How many times have you participated in a group brainstorming session that resulted in promising ideas that never got executed? Have you ever spent a lot of time and resources on developing what seemed to be a great solution, only to realize that there is no need for it on the market? Or maybe faced difficulties in deciding which project to invest in?
Solving the business challenge can be quite a journey. It can take months, a lot of resources and end up demotivating teams along the way. But it does not have to follow that pattern.
Did you know that Lego, McKinsey, Slack and other innovative companies have found a more effective way of answering critical business questions that can compress the months of work into just five days?
It is called a Design Sprint.
These days everyone talks about running design sprints. The LinkedIn newsfeed is full of people posting their certificates, and sprint success stories about how this process helped their companies lower the risks, save the resources and land many successful projects. Industry leaders from all over the globe run design sprints to accelerate their decision-making, and idea validation and discover new insights that will help them choose which direction to go. Wow.
Now that we have sparked your curiosity, let us bring the sprints closer to you.
What is the design sprint?
The sprint is a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping and testing ideas with customers. It’s a “greatest hits” of business strategy, innovation, behavior science, design thinking, and more—packaged into a battle-tested process that any team can use.
The process was crafted by designer Jake Knapp and shaped to perfection through collaboration with a few of his colleagues from Google Ventures. The famous blue-yellow book was published in 2016, taking the world of business, technology, and design by storm.
The main idea behind the sprint is to test the assumptions early and validate ideas through prototyping and customer feedback – fast and without spending a lot of resources. It is human-driven so that on the last day of the sprint you get to test your idea with real people, the target users, and get the insightful feedback that will help you make an informed business decision.
Initially run for product development, today the design sprints can be tailored and used for diverse purposes – from developing the products and services to concepts and strategies.
We ran the sprint to define and validate the mindsetters positioning strategy. Along the way, it taught us how to escape the trap of falling into never-ending brainstorming sessions, focus, and bridge the gap between idea generation and execution.
Why do we love design sprints?
In the winter of 2019, Jovana got the opportunity to live, work and play in Norway. Working as a junior consultant intern at the Innovation Hub in one of Nordic’s biggest IT companies, she was introduced to design sprints while working on developing the Blockchain and identity use case. Jovana facilitated the sprints within her team and witnessed how it can accelerate the innovation process first-hand. That is what sparked our curiosity and led to further exploring the world of sprints.
Upon embarking on our mindsetters journey we faced a big challenge and in order to solve it quickly, we decided to run a design sprint. This intense five-day challenge solving process pushed us out from our comfort zone and launched to the place where focus and creativity collide. It resulted in making an important decision about positioning ourselves on the market and paved our entrepreneurial path.
Why you should give it a try it, too?
Across the globe, design sprints are run to quickly discover if the idea, business solution or a feature is worth developing and investing the resources in. This process helped us enhance our productivity, alleviate the risk of making beginners’ mistakes and kickstart our business. We have experienced the power of design sprints first-hand and now we want to spread the word and let others experience it, too.
Curious to learn how Industry leaders across the globe use the design sprints to accelerate their innovation process? Keep an eye on our website, and be among the first ones to read more about it in one of our next blog posts.