When a Sprint Ends
John Borden | August 1, 2018
In the last few blog posts we talked a bit about what Sprints are and what you can do with them. We’ve also touched on the fact that Sprints in Business Toybox have fixed lifespans. You get to define when they end, and once you’ve done so you don’t get to extend the deadline indefinitely into the future in order to procrastinate on your work
So, for this blog entry, we’re going to wrap up our discussion on what Sprints bring to the table by finally talking about the inevitable. We’re going to talk about what happens when a Sprint expires.
Time To Vote
One of the first things you’ll notice is a new addition to your Sprint’s feed. It kind of looks like something that someone might have posted, but it’s actually automatically created when the Sprint ends. Internally we call it the Sprint Consensus, but by our own admission it isn’t the more exciting of names, so we wouldn’t hold it against if you had your own name for it.
The goal of the Sprint Consensus, as the name implies, is to get you and your team to vote on the overall result of the Sprint. Namely, do you think all research you’ve done during this Sprint supports your business model?
We’ve provided you with three options here. Green is for if you think your business model is supported by the results of the Sprint overall. Red is the opposite, it’s for if you think the results of the Sprint mean something is wrong with your business model and that it needs to undergo a major change. Yellow is for if you’re not really certain either way, it’s another way of saying that you just need more research and information.
Votes are anonymous so as to prevent any naysayers from catching any flak for their opinion. If you really must though, you can talk it out using a comment section within the Sprint Consensus. Don’t go back and forth for too long though. The Sprint is over and done with, and you should move on sooner rather than later.
After you and your team are done voting, you’re brought back to the Canvas. Things look a little different though. The sidebar is smaller and has a different set of buttons. Further, if you click on a Token it doesn’t move around. Instead, three dots show up.
Here’s another not-too-fantastic name for you. We call this part of Business Toybox (internally at least) the Evaluation Canvas. Earlier you voted on how your Sprint impacted your Canvas / business model as a whole. In this part of Business Toybox, you and your team get to vote on how each individual Token was impacted by your Sprint, which is just another way of examining the smaller ideas that make up your business model. The three colored dots correspond with the three options from that Sprint Consensus earlier. Green means the idea that the Token represents is supported by the Sprint. Red means the Token isn’t supported. Yellow means you’re not certain either way.
As you vote on the individual Tokens, you’ll notice that their colors will change to reflect how the team feels about the Tokens (if it’s just you they change color immediately, with a larger team they only change color if the majority of your team changes their mind). Tokens aren’t meant to stay blue forever. They change color over time to reflect how well they fit into the ideas that make up your Business Model. You’ll want a nice mix of colors for your Tokens over time to reflect an improved understanding of your business model and the ideas that make it up. By contrast, a sea of blue Tokens just means your team isn’t really feeling it, and a sea of green could potentially mean that your team lacks a culture that encourages healthy disagreement.
To Be Continued
Once everyone’s made their voice heard and the owner of the Sprint clicks on that checkmark to the side, the Sprint is considered thoroughly done. Congratulations are in order, because you and your team will have completed your first Sprint! Now you’re presented with a special opportunity to keep going.
Here’s the thing, this Sprint is over. It’s done. You can’t set the date that it expired to one week or one year from the present. It’s too late for that. You can, however, create a new Sprint that copies a lot of things from the Sprint you just finished. Namely, it’ll have the same Forms and Goals as the old one. It won’t have all the old posts from the feed, but that’s probably a good thing since you wouldn’t want this new one to get too cluttered.
You can use this opportunity to go answer the same question as the old one all over again, to try again and resolve certain things that remained uncertain. Or, you can ask a new question that continues from where the old one left off. You could also elect to not continue this Sprint and wait a while. The choice is yours.
What’s Next: The Journal
The Sprint is done, but it is not forgotten. Old Sprints don’t vanish into nothingness when they’re done. Instead, they go to a place called the Journal. Speaking bluntly, the Journal is just a glorified archive, but we wanted to name it as such to capture an idea we consider important inside Business Toybox, which is the idea of gradual progression. You and your team are getting better at this act of building better business models, and the Journal is designed to reflect on that idea.
Next time, we’ll talk in greater detail about the Journal and what you can find there. Until then, keep up the good fight.