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Design Sprints: Workshops and Prototyping

Design sprints can be fun, intense, and powerfully productive. And a quick, low-cost workshop is a great way to show your business sponsors how a user-centered design approach shapes new ideas or validates product requirements.

We help organizations quickly innovate and align stakeholders around a high-potential idea using a five-day design sprint framework currently being facilitated with remote technologies. A clickable prototype delivered at the end of a design sprint helps product owners convince management to fund the project by providing solid estimates of the scope and business outcomes.

Do you:

  • Need help to prototype an idea quickly?

  • Have an idea but don’t know where to start?

  • Want to adopt the latest innovation methodologies to become more like start-ups?

  • Have time and resource constraints on developing this idea?

  • Have a small project that doesn’t need an extensive evaluation? Or do you have a quick design process that could help us develop this idea?

    Betting on new ideas involves risks. There are often multiple approaches to consider, and the right direction may not be clear. We can help.

The Power of the Design Sprint Framework

The design sprint framework took root in the start-up world and has become a design phenomenon for solving problems in any industry. It allows an enterprise to approach a new idea or initiative like a start-up trying to reduce the risks involved in entering a new market or creating a disruptive solution.

How do you shape and refine a viable solution that has no risk history or reference? It helps to have a guide who has been there before. At the least, our design workshop specialists recommend the following useful tips to ensure your sprint is executed without a hitch:

  • Tip 1: Give yourself time before the sprint to conduct research and prepare

  • Tip 1: Make sure the most important stakeholders are available for the scheduled sprint.

  • Tip 2: Schedule the sprint in advance, timebox everything, and communicate this to everyone.

  • Tip 4: Have a few prioritization techniques prepared.

  • Tip 5: Ensure that the problem is manageable (i.e., small enough) for a sprint.

  • Tip 6: Be sure you have someone to help facilitate; ideally, this is someone who understands the problem but is removed from it.

If we had to highlight just one of these points, it would have to be the first one. People tend to underestimate research, preparation, and the right context. This includes ensuring everyone involved has a deep understanding of matters such as user pain points and business objectives. Pre-research and contextualizing will ensure that your team does not get bogged down on the first day of the sprint.

Don’t Let COVID-19 Stop Your Innovation

The current environment of social distancing shouldn’t prevent an opportunity to accelerate the design process. We use the virtual techniques ourselves, and our teams haven’t experienced any COVID-related lag in collaborating with key stakeholders to build consensus on projects and engagements.

Remote design sprints bring all the stakeholders and SMEs together in a democratic design process, where everyone gets to collaborate and consider varying points of view across all aspects of design.

Here is how we approach design sprints:

  • On Day 1:

    Workshop participants enter the Understand Phase, where they will hear about existing research, insights, and SME inputs on relevant topics. This helps in building a shared knowledge space about the idea or problem.

  • On Day 2:

    Participants in the Diverge Phase consider widely different solutions, look at competitors, offer ideas, and sketch them out, building on the best.

  • On Day 3:

    The leadership team will weigh in on the ideas in the Converge Phase and pick a direction based on the work generated the day before. Tactical details are then added to create a functional concept.

  • On Day 4:

    Sketches and storyboards are transformed into a prototype in the Prototype Phase. This is a production day with no involvement from other stakeholders as designers and developers create a product credible enough to test with end-users.

  • On Day 5:

    In the Test Phase, five to six end-users will provide feedback on different aspects of the solution that will either validate or invalidate the idea, so you gain clear, unbiased views of its usefulness.

Data Management Strategy

The final deliverable, collective insights, user feedback, and the prototype can then be leveraged to obtain funding, define requirements, or consider alternatives generated during the workshop.

What Can You Accomplish with Trianz?

Trianz experts are technology-centered, business-forward, and design-thinking inspired. We consider design sprints as one of our best tools for productivity and risk reduction when bringing new products to the market.

There is a great deal of activity that occurs both before and after the actual design sprint. Trianz can guide you through the preparation and engagement period, facilitate the actual sprint, and oversee the execution of the follow-up strategy.

We can help you benchmark your results against your own previous product releases or those of others in your industry. Our final assessment will evaluate the success of the design sprint and offer you ways to improve on the next one.

Get in touch with our team today to gain more free insights into the highly productive practice of design sprints, remote or otherwise.


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