Etch Sprints in 2019
Ross Chapman’s highlights for the year ahead
As 2018 comes to a close, I wanted to give you a glimpse as to what Etch Sprints has got planned for next year. With three months behind us and many more in the making, 2019 is a key year in our journey and I wanted to share what that may look like looking forward.
1. Establishing in London
In 2018, we moved to a new London home in the beautiful Clerkenwell. I actually started my career not too far from here in Exmouth Market over twelve years ago, so in a sense it feels like coming home.
“Clerkenwell is a trendy area where creative firms and smart flats fill old industrial warehouses and factories.” — Google Maps
We’ve started using the Basement for events and will continue going into 2019 with many more to be released soon. We also have a new Sprint room!
2. The next 30 sprints
Running design sprints is about 70% of what Etch Sprints is all about, and we’re going to build upon that success by looking at the next 30. It’s one of our selling points — we’ve run a lot of design sprints!
We’re also inviting back returning customers in the New Year and have started having conversations with new ones. I can’t wait to share the design sprint with more teams going into 2019 and with our new home we can really start understanding what Etch’s version of the design sprint is really all about.
3. Sprint training
After running sprints, we’re putting 20% of our effort into training. Our next sprint training is in February and we’ll be releasing many more dates over the course of the year.
One thing we’ve been insistent on is getting feedback. Feedback enables us to make the next training better and helps identify opportunities to offer even more value. We’ve received comments as to what we should share more of too:
- “would’ve liked a bit more depth on Thurs/Wed though maybe with us making our own prototype and testing it”
- “facilitation tips — as I felt most was about the process with no people tips”
- “more information as to what happens after the Sprint”
We’ll be running more free and paid events to share more of what the design sprint is all about and will continue experimenting with improvements and some new formats.
4. Giving without expectation
With the rest of our time, we’ll continue to build awareness. We’ve gone broad with content this year and next year we’re going to narrow our focus and go all-in.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been evaluating what’s worked, what hasn’t and what needs more effort. Some channels need more time to make a judgement, but we’re going to keep giving without expectation and adapting where we need to.
One change we’ve made is with our podcast. We’ve moved it over to iTunes and Spotify and in 2019, The Etch Podcast will feature more interviews, chats and stories from people who are doing great work in business, design and strategy. We’ll also share some of our own stories too.
5. Growing the team
I don’t intend on being a lone wolf forever. In 2019, Etch Sprints will welcome more help in the team to grow awareness and provide expertise in delivering real change with the businesses we work with.
“The more open you are about your work, the easier it is to recruit” — Sarah Richards
6. Love what you do
I don’t want what I do at Etch to be all about the work, because I see it as very much more than that.
I treat each Etch studio like a clubhouse. My colleagues are like brothers and sisters to me. Any spare time I have, I love putting into doing what I love. Ultimately, I don’t believe in a work life balance, I just believe in the one life.
Taking on new challenges can extend beyond the Sprint room and in 2019 I’m looking towards new adventures with my fellow Etchers in the Etch Cycle Club. High on the agenda are bike-packing trips, lazy days in the saddle and the one part of riding that I can’t put off any longer: Racing.
I start early with this year’s Festive 500, where I’m riding and fundraising for The Beatrice Project, a pilot scheme in rural Zimbabwe that aims to help poor and vulnerable girls in marginalised rural communities by addressing some of their most basic needs, helping to restore dignity and opportunity to each one of them. How am I doing that? Cycling 500km over the Christmas period. You can find out more and donate here.
I’m Ross Chapman and I run Etch Sprints.