The information on this page was created in response to questions asked by previous participants in the Sprints. Information here includes format of the calls, using Zoom, signing up and scheduling. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help.
Q: I RSVPd. How will you pick who is in the Sprint?
A: Participants are chosen randomly, with priority given to Passport holders.
Q: I have never used Zoom before. What do I need to know?
A: More details on installing and using Zoom can be found at https://zoom.us/ – From there as of this writing you should visit Resources in the upper right, and select Download Zoom Client. There is no need to pay for Zoom. The organizer will create calendar invitations that will contain the Zoom link in the notes field of the invitation. When it is time for a call, clicking on this link will launch the Zoom client and connect you to the right call.
>> It’s possible to use Zoom to participate in a variety of ways. You can use your phone or computer to participate, with or without video. You can even use a traditional phone number. There is a chat and a screenshare function. It’s ideal if you allow for the highest amount of interactivity during this call. When stating availability for the call, try to aim for times when you can be on a larger screen, with internet, and sharing video or screenshare. Scheduling can be challenging so if the only way you can make a call is voice only, please do still participate as best you can.
Q: I expect I will have a busy month. Should I still sign up?
A: The time commitment is 1 hour for each of the 6 calls, plus 1 hour outside of call time to answer feedback requests from others.
>> You may have that 2 hours per week free, but if your schedule is back-to-back and those hours are not very flexible, you might want to pick a different month and here is why. For every call, we propose a few times over a Doodle poll. You will respond via Doodle if you can or can’t make these times. Sometimes there is a winning day and time that works for everyone and is recurring for all 6 weeks. Sometimes we have to do a poll for each week, occasionally twice. If it gets down to that level of detail, that is where flexibility in your schedule matters and you might wish you had more. It’s no big deal for us, but you yourself might tire of answering so many polls.
>> After a winning time is decided, you’ll receive a calendar invitation which you should also accept. That calendar invitation also contains the Zoom contact information in the notes section.
Q: What if I can’t make a particular week’s call?
A: There is definitely the expectation that conflicts will come up. Even if a conflict comes up for one person, we will move the call so everyone can make it. If we have 24 hours notice, please inform the organizer over email. If we have less than 24 hours notice, such as your having to not attend the call last minute, we will not do any rescheduling and will hold the call without you, of course talking about you the entire time (kidding!)
Q: I wanted to get a bunch of things done that I said I would get done, but that didn’t happen. Should I still attend? What if I don’t have anything to share on a particular week?
A: The value of these calls is the diverse set of people, backgrounds, and opinions that you can tap into for feedback or just camaraderie. You can provide these things even if you happen to be empty handed on a particular week. You’re signing up for this Sprint because you want to get something done and are probably a go-getter already. Everyone needs to learn how to sometimes set that aside and be there for others. We can all learn from your example. Please attend even if empty handed.
Q: What about confidentiality? Can people sign NDAs?
A: This is an evolving area for the Sprint calls. It’s easy enough to ask people on the honor system to not share info outside the group. That request is easy enough to grant. Yet we don’t want to put a binding, NDA requirement as a gateway requirement for having people participate in the group. Your best choice is to expect people to do the right thing, but be prepared if something accidentally slips out.
>> Zoom claims their calls are secure. Most major email providers do not make the same claim.
Q: Are calls recorded?
A: Call recordings can be a great way of capturing thoughts such as elevator pitches, or key feedback. They are useful as an accessibility feature. They also allow greater participation in the face to face aspect of the calls, because it lowers the need to take notes. With all those benefits, it is still not an easy choice for the groups to make. The May group has chosen to record conversations on the organizer’s machine, locally, and available by request. Then these recordings will be deleted during or after the Graduation call. A new change we’ll make for June is to record and keep the Graduation call, as a way of sharing our accomplishments with future Sprinters and also preserving feedback about the Sprint itself. Let’s assume June and later groups will do both of these things, but please speak up if this is a concern.
Q: Can you raise your hand more than once?
A: Yes! If you have previously participated in a Sprint, you can participate again. You do need to RSVP each time, after the email comes out, typically the 3rd Monday of the month.