Innovation Management Blog

More about the design in innovation

Design Sprint Innovation

You have probably heard about, been in or even run a Design Sprint if you work with innovation. Since the Google Ventures Sprint book came out in 2016, Design Sprints have become widely adopted by companies of all sizes as a tool for innovation and problem-solving and one of the most hyped processes around.

Traditionally, the Design Sprint is a five stage process that runs over the course of five days. It's used to solve big problems and answer critical business questions, through design, prototyping and testing with customers or users. Five days is a long time though.

The iteration of the Design Sprint

Since 2016, we've seen many iterations of the sprint. You can run the traditional five day sprint over a single very intensive and hands-on day or extend it to six months, engaging with the entire organisation. There are also different versions of the sprint today, that ultimately follow the principles, but spend more or less time on specific aspects.

To highlight some of these, the Design Sprint Academy are now on version three, while the Hyper Island toolbox sprint can be delivered in two hours.

Our sprint approach is also different and broken down into six phases. We've delivered this in half a day, three days but we also aim to do it continuously, with all the innovation activities we manage and as part of adopting an innovation management program.

The Design sprint phases we use

  • Phase one: understand the problem
  • Phase two: sketch possible solutions
  • Phase three: decide which of these solutions are the strongest
  • Phase four: build a realistic prototype to test
  • Phase five: test the prototype to validate assumptions
  • Phase six: feedback, learn and plan next steps

Tips on running a Design Sprint

This is where we would should write our list emphasising the importance of framing the problem and having fun or why running your sprint off-site is going to be more effective. But there is so much more to it.

This is also where we should stress that it isn't just about the sprint activity, a way of thinking or an individual activity. Using these principles and adopting design as a mindset should be your aim when you approach all your innovation activities. And capturing what you learn and your outcomes is the element of managing your innovation activities and how you connect people and opportunities.

You can run a sprint in five minutes or six months and it's better done than perfect. But don't just take our word for it.

There are lots of tips in the links above and if you're interested in learning more a out how to run your own Sprint, in an afternoon, a week, six months or as part of your innovation program, then we'd be excited to show you how that can look. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can share how we've done this with friends, partners and customers.

Contact Us

Want to learn more about us or would like more information about something you have read, click here to contact us.

About Us

We help organisations work smarter and more efficiently with innovation. We do this as a partner to Brightidea, the global leader in innovation management software.