Skill Sprint

Learn by doing

Retool your team

Get to grips with new technology in a week.

Invest in people

Everything we do accelerates professional development.

Evolve the business

Real change delivered by your staff with our guidance.

A Skill Sprint is an intense methodology for retooling and retraining technical teams with a target technology. During the week-long session the participants adapt a solution based on a simplified pattern that we provide.

By the end of the week, the business has a working implementation of the target technology and the in-house knowledge to move forward.

Investing in employees & technology: the chicken and egg problem

Maintaining and developing talent is one of the most difficult aspects of technology: developers rarely have good career development options beyond looking for a new job. Retooling or repurposing people for new technologies often leads companies to be ensnared in a Gordian knot. Target technologies must already exist in the business for people to be able to learn them.

Prior to investing in new technologies, we need employees with expert knowledge of the business and the target technology to guide that investment. Relying on external consultants or new hires to support technology investments results in unquantifiable risk as they have no context of the business.

Knowledge of the business environment is much harder to acquire than knowledge of technology. We can, however, quickly and efficiently up-skill people with technology. By blending elements of consultancy, on-the-job training and Agile, Skill Sprints are designed to make this process fast and predictable.

Skill Sprint Principles

Compact


Short and intense. Normally executed within a week Skill Sprints keep the scope manageable, well defined and to the point.

Participant owned


The expert may not have a direct hand in the implementation. The output of a Skill Sprints must be delivered by the participants themselves.

Deliverable


Deliver something useful. A process automated, redeveloped or transformed. A direct, measurable ROI must be realised.

Educational


On-the-job Training. Technology topics are particularly tricky to learn, requiring a special hands-on approach., implementing our designs into their environment.

Intimate


Small number of participants. Each participant receives quality instruction and has a direct hand in the outcome.

Standardized


Tried and tested solution. Skill Sprints deliver a standardized solution based on best practices for the target technology.

Customizable


Tailored implementation. Participants are supported and encouraged to adapt our standard solution to their environment.

Transformational


Participants drive the transformation under the guidance of a subject expert.

Independent


No dependencies. Skill Sprints leave the customer in a sustainable position. Able to independently drive things forward.

Skills Sprints: Re-engineering technology education, consulting and investment

Skill Sprints overcome the abstract and virtual nature of training with a learn-by-doing method. Learning, designing and executing in a safe and supportive environment, participants bond together.

Liminality is the transitional phase experienced by a person during a rite of passage; a process of leaving behind an old identity, and becoming something new. Skill Sprints engineer the environment, ensuring that critical success factors are in place. Within this controlled environment participants are brought through the threshold of a liminal experience as they are able to truly enjoy the fruits of their labor.

As they are given the trust and resources to get the job done, they take agency and responsibility, and their skills are developed. Placing people at the core of the transformation process, Skill Sprints ensure the delivery of a real project and therefore fully realize an investment in knowledge.

Skill Sprint Steps
0. The Skill Sprint leader

The Leader of a Skill Sprint is an expert in the target technology with a deep understanding of the caveats and special cases. The Leader does not have direct hand in the delivery in the implementation.
1. Define the output

Define the first implementation of the technology. It is important that something actually changes for the Skill Sprint to be successful. There are no "Proof Of Concepts" - real things have to change.
2. Assemble the team

Two or three permanent members of staff are committed to the Skill Sprint. Excused from their work for the duration of the sprint, These members of staff will do all of the work required to deliver the output.
3. Plan to expose risks

New technologies have to be integrated with existing process and technology. With two or three contexting calls the leader will help team to refine the scope, expose risks, uncertainties and possible sticking points.
4. Just do it

Removed from interruptions - email, slack and other nuisances the team delivers the implementation. The Leader guides the process, keeping the team back on-course and focussed on the end goal.