SprintChallenge In , a clarinet player named James Freeman quit his job as a professional musician and founded a coffee cart James was obsessed with freshly roasted coffee In those days in the San Francisco area, it was nearly impossible to find coffee beans with a roast date printed on the bag So James decided to do it himself He carefully roasted beans in a potting shed at home, then drove to farmers markets in Berkeley and Oakland, California, where he brewed and sold coffee by the cup His manner was polite and accommodating, and the coffee was delicious Soon James and his cart, called Blue Bottle Coffee, developed a following In , he established a permanent Blue Bottle location in a friends San Francisco garage Over the next few years, as the business grew, he slowly openedcafs By , Blue Bottle had locations in San Francisco, Oakland, Manhattan, and Brooklyn It was a business that many would have considered perfect The coffee was ranked among the best nationwide The baristas were friendly and knowledgeable Even the interior design of the cafs was perfect wooden shelves, tasteful ceramic tiles, and an understated logo in the perfect shade of sky blue But James didnt consider the business perfect, or complete He was still just as passionate about coffee and hospitality, and he wanted to bring the Blue Bottle experience to evencoffee lovers He wanted to opencafs He wanted to deliver freshly roasted coffee to peoples homes, even if they didnt live anywhere near a Blue Bottle location If that coffee cart had been Sputnik, the next phase would belike a moon shot So in October , Blue Bottle Coffee raisedmillion from a group of Silicon Valley investors, including GV James had many plans for that money, but one of the most obvious was building a better online store for selling fresh coffee beans But Blue Bottle wasnt a tech company and James was no expert at online retail How could he translate the magic of his cafs to smartphones and laptops Several weeks later, on a bright December afternoon, Braden Kowitz and John Zeratsky met up with James They sat around a counter, drank coffee, and discussed the challenge The online store was important to the company It would take time and money to get it right, and it was difficult to know where to start In other words, it sounded like a perfect candidate for a sprint James agreed They talked about who should be in the sprint An obvious choice was the programmer who would be responsible for building Blue Bottles online store But James also included Blue Bottles chief operating officer, chief finance officer, and communications manager He included the customer service lead who handled questions and complaints He even included the companys executive chairman Bryan Meehan, a retail expert who started a chain of organic grocery stores in the UK And, of course, James himself would be in the room The online store was essentially a software projectsomething our team at GV was very familiar with But this group looked almost nothing like a traditional software team These were busy people, who would be missing a full week of important work Would the sprint be worth their time On Monday morning of our sprint week, the Blue Bottle team gathered in a conference room at GVs office in San Francisco We made a diagram on the whiteboard showing how coffee buyers might move through the online store The Blue Bottle team targeted a new customer purchasing coffee beans James wanted to focus the sprint on this scenario because it was so difficult If they could establish credibility and create a great experience for someone who had never heard of Blue Bottle, let alone visited their cafs or tasted their coffee, then every other situation should be easy by comparison We ran into a big question How should we organize the coffee The shopper in this scenario would be choosing between a dozen or so varieties of bean, each in a nearly identical bag Andunlike in Blue Bottles cafsthere would be no barista there to help choose At first, the answer seemed obvious From boutique coffee roasters to mainstream giants like Starbucks, retailers tend to organize coffee by the geographic region where it was grown Africa, Latin America, the Pacific Honduran coffee vs Ethiopian coffee It would be logical for Blue Bottle to categorize their beans the same way I have to admit something, Braden announced Everyone turned Im into coffee, okay I have a scale at home and everything Electronic scales are the hallmark of a true coffee freak Owning a scale meant Braden weighed the water and coffee beans so that he could experiment and adjust ratios as he brewed Were talking science here Coffee scales are accurate to a fraction of a gram Braden smiled and held his hands palm up I dont know what the regions mean There was silence We avoided looking at James After all, Bradens brave admission might be seen as heresy Thats okay, said James The floodgate opened John and Jake didnt know the difference between coffee regions, and neither did Daniel Burka We drank coffee together constantly, but none of us had ever admitted to our lack of sophistication Then Serah Giarusso, Blue Bottles customer service lead, snapped her fingers What do we do in the cafs she asked After all, she went on, The Braden Situation must happen to baristas all the time a customer comes in for coffee beans, but isnt sure which kind to buy James is a slow and thoughtful speaker He paused for a moment before he answered The brew method is very important, he said So we train the baristas to ask the customer a simple question How do you make coffee at home James explained that, depending on whether the customer used a Chemex, or a French press, or a Mr Coffee, or whatever, the baristas could recommend a bean to match How do you make coffee at home Braden repeated Everyone jotted notes James had started the sprint by explaining his vision that the online store should match the hospitality of the cafs It felt as if we were onto something The team spent the following day sketching ideas for the store On Wednesday morning we had fifteen different solutions Thats too many to test with customers, so the team voted on their favorites as a way to narrow it down Then James, the decision maker, made the final pick of three sketches to test The first sketch showed a literal approach to making the website match the cafs It looked like the inside of a Blue Bottle caf, complete with wooden shelves The second sketch included lots of text, to mirror the conversations baristas often have with customers Finally, James chose a third sketch that organized coffee by brew method, bringing the How do you make coffee at home question right onto the computer screen James had chosen three competing ideas So which one should we prototype and test The idea of a website that looked like the caf was the most appealing Blue Bottles aesthetic is celebrated, and a matching website would look different from anything else in the market We had to try that idea, and it wasnt compatible with the other solutions But those other solutions were also really intriguing We couldnt quite decide So we decided to prototype all three After all, we didnt need a functioning website To appear real in our test, each fake online store only required a few key screens Working together with the Blue Bottle team, we used Keynote presentation software to make a series of slides that looked like three real websites With a little ingenuity, and without any computer programming at all, we stitched those screens into a prototype that our test customers could use On Friday, the team watched the customer interviews One at a time, coffee drinkers shopped on several websites, with Blue Bottles three prototypes slipped in among the competitors To avoid tipping off the customers, we gave each prototype a fake name Patterns emerged The store with wooden shelves, which everyone had such high hopes for We thought the prototype was beautiful, but customers said it was cheesy and not trustworthy But the other two prototypes fared far better The How do you make coffee at home design worked seamlessly And the lots of text design shocked us People actually read all those words, and the extra information brought Blue Bottles voice and expertise to life As one customer said, These guys know coffee James and the Blue Bottle team built confidence with their sprint They were much closer to defining how their online store would work Whats , theyd done it in a way that felt true to their principles of hospitality They believed the online store could be an authentic Blue Bottle experience A few months later, Blue Bottle launched their new website, and their online sales growth doubled The next year, they acquired a coffee subscription company With a bigger team and new technology, they expanded the web store and began experimenting with new offerings They knew it would take years to get the online store rightbut in the sprint, they started on their path The bigger the challenge, the better the sprint If youre starting a project that will take months or yearslike Blue Bottle and their new online storea sprint makes an excellent kickoff But sprints arent only for long term projects Here are three challenging situations where sprints can help High Stakes Like Blue Bottle Coffee, youre facing a big problem and the solution will require a lot of time and money Its as if youre the captain of a ship A sprint is your chance to check the navigation charts and steer in the right direction before going full steam ahead Not Enough Time Youre up against a deadline, like Savioke rushing to get their robot ready for the hotel pilot You need good solutions, fast As the name suggests, a sprint is built for speed Just Plain Stuck Some important projects are hard to start Others lose momentum along the way In these situations, a sprint can be a booster rocket a fresh approach to problem solving that helps you escape gravitys clutches When we talk to startups about sprints, we encourage them to go after their most important problem Running a sprint requires a lot of energy and focus Dont go for the small win, or the nice to have project, because people wont bring their best efforts They probably wont even clear their schedules in the first place So how big is too big Sure, sprints work great for websites and other software challenges But what about really large, complicated problems Not long ago, Jake visited his friend David Lowe, a vice president of a company called Graco that manufactures pumps and sprayers Graco is not a small startup Theyre a multinational company who have been in business forthan ninety years The company was developing a new kind of industrial pumpa machine used in assembly lines David, the VP, wondered if a sprint might help lower the risk of the project After all, it would take eighteen months and millions of dollars to design and manufacture the new pump How could he be sure they were on the right track Jake doesnt know anything about industrial assembly lines, but out of curiosity, he joined a meeting with the engineering team Ill be honest, Jake said An industrial pump sounds too complicated to prototype and test in a week But the team wouldnt give up so easily If limited to just five days, they could prototype a brochure for the pumps new features and try it in sales visits That kind of test could answer questions about marketability But what about the pump itself The engineers had ideas for that, too To test ease of use, they could D print new nozzles and attach them to existing pumps To test installation, they could bring cables and hoses to nearby manufacturing plants and get reactions from assembly line workers These tests wouldnt be perfect But they would answer big questions, before the pump even existed Jake was wrong The industrial pump wasnt too complicated for a sprint The team of engineers accepted the five day constraint and used their domain expertise to think creatively They sliced the challenge into important questions, and shortcuts started to appear The lesson No problem is too large for a sprint Yes, this statement sounds absurd, but there are two big reasons why its true First, the sprint forces your team to focus on the most pressing questions Second, the sprint allows you to learn from just the surface of a finished product Blue Bottle could use a slide show to prototype the surface of a websitebefore they built the software and inventory processes to make it really work Graco could use a brochure to prototype the surface of a sales conversationbefore they engineered and built the product they were selling Solve the surface first The surface is important Its where your product or service meets customers Human beings are complex and fickle, so its impossible to predict how theyll react to a brand new solution When our new ideas fail, its usually because we were overconfident about how well customers would understand and how much they would care Get that surface right, and you can work backward to figure out the underlying systems or technology Focusing on the surface allows you to move fast and answer big questions before you commit to execution, which is why any challenge, no matter how large, can benefit from a sprint Ce texte fait r f rence une dition puis e ou non disponible de ce titre Sprint offers a transformative formula for testing ideas that works whther you re at a startup or a large organization Within five days, you ll move from idea to prototype to decision, saving you and your team countless hours and countless dollars A must read for entrepreneurs of all stripes Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup Read this book and do what it says if you want to build better products faster Ev Williams, founder of Medium, Twitter and Blogger Sprint offers powerful methods for hatching ideas, solving problems, testing solutions and finding the habits that make all the right behaviours fall in to place Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit Every business leader I know worries about the same thing are we moving fast enough The genius of Jake Knapp s Sprint is its step by step breakdown of what it takes to solve big problems and do work that matters with speed and urgency A Sprint is a cure for what ails companies in an ever faster world Beth Comstock, Vice Chair of GE Sprint teaches you a novel process for solving really thorny problems in justdays It s full of helpful, entertaining stories that will make it easier for you to succeed What , exactly, would you demand from a book I wish all business books were this useful Dan Heath, co author of The Power of Moments, Made to Stick, Switch, and Decisive To quote one of my colleagues, Don t get ready, get started Through hard won experience Jake Knapp and the team at Google Ventures have refined an efficient, hands on approach to solving your product, service and experience design challenges Try the book and try a Sprint Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO and author of Change by Design