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The Design Sprint

What is a “Design Sprint?”

The Design Sprint is your “superpower” – You can fast-forward into the future to see your finished product / service and customer / user reactions, before making any expensive commitments.

The Design Sprint is an intensive one-week process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers.

Developed at GV (Google V), it’s a “greatest hits” of business strategy, innovation, behaviour science, design thinking, and more—packaged into a proven process that any team can use.

When to Use a Design Sprint

Design Sprints enable teams to align on a specific problem, generate multiple solutions, create and test prototypes, and get feedback from users in a short period of time.  Design sprints can be conducted for many purposes:

  • Break out of stalled work processes
  • Find a fresh perspective
  • Identify problems in a unique way
  • Rapidly develop solutions
  • Help enter new markets
  • Design new products
  • Develop new features
  • Define marketing strategies
  • And more …

Innovate more Quickly

Design Sprints help organisations innovate more quickly.

The Design Sprint

Working together in a Design Sprint, you shortcut the endless-debate cycle and compress months of time into a single week.  Instead of waiting to launch a minimal product or service to understand if an idea is any good, you’ll get clear data from a realistic prototype.

In a Design Sprint, you take a small team, clear the schedule for a week, and rapidly progress from problem to tested solution using a proven step-by-step approach.  It’s like fast-forwarding into the future so you can see how customers / users react before you invest all the time and expense of building a real product.

The Design Sprint is not just about efficiency. It’s also an excellent way to stop the old defaults of office work and replace them with a smarter, more respectful, and more effective way of solving problems that brings out the best contributions of everyone on the team—including the decision-maker—and helps you spend your time on work that really matters.

How the Design Sprints Works

Before the sprint starts, the problem is defined, stakeholders and subject-matter experts identified, research on the problem is carried out and the logistics of the Design Sprint worked out.

Day 1 of the Design Sprint is about learning more about the problem and creating ideas as to how it can be solved.  Day 2 is about choosing and designing a solution.  In day 3 the team builds a prototype of the solution and Day 4 the solution is tested, documented and approved.  After the sprint a Retrospective is held, insights from the sprint are documents and next steps defined.

And that’s it.  Months of work condensed into one week.

Benefits of the Design Sprint

Design Sprint is a one-week process for rapidly solving big challenges, creating new products, or improving existing ones. It allows for cross-functional teams to work together in short intense bursts and has been found to be the most effective way to achieve results in the shortest possible time.

A Design Sprint will:

  • Reduce time to market, or time to implementation, by quickly testing new ideas and validating assumptions upfront
  • Increase collaboration by breaking down functional silos, reducing handoff delays and getting part-time teams making quick progress
  • Upskill teams in new ways of work resulting in improved performance.

Design Sprints have been used by many organisation to fast-track innovation.  Organisations such as: Google, Slack, Uber, Airbnb, Dropbox, McKinsey, LEGO. And in South Africa: Standard Bank, Telkom, and BCX.

And, now it’s your turn.  To find out more, complete the form below and we will be in touch directly.

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