Design Sprints

Innovation accelerated

What are ‘Design Sprints’?

The Design Sprint has the power to fast-track your innovation journey and is a valuable risk-management tool when bringing a new product or service to market.

Originally developed by Google Ventures, Design Sprints are an agile method for moving from problem to solution in rapid time.

Our tailored, user-centric Design Sprints facilitate teams through an immersive five-step process, resulting in innovation decisions that are better informed, aligned, and arrived at more quickly.

Design sprints don’t replace in-depth development phases – they’re designed to provide decisions and direction, rapidly.

They can add value in the Opportunity Definition, Concept Creation and Concept Realization phases of Potential Realized – but, in true end-to-end innovation, you can ‘sprint’ any time.

Why Sprint?

Design Sprints can accelerate your:

  • innovation process – evolve and add to your ordinary ways of working
  • creation and iteration of hypotheses – explore ideas that push against your normal ‘constraints’
  • multidisciplinary collaboration – bring teams together to build innovation direction
  • learning from users – being more user-centred in your innovation direction

How do Sprints work?

With 25 years of successful innovation partnerships under our belt, we’ve built up a toolkit of over 50 models, approaches and methodologies to enable us to fine-tune the five-step Design Sprint process for our clients.

Exercising a user-centric, test-and-learn approach, and drawing on deep knowledge, cross-category experience, and best-practice resources, we uncover, prioritize and align global teams around evidence-based opportunities.

1. Discover

Immerse your team in the challenge, understand what you do – and don’t – know, and empathize with the true unmet needs of users.

Outcome: a challenge statement that’s exact in target and scope which you’ll focus on solving.

2. Design

Create a set of user-centric ideas, using value propositions, insight statements, and concept boards. Early critique against your tailor-built success criteria allows you to draw up a meaningful shortlist.

Outcome: a longlist of possible solutions, with an initial priority order.

3. Learn

Putting users at the center of the process. Test-and-learn from users in co-creation activities to understand what’s resonating and what needs to be done next.

Outcome: real-time user feedback and evidence-based direction.

4. Build

Translate user learnings to inform iterative development. Evolve ideas using fast prototyping techniques, such as rapid visualization, storyboards, high-fidelity renderings and ‘looks-like’ prototypes.

Outcome: a range of illustrative prototypes which start to bring to life the solution short-list.

5. Prioritize

Align on direction, ownership and next steps to take the Design Sprint output back into your business.

Outcome: a strategic action plan to maintain momentum and gain buy-in for subsequent development.

Define Sprint

Where to play

Shape opportunities to ensure you’re doing the right things. Tackle tricky innovation challenges such as…

  • Where are the opportunities for us in a disruptive market trend?
  • Where are there adjacent market areas we can extend our existing asset base into?
  • Where are the technology investments we should be making over the next five years?
  • Where are the untapped stakeholder opportunities in our existing ecosystem?

Refine Sprint

How to win

Create solutions to ensure you’re doing things right. Tackle difficult innovation challenges such as…

  • How can we react to a disruptive competitor launch?
  • How can we be first-to-market in response to a growing consumer trend?
  • How can we extend our portfolio to capture a new customer segment?
  • How can we create a five-year user-centric product roadmap for our new strategic vision?

Ready, set…

Our Design Sprint programs can typically be delivered within 3-6 weeks of inception.

The heart of a Design Sprint is always delivered over 3-5 consecutive days, sized to the output you need.

“Agile innovation helps teams tackle tough challenges collaboratively, learn from users early and test hypotheses quickly.”

Martha Hodgson

Design Sprints Lead

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