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Why walk when you can sprint?

Why walk when you can sprint?

Nicola Hopes

1 August 2023

Hopefully you’ve had or you’re planning a proper summer break this year. Whether you’re staying within the beautiful UK, heading up a distant mountain or making a bee line for an idyllic beach – you need it.

Let’s face it, you’re a bit knackered. A bit weary. And a bit in need of inspiration. It’s been an uncertain 6 months and your brain’s had enough.

But that holiday can inspire you well beyond the relax, recharge, and re-energise that I hope it brings you.

The holiday process can help you crank up the pace on a key project too.

Let me explain…

If you’re taking 2 weeks out of the office, I’m guessing that you’ve:

·      sent apologies or a deputy to the key operational boards,

·      cancelled all the non-urgent meetings from your diary,

·      delegated what others can pick up for you,

·      ‘holiday hustled’ your way through your inbox and your ‘to-do’ list.

And you’ve created 2 weeks of blissful white space in the diary.

So, my question to you is… if you can do that now for some much-needed downtime, why can’t you do it in the future to create space for a key project?

I talk to many clients about creating the capacity to drive change. Often an hour here or there doesn’t cut it when you really need to get an outcome nailed. Focussed time is the way to really push through and make progress.

So why not create some?

Sprint to the finish

You’re probably familiar with the agile concept of the ‘sprint’. They are bursts of development activity defined like this:

A sprint is a short, time-boxed period when a scrum team works to complete a set amount of work.

The sprint is a very powerful tool in development and the way many technology-based projects now get delivered.

But how about applying this concept to non-technology change?

A change to the way a team operate. Designing a new service for your clients or customers. Revising a key process. Overhauling governance and decision-making. Designing an improved customer journey.

Agree a fixed deadline. Agree your desired goal. Free up the key experts’ time. Empower them to make decisions. Let them at it!

Then plan when you can do it with the next deliverable. Rinse and repeat.

And the evidence? I’ve had clients say that projects which would have taken months get done in weeks. Because instead of a few hours on the side of a desk and a monthly Steering Group meeting – you have focussed time, speedy decisions and creative energy.

And because the experts aren’t distracted or harassed with a million other things, the outcomes are often better quality too.

It also creates a reason for the team to be in the office to collaborate more easily. Which creates a buzz of excitement for the change that’s coming.

Win – win!

So, get your sprint on and see how far you can get with some dedicated time. And mine’s a glass of fizz at the project party!

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