Design Sprints were created ten years ago at Google as a better way to work and were largely unknown to the outside world before Jake Knapp, and John Zeratsky revealed the process in their book, Sprint, in 2016.
Over these past five years, design sprints have increased in popularity, making their way to the mainstream as a growing number of organizations started to adopt the process.
And this brings the legitimate question about the value of design sprints. Beyond the hype, what is the business value of design sprints? Can we quantify it using metrics? What are these?
We are not living ordinary times; offices and schools closed, planes grounded, events canceled. It is a new reality we all need to adapt to, but that does not mean we should stop everything that we usually do. We can still learn, spend (more) time with our family, and of course, work.
And the word of the day is remote work. Social media is full of advice about it, lots of experts chiming in with tips and tricks, to the point where remote work seems like a whole different animal, and we have to unlearn everything we know about work…
This past week at Design Sprint Academy, we taught our certification program focused on Design Sprints, Problem Framing, and Advanced Facilitation. As usual, we had a diverse group ranging from innovation professionals to UX designers and product people, from executives tasked with transforming work culture to university professors teaching real-world, problem-solving methods to the next generation.
Not long into the first day, questions started popping:
“How is this different from Design Thinking?”
“Why use Design Sprints and not Design Thinking?”
“When to use Design Sprints and when Design Thinking?”
… and my favorite, which is better?
Of course, when discussing…
You have probably read about, heard of, been in or even run a Design Sprint. Since the Google Ventures Sprint book came out in 2016, Design Sprints have become widely adopted globally by companies as a tool for innovation and problem-solving and one of the most hyped processes around.
You’re about to run a design sprint. Somehow you have convinced your boss, sold it to a client, or just want to try it on an internal project with your team. Whatever the scenario there’s a good chance that there are high expectations around this design sprint, and you’d like to live up to them.
If you take a close look at the Sprint book cover, you will see that the sprint is about solving big problems, keyword problems.
Design Sprint. This is a process that now pretty much everyone has heard of, uses it or seriously considers using it. There’s a ton of information about it, starting with the Sprint book by Jake Knapp to articles, podcasts, videos about all kind of tips and tricks on how to run the sprints and tweak the process to make it better.
So, considering the wealth of information why do so many companies still struggle to implement design sprints?
Out of many possible answers, my choice would be that there is too much focus on the actual design sprint process.
Founder and CEO of Design Sprint Academy. Innovation Strategist. Design Sprint Master.