by Mark Garner
You may have heard of Design Sprints, the Google Ventures problem-solving process. The method takes you from looking at a critical business challenge to the validation of a solution in a matter of days. It’s an incredibly intense but effective format, which is often associated with Startups and Lean culture. However, we have run enough Design Sprints to know that for enterprise clients the real benefits extend well beyond the results of the sprint itself.
Here are five reasons why adopting design sprints will kick-start positive change in your organization.
1. Creating momentum
In larger companies, starting new projects and ultimately innovating are often slow processes with countless planning sessions and meetings. With a single week-long sprint the team quickly:
- Gains understanding of the business challenges they face
- Spends time with end-users developing awareness
- Ideates as a group taking impulses from diverse team members
- Prototypes and validates potential solutions.
In a few days, the team members gain significant momentum. And once the Design Sprint tools are understood, they can be used and further mastered in everyday workflows, building the team’s speed and momentum. If you want to make innovative products and services you need to get things done fast!
Although bringing together a team from various departments for 5 days may not appear to be effective, the outcome nearly always exceeds expectation. Having insights from different viewpoints in one room makes it easier to understand a complex problem and move towards truly exceptional solutions. Furthermore, the cross-functional team sprints minimise business risks. Those pricey months of development and feature testing are packed into a few days, significantly saving budget and reducing time waste.
3. Team building
Complex organizations are not always the most conducive environment when it comes to thinking outside the box. Ability to work hand in hand with people from different departments, learn valuable insights and avoid a jammed inbox full of emails boosts creativity and motivates team members. The result goes beyond a single valuable solution. Back in their departments, sprinters share their experience and spread the innovative mindset amongst their colleagues.
How well do you really know and understand your users? More often than not, larger companies tend to rely on Excel spreadsheets and statistical data to analyze their customers. Design Sprints turn the situation around. From day one the team members learn how to see the customers behind the numbers by putting themselves in the shoes of their end-users. Understanding the needs of real customers and defining the areas of opportunities goes beyond the sprint, allowing insights into future products or services. Hence business and customer needs can be easily synced and met.
5. Developing a culture of innovation
Last but definitely not least, running Design Sprints consistently results in a surprising transformation. The mindset of innovation, when implemented correctly, can be scaled and adopted throughout the organizational structure. Ideas and trends of tomorrow can be unpredictable, but the ability to quickly run experiments and be ready for change is at the core of every successful business.
The varied tools of the Design Sprint go way beyond the 5-phase process.