Because you will need the sprint team to work as effectively as possible during the sprint time, careful preparation will ensure that they are able to use the limited time most effectively. Below are some strategies and approaches for helping your team to prepare for the event.
Communicate the goal
What content knowledge will all members of the team need in order to participate successfully in the sprint? For the content creators, they will typically come with an extensive understanding of the subject area they will be developing content for. However, there may be different perspectives, approaches, or ideas about the subject area. Establishing a clear goal and vision for the development of the resource is part of preparing the content creators for the sprint. This may require meetings before the sprint to discuss these perspectives and approaches. For example, during the open case study sprint at the University of British Columbia (UBC), the content creators had differing views on what a case study entailed, depending on their individual disciplines. The organizers needed to arrange pre-sprint workshops to determine the elements involved in a case study.
Prepare open resources
As described in the section on roles, the librarian can gather open resources that can be adapted and revised for the sprint and reference materials related to the content area for citing and referring to during the sprint. If the sprint is focused on developing an open resource, it is valuable to find open resources such as images, videos, media, documents, and open courses that can be adopted, adapted, and revised during the sprint. Ideally, create a list of resources that can be used within the resource or text before the sprint. Work with your librarian to consider the licensing requirements for the resources that you use in the open resource.
The following platforms and search engines are useful to find open resources:
- Creative Commons Search. A search tool that aggregates open content from publicly available repositories of open content.
- Wikimedia Commons. A collection of millions of freely usable media files. This is an excellent resource for technical or discipline-specific media and resources.
- The Noun Project. A collection of openly licensed icons that can be used for resource navigation.
- UBC Open Education Research Guide. The UBC LibGuide for finding and using open resources.
Provide technology training
Depending on the software/platform that you select, you may need to provide training for your team before the sprint begins. This could involve a workshop or supplying your team with documentation. You will want to ensure that you have supported your team in learning about the technology or have the creators work with technology that they are comfortable with.
Communicate the process
Before the sprint, you need to let everyone who is participating in the sprint know what to expect. This will ensure that each member of the sprint team has blocked off adequate time to actively participate in the sprint. The team must also understand that they will need to clear their schedule so that they are not trying to complete other work during the sprint time. Presence is essential to running an effective sprint, and the team needs to understand what this entails.
It is also useful at this time to provide the team with a simple agenda for the sprint and make them aware that the session will involve a combination of brainstorming, intensive writing, and giving and receiving feedback. Consider providing the sprint team with the following information well in advance of the actual sprint.
Ensure that your sprint team knows the following information:
- The dates and duration of the sprint
- The location of the sprint and any travel requirements
- The importance of participants being present and actively participating in the sprint
- Description of the catering provided or the options for meals, coffee, etc.
- Technology requirements (i.e., will they need to bring a computer or download a specific program?)
- Where to find resources for using the relevant programs/software
- A description of the sprint team (i.e., what support can they expect during the sprint? Instructional design, library, technical support?)
- A link to key resources that can help them to prepare for the sprint
- A reminder of the overall goal for the sprint and what you expect to complete by the end it
- A rough agenda for the sprint