Design Sprints

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Solve big problems with prototypes of solutions that can be tested and refined, fast.

Design sprints are an approach that allows teams to collectively swarm on a business opportunity or problem and prototype a solution, test, and iterate in a short space of time. Design sprints are useful when you have big value-based questions that need answers. The design sprint was developed at Google Ventures (GV) and arise from a combination of methods including Lean Start-up, design thinking, and systems thinking. 

Design Sprints typically run for four – five days, bringing together a small cross-functional team to test ideas with customers. 

  1. First, the team sets a long term goal, maps out the challenge and brings in experts for knowledge share, before the coming back together to frame the opportunity statement, typically turning the problem language as a ‘how might we…’  
  2. Next, the team shifts into the solution phase looking for inspiration before embarking on a sketching process to come up with a range of ideas.
  3. The team then critiques each solution before collectively deciding on which ones are the best, integrating these elements into a storyboard that lays the foundation for the prototype 
  4. The prototype is then developed which is the minimum, testable version of the solution that can be sense-checked with customers.
  5. Finally, we interview and observe customers using the protype to gain valuable feedback and insight that can lay the foundations for the path forward: whether the concept is further iterated upon or moves into delivery.

Key benefits of design sprints are: 

  1. Rapidly adapt to changing market and working conditions by creating a minimum viable product within a week 
  2. Enhance speed to market by rapidly testing and validating concepts in the sprint to take forward for implementation where successful leveraging agile delivery 
  3. Uplift customer satisfaction though customer focused approach including testing with customers for feedback 
  4. Team building and alignment through a cross-functional team coming together to swarm on the opportunity 
  5. Reduce the cost and risk of failure by rapid test and learn