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The sprint is a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers. Developed at GV, it’s a “greatest hits” of business strategy, innovation, behavior science, design thinking, and more—packaged into a battle-tested process that any team can use.
Ran by Jake Knapp in Google since 2010, published as book in 2016 (by the same guy), used by Google Ventures and loads of design companies, design sprint seems to be the hot method to conceptualize and test new ideas.
Design sprint aligns everyone on the team to tackle big challenges or to plan and launch major product features. Sprinting, companies can move faster saving months of design and development work.
- It’s great for validating any new concept or seemingly crazy ideas. It helps you find a solution to whatever huge challenge you’ve got, quickly prototype it and most importantly validate it with the end customer in 5 days, says John Vetan from New Haircut, a design thinking software company and a startup lab. New Haircut has used design sprints as part of their customer projects since 2015.
Sometimes design sprinting ends up improving companies’ current concepts, sometimes it leads to full-on pivoting. For example: 12 months focusing on the wrong solution, one week to turn it all around >
- The most rewarding feedback I’ve ever received was when a startup founder told me he was on the verge of giving up on the startup, and the sprint just got his motivation back, Vetan reminisces.
However, there’s always a but:
- It isn’t a magic pill. It isn’t a replacement for a comprehensive design thinking process nor can it help you define your problem, Vetan says.
- But a design sprint is a great way to kick off any kind of project.
Design sprints are intense and hard and will most likely lead to surprising results.
- Each time I have no idea what to expect, and what the end of the sprint brings. I guess that’s what makes it so rewarding at the end. There have been times when we thought there was no way we could find a way, but I just trusted the process and it worked. It always does, Vetan says.
Now New Haircut teaches others to run their own design sprints. Their 7th design Sprint workshop will be organised in Avanto Ventures' (that's us!) premises this February. You’re welcome to join us.
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In 2 intensive days, you'll learn and apply creative ideation techniques like Lightning Demos, Sketching, User Story Mapping, Prototyping and Customer Interviews. By the end of the workshop you'll have the right knowledge and process to drive hi-impact innovation inside your organization.