were really added to Business Toybox, but we did change the way you do things, and we’re pretty excited about that.
So, quick recap. Business Toybox has these things called Sprints. Sprints help you take the thoughts and ideas from your Canvases and come up with ways to validate or invalidate the assumptions behind them, and maybe come up with some new ideas in the process. Working with Sprints is a crucial experience to help you develop your thoughts and ideas into a robust business model, and they all start with how you create them.
First thing we changed was how you name a Sprint. You don’t just give them a name. Instead, you sort of name them after a question. This is because every Sprint in Business Toybox revolves around questions. What’s more, every question starts with a what if. The rationale behind this design choice is that until your ideas and assumptions are proven valid (or invalid) everything is speculative, everything is very much a “what if” and less of a “how do we…” or a “why”. We don’t think there’s such a thing as bad questions, but asking “what ifs” is better than asking “how come people aren’t using our product?”.
Eventually we’ll get around to explaining in greater detail the mechanics behind branching, just know for now that you can actually create more than one Sprint running at the same time. This is a bit tricky to pull off though. Ideally, you shouldn’t do this when you’re just starting out, but once you’ve gotten the hang of using Business Toybox then you might want to go ahead and give it a try.
Anyway, so the way you create multiple Sprints is by splitting a new one off-of an old one. We call this Branching. Here we let you pick the Sprint you want to split from. If you haven’t created a Sprint yet then you won’t actually see this part.
Descriptions and Colors
This isn’t too important, but just so you know, you can add a little bit of extra descriptive information to your Sprints. You can also color-code them as well. All Sprints have some color given to them when they’re created. This isn’t used a great deal now, but we’ll using it more in the future.
Okay, this is the most important part. Sprints don’t last forever. In fact, they’re designed to basically end after a brief amount of time. The reason why we do this is simple, we don’t want you to procrastinate when it comes to testing your ideas and assumptions. We want you to find the answers you seek and move on.
Notice that the clocks are color-coded. This is to give you a slight hint that shorter Sprints can be more difficult to pull off in a way that feels satisfactory. However, shorter Sprints can also be more rewarding, since you get your answers more quickly and can move on to better and greater things more quickly. Just make sure you’re prepared if you try to pull off a faster Sprint.
We also give you the ability to set a custom time for how long you want a Sprint to exist. The three options we give you are just suggestions. If you’re crunched for time and want to end a sprint in 2 days, or if you want a whole 12 weeks to complete a Sprint, then by all means go for it.
Creating a Sprint is kind of a big deal. So, once you’ve gone through all the steps we ask you to review things. Before this page used to look a little more “jagged”, but we’ve cleaned it up since then to make it a little easier to read.
Wrapping Things Up
So, creating a Sprint is a bit of a different process now. The experience is designed to flow a little bit better than before and get you to think about the journey you’re about to embark on and the questions you’re about to ask.
This is just the beginning. Up next we’ll show you some of the exciting work we’ve done to enable you to use Sprints to ask questions and find answers in a way that’s actually pretty fun and playful.