5 Ways to Gain Momentum From After Design Sprint
If you’ve invested time in a Design Sprint, the last thing you want is for your hard work to evaporate or go nowhere. There are many reasons why your solution may never see the light of day. Sometimes this is a good thing. If you discover that you shouldn’t pursue the idea, then you save lots of time and money. However, sometimes solutions that resonate with the customer can’t manage to get off the launch pad.
At Voltage Control, we’ve seen teams both struggle and excel. I’ve examined both scenarios in search of the things that create success as well as the ones that get in the way. Below, I’ve included five things that you can do to ensure that you get the most out of your Design Sprint prototype.
A diverse set of stakeholders including someone with decision making authority over the outcome of the Sprint is critical to building momentum for your project. Always include your sponsor or whoever makes the call on whether to go forward with the plan. If that individual can’t participate directly, it is essential that they have an appointed proxy in the Sprint. I also recommend that you keep them in the loop using daily updates.
Be open to letting go of all your favorite ideas and hearing what else is happening within the team and how your users are thinking and feeling about the problem you are seeking to solve.
Despite what we were all taught in school, you don’t have to have the right answers. Design Sprint can help you learn to be more curious about your users and with the appropriate level of understanding the correct solution can emerge.
Everyone must observe the interviews. Sometimes people skip out on Friday with the intention of watching the video after the fact. If you do this, the odds are you won’t watch them all, and at least to some degree, you’ll be relying on someone else’s report or synthesized results.
When you watch the interviews in real time, you retrain your brain to be empathetic because you feel their pain in real time. Also, it affords you the ability to participate in the synthesis of insights. If there are resource constraints and not everyone can watch in real time, I recommend you have at least three observers and consider waiting for everyone to see the interviews before synthesizing and reviewing insights.
After your Sprint week is complete and you have tested your prototype with five users, it’s crucial for you to synthesize and share the results. It is best to do this as a Sprint team whenever possible. Sharing key insights with the team will help build alignment and buy-in across the team. Using a scorecard or other system to capture, calibrate, and distribute insights helps make the review move much more quickly.
As a group, think about the key takeaways and what next steps might entail. Foster a culture of continually revisiting and explore insights. How might one insight allow you to uncover countless others?
Adapt your prototype based on what you heard. While some feedback won’t generalize across all your interviews, there will be plenty that does. Starting with the most critical feedback, began to make updates to you prototype to account for these issues. Once you’ve addressed the most critical issues, test with another set of users. You’ll learn new things. Update your prototype again and so forth.
Once you’ve gotten consistent feedback from a cohort of testers, you’ll know you are ready to build your solution. Even after the solution is developed and launched, you can continue to iterate on your prototype. Use your prototype to explore new ideas or address newfound flaws with existing functionality.
Hopefully, these tips will help you ensure that your project can maintain momentum once you’ve completed your Sprint and you’ve gone back to business as usual.
It’s exciting to see so many companies adopting Design Sprints. I hope that the vast majority of this companies embark on their Design Sprint journey with the adequate rigor needed for positive outcomes and continued benefits. When you adopt Design Sprints in this way, they have the potential to truly transform an organization by layering new insights into existing strategies, evolving new novel strategies, and ultimately changing the way people think.