B L O G
Why Your Company Needs a Design Sprint
If it works for Google, it will probably work for your firm, too :)
There's that problem. You know, the one that's so big no one knows where to begin.
Or that bottleneck where all projects go to die (or are d-e-l-a-y-e-d).
Or the new product that you *think* might be good, but you're not sure if the demand will really be there, and no one wants to pull the trigger.
A 'possible opportunity'. An internal process that needs to be fixed.
As per usual, a meeting is scheduled.
Certain people are there, there's some brainstorming, discussion of options (many of them good), and after a while everyone agrees to meet again next week so Marilyn can be there.
Then next week comes, Marilyn is included, and after talking a while, the group decides we 'need more research'.
A couple of people are put in charge of 'doing more research', next Tuesday comes, but you can't meet because Ted is out of the office that day.
The following Tuesday, Ted's back in the office, but you're getting so close to the next Board Meeting/Trade Event that everyone needs to focus on getting ready for that—and 'The Problem' gets put on the back burner for a while.
And then it's July. People are on vacation, so no meetings.
Then it's the middle of October, and everyone needs to get end-of-year budgets and paperwork together, there's another trade event or product launch, and 'The Problem' languishes on the back burner.
It's just the nature of things. But it doesn't have to be.
Many firms have adopted Agile and other work processes to avoid the more typical waterfall process, and move projects forward with more momentum.
And those processes work in a lot of scenarios.
But when your team needs to:
- Breakthrough an internal bottleneck
- Make a decision already about whether to launch that new product
- Generate more customer engagement
- Deal with a 'messy' problem that no one wants to deal with
- Or a expensive problem
- Something that impacts several departments
- Or a decision that will cost the company a lot if you get it wrong…
A Design Sprint can help you break through that. Watch: When should you do a Design Sprint?
Design Sprints bring a small number of key stakeholders together for a set of facilitated, structured activities—and together, you can actually make that decision, prioritize possible solutions, build a prototype that actual real users can interact with—and get feedback/validation (or not, which also saves your company wasted time and money also).
All within a week.
Design Sprints were developed by Jake Knapp when he worked at Google, and they still use them there today. So does Cisco, most of Silicon Valley, Lego, and more and more Fortune 500 companies.
Any organization can benefit from a Sprint.
There's no more endless discussion, countless meetings, brainstorming that generates some good ideas none of which gets implemented.
Design Sprints aren't for small tweaks or 'nice to have' decisions. They're best used for the really expensive, or high impact, 'stuck' parts, problems that need to be blasted through.
Email me if you'd like to learn about whether a four-day Design Sprint (2.0) would be good for your situation—or if you'd like to learn about the one-hour 'Lightning Decision Jam' that will give you and your team a taste of the power of what a Sprint can do.
Read Jake Knapp's original book about Design Sprints here.
Lightning Decision Jam!
- Up to 8 people (across teams ideally)
- One (broad topic) problem*
- One hour (or less)
[Oh, and a whiteboard. And l-o-t-s of post-its.]
Result? Team comaraderie, collecting good ideas, targeting one, prioritizing (voting) on possible solutions. Identifying next actionable steps (that can be done within 14 days). #FeelingMomentum
* Challenges to tackle might be ideas for: the next sales push, keeping up with new competitors, improving your office space (or an internal process), improving conversion rates from your website, etc.