Everyone has an obsession in life, and one of mine is my health. Sure, I like to focus on my health to have a better life, but it’s driven more by my desire to look good. I admit that I suffer from vanity.
I began my health journey in 2012 after realizing I had gained sixty pounds of fat and was pretty miserable. I have tried all kinds of fad diets, eating styles, and workout styles. Part of my research led me to High-Intensity Interval Training as a way to drop fat quicker. I was more interested in the promise to lose fat than I was in the workout. One of the workouts I tried included the use of sprints during runs. The idea was to alternate sprinting and walking during a set time to increase the bursts’ heart rate. The first time I tried it, I wouldn’t say I liked it, but it was better than spending forty-five minutes on a treadmill going nowhere.
Doing the HIIT training for thirty days was probably the most miserable health decision I made, but the results were incredible. I dropped ten pounds and experienced increased focus and determination. Of course, the nerd in me wondered whether this was a fluke or if there was actual science behind it.
The National Council on Strength and Fitness released an article encouraging trainers to consider sprint training to help clients meet their goals. It goes on to say that studies on sprinters showed less muscle decline than those athletes who only did the traditional form of working out, resistance training. During sprint training, the heart works very hard to meet the exercise’s success’s energy demands. By utilizing short duration, sprint-type activities, the strength of the heart will improve. At the muscular level, most individuals will not experience the same adaptations generally associated with aerobic training. The studies quoted showed more calories are burned during sprint training than anaerobic exercise.
One thing I found that helped me push through HIIT was the duration. Unlike trying to convince me to stay on a treadmill for forty-five minutes or run four miles, the HIIT routines were short but intense. I could mentally break the thirty-minute habit into, “OK, I’m going to do this exercise for the next five minutes.”
For me, it was easier to get through those sprints than it was being bored with traditional cardio. I could do a burst of speed and then slow the pace to catch my breath and lower my heart rate. The HIIT workout’s cyclical nature allowed me to think during those times and evaluate how I performed in the last exercise.
The Sprint in Recruiting
A sprint is defined as a short, time-boxed period when a scrum team works to complete a set amount of work. Sprints are at the very heart of scrum and Agile methodologies, and getting sprints right will help your Agile team ship better software with fewer headaches.
“With Scrum, a product is built in a series of iterations known as sprints that break down big, complex projects into bite-sized pieces,” said Megan Cook, Group Product Manager for Jira Software at Atlassian.
Agile also uses the pull versus pull methodology to create efficiency. The push/pull terminology is commonly associated with logistics or operations management. Neither process is more right than the other, but we employ the pull method in sprint recruiting.
Sprints allow you and the team to test new ideas or refine processes in a short, measurable period of time. The very heart of the sprint is providing a culture that embraces learning through failure. The sprints help leaders and their teams stop bi-weekly to discuss successes to find ways to scale them for future sprints. It could be a new sourcing tool, a new trick in your applicant tracking system that helped you bank more points.
Regardless of the success, document these successes to implement and continue to evolve. Before Sprint Recruiting, this success sharing was limited. We usually continued doing the same old thing, the same old way, expecting better results week over week. Our Sprint Recruiting method has allowed us to formalize this sharing to maximize our iterative growth every two weeks.
The same is valid for identifying and discussing what went wrong. What are the obstacles? Is it a process or people? How do we overcome or avoid it next sprint? This process helps us not only scale our good but deal with our bad! (Sorry for the Facts of Life allusion!)
One of my clients recently tested a new idea during their sprint. It was iffy as to whether the new tactic would drive more efficiency so the team, including me, was a little apprehensive on potential results. During our stand up meetings, we discussed the progress of our pilot. Early on, we noticed there were parts that were working very well and other parts causing more chaos. Rather than waiting until the end of the sprint, we made minor modifications to the model and waited for results.
Leveraging the data from the dashboards we created, we saw a marked increase in a KPI on Day 4. We were on to something. Our debrief with the team gave us the needed feedback to continuing scaling this one aspect of our pilot. By the end of the sprint, we had determine that although not every part of our pilot succeeded, the areas that did almost doubled volume and increased the efficiency in the process.
Sprints are an easy way to iterate to become the organization you envision. Short periods of time with a hyper-focus on what’s working and what isn’t will train your team to constantly look for ways to improve on major KPIs. It’s also a fantastic way to solicit innovative ideas from your team. If you haven’t tried sprinting, you should.
and Sprint Recruiting
I joined the HR industry in 2004 after working as a sales leader in the Financial Services Industry for eight years. After spending his first couple of years in HR trying to fit in, I found my voice. Now I leverage all of the things I once hated about HR to become a consultant and invaluable partner to the businesses I support. I contribute to the HRGazzette and to DataDrivenInvestor on Medium. WARNING: my writing style is raw and in your face, not what you would expect from an HR executive.
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