How to Use Design Sprint to Deliver Innovation

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Solving complex problems efficiently is essential for companies and professionals from all areas of the market.

The design sprint has proven to be one of the best ways to streamline, structure, and collaborate among those involved in the ideation of a project, gaining more and more prominence among companies.

Understanding new methodologies for the development of a project allows a better organization of the deliveries of its stages, making the final result more in line with what is proposed in the planning.

In this article, you will understand how Sprint Design delivers innovation in your team’s work and make clients satisfied.

What is a design sprint?

It is an agile methodology created by Google Ventures to outline and realize ideas and products, including their functionality and implementation needs. The concept is divided into five days of intense work, in which practices from innovation strategies, design thinking, business, and behavior are brought together.

Unlike other methods, sprint design is participatory. Instead of ordering an idea or service from a consultancy, the company’s teams create the product together. Therefore, the availability of teams is essential.

The goal is to compress into one useful week, as best as possible, all the discussions, practices, and content that normal planning of this type requires. So, at the end of the week, you can count on a tested and improved prototype of the product. In short, sprint design allows a company to develop and test its ideas in just 40 hours.

What happens on each of these days?

See below for more details about the methodology days.

Day 1: Understanding and Definitions

On the first day of the sprint design, the goal is to focus on understanding the problem posed by the team members. In this phase, participants share their knowledge of the issue so that everyone can understand where the views are similar and where they differ.

Only after this identification step will the problem be defined, starting the search for solutions.

Day 2: Study of Possibilities

With everything right at the end of the first day, the idea now is to study the possible solutions. This step is different from the familiar brainstorming, as each collaborator will start working alone to develop detailed solutions.

This is an important stage as this is how the best ideas are known and implemented. Not just the ones that are well presented by a member. After that, everyone evaluates the drawings made by the participants.

Day 3: Decision making

With the various solutions in hand, the third day is the time to evaluate and decide which one will be implemented. As with the previous phases, this is a democratic process and encompasses all participants in the sprint design.

Also, after choosing the best solution, you need to design a storyboard — which will act as a guide for prototyping the next day.

Day 4: Prototyping

The penultimate day of the sprint design is on prototyping the chosen solution the day before. Since the product developed here will be tested by real users, the prototype must be as faithful as possible to the desired final version.

In addition, since teams will have only eight hours to develop the idea, it is essential to face this day realistically, understand its importance and produce as much as possible.

The best way to do this is to have synchronized teams and very well-defined actions.

Day 5: Validation

After almost a week of work, on the fifth day, you can validate the idea. For this, you can present the developed product to potential users who, after interacting with the prototype, must deliver detailed feedback.

It is based on the user experience that the team decides whether the implementation of the idea. Thus, it is possible to have a plausible model for the entire team, facilitating development from there.

Why is this important for the innovation process?

The design sprint is an advantageous alternative to allowing the validation of ideas in a short time. It also brings lower costs to the business.

This is an interesting model for startups and start-ups or with ideas that are still a little blurry. Furthermore, it is an alternative to brainstorming, as it has more practical and realistic processes.

Teaming up for future projects will also be facilitated as the sprint design opportunity will show which members are more dedicated or experts in particular areas.

Finally, when talking about innovation, it is common that there is a need to create an MVP. Google’s agile methodology is ideal for this, as it is faster and cheaper.

What are the main advantages of using this strategy?

Relying on the Google design sprint means being able to produce more in less time and being able to visualize the final version of the product in the hands of consumers before making a high investment in the idea.

In addition to providing companies with more innovation power, this methodology brings several advantages for the project and team interaction. Through it, it is possible:

  • avoid discussions that blur the focus and create delays;
  • go from idea to test in a week;
  • reduce the chances of investing in ideas that do not generate a return;
  • better gather and distribute essential information about the idea;
  • feedback from potential users.

Design Thinking combined with Agile Methods

At first, the design sprint is the meeting of the Design Thinking concepts with the Scrum concepts.

To understand its dynamics, it is important, first, to understand how Design Thinking works and how you can apply it as an ideation model.

Most important in this approach are the people, whether they are customers or team members. The idea is to unite multidisciplinary skills around the same goal, through the perception of everyone involved.

Added to this design thinking approach is the concept of agile methods. This method is based on task cycles known as sprints, which optimize results through reviews of an ongoing project. With this way of working, the necessary responses to possible changes during the execution of tasks.

What do companies gain from Design Sprint?

Design Sprint promotes greater collaboration in the company, as it brings together all sectors that participate in the ideation of a project. Also, it centralizes discussions, keeps professionals involved in sync, generates much more agility, and reduces the need for rework.

Today, it is necessary to bet on new forms and construction methods. The Design Sprint proved to be one of the most effective ways in this regard. Companies that innovate have already taken the lead with this new culture.

Key players of a sprint

For a sprint to work, it needs to be in good teamwork. Because time is short, some people need to take on very important roles for the week to be productive. The two main roles are that of facilitator and decision-maker.

1) Decision-maker

It is the person who will have to make the difficult decisions. As time is short and the impact of work gigantic, it is necessary for someone to make decisions for the team. Thus, it is possible to avoid lengthy discussions in search of consensus.

Typically, this role falls to the CEO of the company. It is also common for the director of the area that to take over the work.

2) Facilitator

This is the king of the method. Someone who knows the sprint design in its details and knows every step throughout the week. He is often the most hated person in the room, for constantly reinforcing the deadlines on the line.

It is common for the facilitator to be an outsider to avoid emotional involvement with the project.

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Leonardo Salles

Copywriter for GitScrum.