5 Reasons Why Design Sprints are F’ing Effective

Whether it’s brand new innovations or simple line extensions, we all naturally start with ideas for products and services that we think people will want. However it’s a sobering fact that more than 80% of new products will fail in the marketplace.

Only an idiot would say they can guarantee to make a product successful on launch, but using design sprints with the right tools, right people, and right way of working will not only enable you to move quickly but more importantly should help shift the 80% misses towards 80% hits.

Here’s a quick look at five ways we use design sprints to help get teams further faster, unlocking new growth opportunities and quickly setting companies up with a platform to start their own revolutions.

1. Everyone gets to take the all important empathy pill

Our belief is that it’s crucial to start with a wide perspective, understanding your problem from as many different points of view as possible — plugging in relevant individuals, startups and entrepreneurs from our network to provide an up-to-date range of viewpoints on the problem from the get go.

2. Less talking, lots of doing

Whether you’re a large corporate or a scrappy startup, time is often your scarcest resource.

When we first work with companies — collaborating with teams using design sprints to create and develop their ideas — we’re often introducing people to a very new way of working. New because it’s seemingly rare for larger companies to get an entire team focused on solving a problem or developing an idea very quickly.

There’s less talking, and a whole lot of doing. Sprints are about taking action. Action to bring your ideas to life in the room… in hours, not days or weeks.

It’s focused. It’s fast. And pretty energising too.

3. It’s easier to believe in tangible ideas

Any idea is easier to get to grips with when it’s tangible. When you can actually see it, and play with it. It makes any idea easier to understand, easier to improve on, and importantly easier to believe in.

This is why we insist on having designers, coders, experts and entrepreneurs in the room — on hand to help you build, prototype, and help unlock the magic that happens when you’re able to take an idea from a thought in your head to a clickable prototype in an hour.

4. Find out if ideas are crap now (not 6 months and $350K later)

What will the world think of your idea? What about your target audience?
Why guess when you can ask.

Validation of ideas is crucial. We encourage validating often and as early as possible; on tap access to entrepreneurs, experts, and end users gives us the ability to validate and iterate quickly based on real time feedback.

Get to test your ideas without spending a ton of time and money.
If it’s great, great. And if it’s not, iterate or just move on.

5. You and your team totally owned it

Success for us is when you come out with an idea, or a series of ideas, that your team has created and has genuine belief in.

This belief comes from your entire team feeling ownership over the ideas that are being generated and developed. Good collaboration is at the heart of this, capitalising on the fact that creativity can genuinely come from everywhere and everyone (Pixar’s principle of ‘There’s no monopoly on creativity’ a testament to this).


About me: I’m Co-owner at Independents United. Follow me on Twitter.

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