Clear your calendar for the next week from 10am to 4pm we are running suicides in the conference room.  Anyone that has heard a coach or gym teacher shout out “We’re running suicides” stomach’s would drop if their boss sent out that email.  Lucky you will be running sprints figuratively not literally.  A sprint is a popular construct in agile program methodology in which a team is formed with a deadline to rush towards and little else to devote energy to.

While it may seem like an intense proposition the concept fits neatly into a 40-hour schedule leaving plenty of time to spend time with family and keep up on regular communications.  Most folks have already become aware of agile if not influenced by its processes.  A concept that first allowed software engineers to make adjustments quickly and customer feedback with little red tape has been creeping into almost every function.

When presented with big problems or launching a new strategy, getting your team in the same room and/or working on the same project without distraction will allow everyone to get on the same page and move forward with as little doubt and change resistance as possible.

The ideas that have been floating around in your head as you’ve gone to sleep will also solidify as feedback, and quick adjustments can be made to your abstracts.  This process creates sound planning and decision making that has already been tested thoroughly.  

By setting the deadline in days and setting hours to work exclusively on the project you are cutting the fat that would otherwise interrupt and bog down the process.  Deadlines are most intense if well defined and constantly visible.  Similar to the energy you once felt on campus during finals week instead of the deliverables due through your normal grind.

Setting a strong trajectory for your team will allow them to keep the momentum up.  You have built consensus and motivated employees by including them in the decision-making and planning tree.  That momentum, like in most endeavours, will roll on and build on itself with each win your team achieves.

These interval based sprints will create focus and keep you moving in the right direction.  The cohesiveness of your team will reach new levels and your products and planning will be able to adapt more quickly to changing environments.  The question is can you afford not to sprint on key strategic objectives?