Today, many large companies are using a unique method of problem-solving: the design sprint. In recent years, the design sprint has become a useful format for problem-solving within enterprises and other operations.
And with good reason – sprints are an excellent way to overcome design and iteration roadblocks and overcome the creative hurdles companies often face.
Today, some enterprises are unfamiliar with the concept of a design sprint or have some doubt about what the process can do for a company.
What is a Design Sprint?
Design sprints were the brainchild of Google Ventures.
Initially developed to help startups break out of creative ruts, design sprints evolved in the small-business environment. They are equally applicable, however, to enterprises. Here’s how the Sprint website defines design sprints:
“The sprint is a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping and testing ideas with customers.”
In most cases, a design sprint leads to a digital project, although Google Ventures has expanded the purpose of the sprint far beyond that.
Here’s how Google breaks down the structure of the five-day sprint process:
Monday: The group works with experts from across the organization to identify the ultimate goal of the sprint and map out the challenge for the week.
Tuesday: The team starts exploring a variety of solutions by looking at sources of inspiration and sketching various approaches that they could take.
Wednesday: The group looks at the solutions explored on Tuesday and decides which ones have the best chance of fulfilling the target for the week. The team then expands those sketched solutions into storyboards.
Thursday: The group turns the storyboards into a working prototype designed to mimic the final approach and have it ready for testing.
Friday: The final prototype is shown to prospective users, and its viability is tested.
Why Enterprises Should be Using Design Sprints
At their core, design sprints evolved around small, agile teams.
When enterprises create and deploy these teams, a design sprint can create the following results:
Momentum is hard to build and maintain in large companies. This truth makes design sprints an attractive option for high-priority projects.
By offering actionable results and creating answers to problems that would otherwise impede the progress of a job, design sprints work to help groups get unstuck and create a path of ongoing development for companies.
For enterprises, the adage “the bigger the company, the bigger the problems” is often true. Roadblocks are complicated in the enterprise environment and require a very creative unpacking process.
Luckily, design sprints do this. By attacking each component of a complex problem, design sprints help unpack issues, test outcomes, and uphold or disregard concerns.
Design sprints are deeply participatory, and that means they require team members to work together in a close and dynamic environment. This, in turn, increases communication and drives creativity throughout the team. Once the design sprint is over, this creativity can carry forward into the daily work environment.
The Case for Design Sprints
The enterprise environment is a unique one. Between complex roadblocks, expansive teams, and expensive design processes, it’s easy to see how so many companies get hung up during the development and iteration process. Fortunately, design sprints are a helpful tool that can work wonders to route around these difficulties and provide a new path to success.