This is a short playlist of 7 video’s by the actors of Sprint, Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky, explaining the day-to-day process of a Design Sprint.
Interessante Podcast: De nieuwe hoofdredacteur van Vrij Nederland vertelt hoe hij en zijn team Google Design Sprints gebruiken om nieuwe ideeën te ontwikkelen die bijdragen aan zijn ‘radicale plan’. Leuk om te horen dat zijn aanpak erg overeen komt met hoe wij met onze klanten werken. (Start interview vanaf: 10:30).
It’s impossible to move fast if you don’t know where you’re going, which is why the first day of your sprint should begin with pinpointing the problem you need to solve. The best way to start this process is by identifying the challenge you’re facing.
So, simply pose the question, “what’s our challenge?”
For instance, some companies are challenged by high-stakes projects in need of direction, while others face tight deadlines and need to speed up development. Just take Blue Bottle Coffee; this successful coffee chain from San Francisco raised $20 million and set up an online store that sells fresh coffee beans.
In the beginning, they had no clue where to start because neither their designers nor their web developers knew anything about how to tackle the problem. Even so, in the first few hours of their sprint they began to understand their challenge: translating the cozy appeal of a coffee shop onto a computer screen and coming up with the best online design to replicate the in-store experience.
After identifying your challenge, the next step in a successful sprint is to build a diverse team of seven that includes two key roles: a decider and a facilitator. The former is someone who takes control and settles disputes, often the CEO, while a facilitator is in charge of managing time, summarizing discussions and smoothing out the process.
But why the five other people?
Well, experience has shown that seven is the magic number. If you add more people, the sprint will be sluggish because the team generates too many discussions that can take time to settle.
What’s more, a diverse group is also important because you need people who bring the right input and ideas, regardless of their position in the company – or even whether they are an employee of your company at all.
For instance, when it came to Blue Bottle’s sprint, the CFO offered up some powerful insights even though he didn’t know much at all about tech.
After identifying your challenge and building the right team, you’ll be off to a great start. So, keep your momentum rolling into the afternoon of your first day by making a roadmap for your sprint. But don’t make it chronological; it’s best to plan your sprint from your ultimate goal and work your way backward to identify any potential pitfalls.
A successful sprint depends on your long-term goal. So, ask yourself what aspect of the business you need to improve within the next six months. For instance, Savioke, a company that designed a robot to help hotel staff deliver small items like toothbrushes and towels, set the goal of “a better guest experience.”
But when sketching your roadmap, it’s also crucial to consider any failures you might run into. Be sure to review these potential mishaps so you can tease out their causes.
For instance, Blue Bottle Coffee knew that communicating their credibility through their online store was going to be a foundational step; their main concern was whether customers would trust their expertise.
Another key to guiding your sprint is to ask the right people for advice. After all, nobody knows everything, not even Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. You should devote some of your afternoon to finding people, either within your sprint team, within your company or from the outside, and collecting their input.
And finally, before calling it a day, you should set the target of your sprint, meaning the thing you wish to impact with it. Essentially, your target is both your customers and the decisive moment of their experience with what you are offering. Setting a target is all about knowing how and when your customer will use your product or service.
For instance, Savioke’s target was the moment when a hotel guest opens their door and faces a robot delivering a brand new toothbrush. By identifying this moment, they knew where to concentrate their efforts.
If you’re into electronic music you’ll know how DJs sample an old track to create a brand new song. Well, Tuesday is your day to play DJ; this is when you draw inspiration from existing products.
The day starts by bringing together existing ideas from near and far, from which you can build your own solutions. Just think of it like playing with Lego: you amass as many pieces as possible and put them together into an original design.
So, when putting a project together, it’s best to gather lots of ideas and see how they combine. And remember, these ideas might come from anywhere, not necessarily just your competitors.
For instance, Savioke didn’t get their robot’s aesthetic from the latest robotic innovations, but rather from the Japanese animated film My Neighbor Totoro. In this movie, the main character is a giant friendly monster that proved a huge inspiration for finalizing the appearance of the robot’s eyes.
After researching existing ideas, your work should be presented to the group through what’s called lightning demos. In this process, each team member takes three minutes to present on their favorite existing solutions, preferably from fields that are different than yours.
After that, you’re ready to sketch out how the solutions presented by your team fit together. This is a great way to level the playing field for your team members. After all, not everyone is a tech nerd – but everyone can draw simple visualizations of potential solutions.
Sketching ideas is also in line with the teachings of the productivity guru, David Allen. For instance, as Allen explains in his book Getting Things Done, you shouldn’t take on an assignment as one big daunting task – such as finding a job – but rather start with small initial steps, like updating your resume.
Similarly, your sketch will help you break down your solution into distinct parts that you can play around with and take on separately.