No Device Rule
Quoted from Jake Knapp
's Books: “Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days.”
The no-device rule
In a sprint, time is precious, and we can’t afford distractions in the room. So we have a simple rule: No laptops, phones, or iPads allowed. No virtual-reality headsets. If you’re reading this book in the future, no holograms. If you’re reading it in the past, no Game Boys.
These devices can suck the momentum out of a sprint. If you’re looking at a screen, you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in the room, so you won’t be able to help the team. What’s worse, you’re unconsciously saying, “This work isn’t interesting.”
Going without devices can be uncomfortable at first, but it’s freeing. And don’t worry. You won’t be completely cut off. To make sure nobody misses anything important, there are two exceptions to the no-device rule:
- It’s okay to check your device during a break.
- It’s okay to leave the room to check your device. At any time. No judgment. Take a call, check an email, tweet a Tweet, whatever—just take it outside.
We also use devices for some specific purposes: when we need to show something to the whole team, and on Thursday for prototyping. See, we’re not so mean.
Let people know ahead of time that the sprint will be device-free, and also let them know that they can step out of the room at any time. That escape hatch allows busy people to participate in the sprint without losing track of their regular jobs. The combination of a clear schedule and no devices gives your team a huge supply of raw attention.