Faster and better solutions with design sprints

Successfully used by Google dozens of times in brainstorming, development and start-up, design sprints are much more than a trend – they are a new working tool for every dynamic environment.

 

What is a design sprint?

Invented a few years ago by Google Ventures, the design sprint framework is used in many companies across multiple industries. A design sprint is a structured and pragmatic process used to develop a solution – tested directly with the end customer -- for a challenge in up to four days. Design Sprints use Design Thinking, Human Centered Design, User Experience and Business Canvas Modelling.

Design Thinking is an approach that is supposed to lead to solving problems and developing new ideas. The goal is to find solutions that are convincing from the user's point of view.

A checklist implementation follows an exact script in a session that involves all experts and stakeholders, no matter how outspoken they are. Group thinking and brainstorming are deliberately omitted, but everyone contributes to the solution.

A four-day procedure case study

Focus, Focus, Focus

The greatest luxury of a design sprint is full concentration on a certain theme, for a whole two days. No distractions, meetings, interruptions, calls, notifications, e-mails are allowed during the sprint.
Why are design sprints so successful?arum sind Design Sprints so erfolgreich
  1. All experts are gathered in one room, so everyone contributes to the group's knowledge development
  2. The team is interdisciplinary so each person benefits from different points of view
  3. Acquired knowledge and the individual skills work side by side to create impressive solutions – without traditional group thinking.
  4. No screens: full concentration only in the War Room, as the design sprint room is called.
  5. All exercises are timed, and the methods prevent drawn-out conversations.
  6. The most convincing idea wins – not just the idea from the loudest shouter.
  7. The decision maker in the room manages the decisive junctions
  8. The energy is exciting. Everyone works intensively on the solution and is proud of it.
  9. The idea is converted directly into a prototype and tested on real customers, so after just four days, you have a way forward.

Halved costs and much faster results
Removing the eternal back and forth between internal stakeholders, between customer and client, and finally with the steering committee sets a different direction. Design sprints counteract inefficiency. Yes, you take two days to work out a solution, but at the end of it, you hand over prototyping and user testing to experienced staff and wait for the results.
After four days, there is something tangible to work with, whereas, sticking with the traditional process, you would still be clarifying and synchronizing meetings.

What does a design sprint look like in real life?

Deep Impact, which has been on the road for 6 years with the mission of digital innovation, is always looking for new solutions for more efficient and successful cooperation. So it is not surprising that for new projects the meeting room is often first cleared to hold a design sprint with 7-10 participants. Then there is no computer, but everything is timeboxed.

The feedback of the participants of a design sprint

Design sprints are great for finding solutions in large projects, but they are also effective on a small scale on a daily basis. Meetings and workshops are much more efficient and result in quick decision making, like a lightning decision jam or a mini design sprint. Internal sprints are enormously enriching for everyone.


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