Who’s the Daddy of the Design Sprint?

If you’re looking for a method to help you tackle big challenges, test new ideas, or launch a new product or service, you should check out the Design Sprint.

This time-constrained, five-phase process uses design thinking to reduce the risk when bringing a new product, service, or feature to market.

But who’s the daddy of the Design Sprint?

Let’s find out!

The Genius Behind the Design Sprint

The Design Sprint was invented by Jake Knapp, a former Google employee who worked on products like Gmail and Google Hangouts.

He developed the methodology based on his experience running hundreds of sprints with teams at Google and Google Ventures, the company’s venture capital arm.

What a clever sausage!

Knapp published his approach in a book called “Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days”, co-authored by Braden Kowitz, John Zeratsky, and Daniel Burka from Google Ventures.

These brainy blokes helped him share his knowledge with the world.

The Design Sprint in Action

Since its invention, the Design Sprint has been adopted by many companies and organizations around the world, such as Slack, Uber, Airbnb, LEGO, the United Nations, and the New York Times.

It’s also been adapted for different contexts and purposes, such as remote sprints, social impact sprints, and education sprints.

The possibilities are endless!

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The Design Sprint consists of five phases: Understand, Diverge, Converge, Prototype, and Test.

Each phase has a specific goal and a set of activities that guide the team towards a tangible outcome.

The phases are:

1. Understand

In the Understand phase, the team discovers the business opportunity, the audience, the competition, and the value proposition.

The goal is to define success metrics and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

This is where the team puts on their detective hats and starts sleuthing!

2. Diverge

In the Diverge phase, the team explores, develops, and iterates creative ways of solving the problem, regardless of feasibility.

The goal is to generate a wide range of ideas and approaches.

This is the “anything goes” phase, where the team unleashes their wild and wacky ideas.

3. Converge

In the Converge phase, the team identifies ideas that fit the next product cycle and explores them in further detail through storyboarding.

The goal is to converge on a few key ideas and create a plan of action.

This is where the team puts on their director hats and starts mapping out the story.

4. Prototype

In the Prototype phase, the team designs and prepares prototype(s) that can be tested with people.

The goal is to create a tangible representation of the product or service.

This is where the team puts on their mad scientist hats and starts tinkering with their creations.

5. Test

In the Test phase, the team conducts 1:1 usability testing with 5-6 people from the product’s primary target audience.

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The goal is to get feedback on the prototype and validate assumptions.

This is where the team puts on their therapist hats and listens to their users’ needs.

How to Put the Design Sprint into Action

To put the Design Sprint into action, you’ll need a small team of 4-7 people with diverse skills and perspectives, such as product managers, designers, developers, marketers, and domain experts.

You’ll also need a facilitator who can guide them through the process and keep them focused and on track. The facilitator can be an internal or external person with experience running sprints.

But that’s not all!

You’ll also need a dedicated room where the team can work together for five days without interruptions.

The room should have materials and tools such as whiteboards, sticky notes, markers, laptops, cameras, printers, etc.

The team should also have access to potential users who can participate in the testing phase.

So, if you’re going to do it, do it right!

But the Design Sprint isn’t just about efficiency.

It’s also about creating a culture of innovation and collaboration within teams and organizations.

It’s about empowering teams to make decisions based on data and user feedback rather than opinions and assumptions.

It’s about learning fast and failing fast without wasting time and resources.

The Design Sprint is like a party for your team, with a clear purpose and a guest list of users!

Learn More About the Design Sprint

If you’re interested in learning more about the Design Sprint methodology and how to run your own sprint, there are plenty of resources available.

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But you’ll want to make sure they’re the bee’s knees!

First, check out the book “Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days” by Jake Knapp, Braden Kowitz, John Zeratsky, and Daniel Burka.

This book provides a detailed guide to the Design Sprint process and includes case studies from real-world sprints.

It’s like having a masterclass with the Design Sprint’s dad!

You can also visit the Design Sprint website, which offers a range of tools and resources to help you run your own sprint.

The website includes a step-by-step guide to the Design Sprint process, templates for each phase of the sprint, and tips for running remote sprints.

It’s like having a toolkit filled with everything you need to throw a killer party!

Finally, check out the Design Sprint podcast by AJ&Smart.

This podcast features interviews with experts in the field of design thinking and provides insights into the latest trends and best practices for running successful sprints.

In conclusion, the Design Sprint is a powerful methodology for tackling big challenges, testing new ideas, and launching new products or services.

By following the five phases of the Design Sprint process, you can reduce risk, gain a better understanding of your customers, and create more impactful solutions.

So, why not throw a Design Sprint party and invite your team and users to the dance floor?

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