When is a design sprint right for your organisation?

PaperKite has been using the design sprint model to help our clients compress months of effort into a fast focused week. We’ve pulled together four key scenarios when a design sprint might uncover your new secret sauce!

What is a design sprint?

At PaperKite we’ve seen incredible results from running design sprints. What is a design sprint you ask? Oh it’s only the most powerful ideation framework that we’ve ever used with our clients! This intensely focused process allows us to identify a number of new thoughts and ideas, converge on the best ones, and build out a working prototype which we test with real customers. And this all happens within the timebox of just four days. No big deal really…

We certainly did not invent this process, but we have tailored it to an approach that works best for our clients here in NZ. You can learn more about our IGNITE Design Sprint process over on our website. But you might still be wondering how to know when a design sprint will be right for your organisation? We’ve pulled out four key reasons below:

Feeling stuck in a slow moving organisation?

Ever find yourself in meetings about meetings? Or think to yourself, “Hey didn’t we discuss all of this months ago?” Yikes!! There’s nothing more unmotivating than when progressing an initiative takes such a long time that it never takes off the ground. But an IGNITE design sprint can change all of this!

A sprint is the fastest way to test out a number of hunches and rapidly develop thinking. In the space of just one week! Get a focused group all together and validate your ideas FAST. You’ll be blown away by how much you can cover in such a short amount of time – you’ll wonder why you haven’t been working like this all along.

Lots of passionate voices, but can never get them all aligned?

We see this a lot with the clients we engage with. They have a number of intelligent experts all representing different parts of the business but they can never agree on a direction. This can be incredibly frustrating for all involved and often leads to the person with the loudest voice in the room getting their way.

A key part of the design sprint methodology is to work together as a team.  Setting goals, identifying problems, and talking to subject-matter experts to understand the challenge. The team designs competing solutions, and builds on each other’s ideas to hone them down into a single great concept. PaperKite facilitates these design thinking exercises in a way that allows for pure focus and for all stakeholders to contribute equally. And we use customer data to lead decision making rather than just individual opinions.

Not sure what to do about the competition?

Have your competitors stepped up their game big time? Maybe they have harnessed the power of digital to their advantage? And maybe you are feeling a bit of a threat to your business and not sure how to respond?

A sprint will help you to identify the optimal response to the threat to align and inspire senior stakeholders across the organisation for action steps. Running multiple sprints can allow you to test out a number of solutions and power you with the best possible plan to kick back at your competitors.

Not sure what will make your customers happy?

An IGNITE design sprint is the best possible way to learn from your customers. Within a week of rapid ideation and debate, we test working prototypes with actual customers. The representative feedback we get from real users is so powerful that it is often the leading factor for how an organisation decides their next strategic steps. You’d be surprised by the number of clients who have never actually participated in a user study of this nature. And you can leave the dirty work to us; PaperKite recruits and interviews all participants as part of our IGNITE planning. The power of talking to your customers can never be underestimated!

In Summary:

Why do a design sprint?

  1. Design sprints can help slow moving organisations move at rapid speed and validate ideas within just one week.
  2. Design sprints can help align your stakeholders to all focus on what matters most.
  3. Design sprints will help you identify initiatives to help you get an edge over your competition.
  4. Design sprints help you gain powerful feedback from your customers to guide your next strategic steps.

There are plenty of other reasons why an IGNITE Design Sprint could be just what your organisation needs. We’ve seen some incredible results using this framework. If you think it’s time you added some secret sauce to your organisation, or just wanted to talk more about design sprints, then get in touch!