Luis Goncalves
Last updated on | Innovation

Google Sprint Overview: How to Deploy Innovative Solutions in Five Days

by Luís Gonçalves
google sprint overview

Many leaders and business owners are looking for effective ways on how to cut lead time and make the most out of their human resource to deploy innovative undertakings for their company. Usually, team huddles focus on discussing “big” ideas that rarely reach the end user and customers.  More often than not, this type of “meeting and brainstorming session” leads the project stakeholders more confused than they were when they entered the boardroom. This is where Google Sprint Design undercuts all these unorganised attempts of companies to maximise the full potential of their human resource and collaborative energy of their team.

Google Sprint Design is a collaborative framework that harnesses the talents of a company to deliver a working solution to a well-defined problem in a product or project. In just five working days, a team can provide a well-crafted, tried and tested, and high-impact solution to a specific company/product/project challenge without spending resources on guesswork.

Design Sprint Overview

Google Ventures developed Design Sprint in 2010 led by Jake Knapp with John Zeratsky & Braden Kowitz. Its design was built from the idea of Design Thinking. The process should last for five days. It includes the response to difficult business challenges. Problems are identified through its design, model-making and testing ideas with end users and clients in mind. It is an innovative process of dealing with new product and project challenges in a more streamlined and efficient operation.

Here’s a quick overview from Jake Knapp himself, on how to use Google Design Sprint in your company:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=K2vSQPh6MCE   

The Sprint Master facilitates the participants to produce better performance for the entire calendar of the sprint. The primary purpose of the Sprint Master is to find out what problem should the team be fixing and build up the best solution for the Design Sprint.

Meaning

Google Sprint Design is an easy way of learning more about the challenge and problem at hand. It is generally sharing ideas of employees from different backgrounds who will use the six stages of the design. It is composed of five days of workshop headed by the Sprint Master.

Participants

Around 7-8 persons from different departments. Reason being is, they can offer more flexible insights during the discussion. They will be presenting challenging arguments for a multifaceted evaluation.

  • Facilitator- preferably an Agile coach or a Scrum Master
  • Manager/s- They are the participants who have the power to decide who knows what the challenges are all about.
  • Participants with different views- They can show the “invisible” factors in a problem. Sometimes they can be difficult, but their ideas should be considered along the way.

Step- by- step Process

The Sprint Master should start by determining and explaining the problem. He/she should tackle the six process of solving the problem. He should be knowledgeable and flexible enough to absorb each participant’s thoughts and contribution.

Understand

It is imperative to understand the challenges. They should have the right people sharing the goals of the business, the capability of the technology and the users who need it most. They should be able to understand more about the product/ project.

Without proper understanding, everybody will be at lost throughout the entire workshop.

Diverge/Sketch

You can do anything with your imagination. The partakers of the activity should check all the possible answers to the problems presented by the each one of them.

The participants should feel free and comfortable in sharing their ideas. The Sprint Master role is to make sure that the designs will be entertained. Even if their ideas are not very workable, the “sharers” should not be embarrassed in any way. The Scrum Master should practice a non-aggressive, kind, and constructive way of addressing the “mistake”.

Decide

They should choose the best option for resolving the problems, upon the evaluation of all the ideas. The decision wouldn’t be easy and can be a little bit tricky. It is essential to be very detailed about each aspect of the decision process to avoid misinterpretations which can affect the final decision.

It doesn’t mean that Sprint Design does not have any blind spot, but it would substantially lessen the chance of having it.

Prototype

Developing a prototype is crucial. The beauty of this framework is it doesn’t require or pressure your team to have an overly-polished prototype that would consume time, money, and resource that might be a flop after all.

In the sprint process, people are like inventing the “best solution” for the challenge by just testing things at a fraction of the real price of actual development. Like any other inventions, it should undergo a “test-drive.” But, the test-drive doesn’t have to be an actual car. Just something that looks like a car that the consumer or end user can test and give feedback on.

Validate

Check and balance is really a part of this problem-solving process.

Sometimes, it seems everything is fine already, but without validation, you might encounter a hidden problem later on. Validation will let the team dwell on the different ways to manage feedback from real customers and end users.

In Validation stage, the team can try using a small group of customers who can give them feedback about the prototype so they would know the improvements they can later work on.

In just a matter of a week, your team can produce a potential solution to a problem that has been “approved” by actual customers and users.

When is it applicable?

You can use Google Sprint anytime you need to solve a problem in a business set-up.

  • For instance, GSD is a great framework for refining a product.
  • It can be used when you are encountering crossroads in your product development.
  • A solution to maximise company talents by cultivating unrestricted creativity, problem-solving skills, and teamwork.
  • When there’s a time-sensitive problem in a product or project

What can we get from Design Sprint?

  • It can give faster but more well-thought solutions for a problem.
  • The users’ perspective and feedback can be verified easily.
  • Early detection of failure- It is better to fail faster and not invest in solutions that are not tested yet and may not work for users/customers after all. It will cost you less damage resource-wise.
  • We can plan the Agile Point of view by using the Design Sprint.
  • It can promote teamwork which is one of the essential core values of any company. Working in harmonious relationship with colleagues is a good practice in a workplace.

In conclusion

The design sprint makes the problem-solving process faster and less complicated. It helps companies especially the small and starting ones to save on resources. It efficiently predicts every possible scenario by deeply analysing every problem, situations and possible outcomes of the decisions to be made.

It can be a threat to some companies with traditional corporate set-up. It’s because the approach is too independent and bypasses the structural order of a regular company. But if you will look at it the other way around, it can also promote confidence in each participant. Their ideas are not just ideas anymore—it can be the possible solution to different challenges in their company.   

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Luís Gonçalves

About Luís Gonçalves

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LuisGonçalves1979

Luis Gonçalves is an Entrepreneur, Author & International Keynote Speaker. He works with Senior Executives to implement his ‘Organisational Mastery’ system so they can greatly increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their organisations; enabling them to become recognised and highly rewarded Leaders.

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