How is a sprint different from a typical project?

Customer problem


Great problem statements open up new possibilities (what and why) without specifying how, so teams have room to pivot

Questions


New business ventures face
many uncertainties

Sprints spell them out as assumptions, then design tests to validate those assumptions

The unit of progress in a sprint
is validated (or invalidated) assumptions

Tight resources


Guardrails – Time is the most crucial guardrail, but there can be others
Finish line – Concrete success threshold (i.e., exit criteria)
Cliff – Zero-based budgeting going forward (if it wishes to proceed, it needs to attract new funding)

Small team


Sprint teams can be as few as two people, rarely bigger than seven

 

When you have the elements above, we call that a venture.* A venture makes progress using sprints, to test assumptions and determine whether they are investment-worthy for a subsequent phase.