Why innovative companies use Google Design Sprints

Why innovative companies use Google Design Sprints

Natalia Figas
September 08, 2020  | 4 min read

66% of all executives see innovation as a top 3 management priority. Driving innovation may seem difficult but utilizing the Google Design Sprint framework makes it manageable and offers a variety of business benefits.

Google Design Sprint is a framework created to deliver innovation to a team or company in a fast pace. These moderated workshops are divided into five stages which bring concrete values: understanding, ideas, decision, prototype and verification of your business concept.

A team working in a sprint gain a perfect understanding of what they need to deliver in order to be innovative and produce results fast.

What you will find in this article?

  1. Which companies can benefit from Google Design Sprint?
  2. How does the sprint look like? Time and stages
  3. What are the advantages of Google Design Sprint for businesses?

Which companies use Google Design Sprints

It’s a characteristic for innovative companies to experiment a lot, and design sprints are all about checking if the experiment changes the company’s situation for the better.

Google Design Sprint workshops are used by many great businesses around the world: Netflix, Uber, Spotify, Google, LEGO, Medium, or Slack just to name a few. The Guardian’s or Kapsch’s stories (for example) show how valuable sprints were for them.

Due to the nature of sprints and the universal structure of them, they are especially suitable for solving problems fast and developing new and innovative ideas in any organization:

  • startups
  • small and medium companies
  • enterprises
  • corporations
  • public institutions
  • non-governmental organization

How does a Google Design Sprint look like?

Before we move on to the main topic – why innovative companies use Google Design Sprint – let’s see how each stage of the sprint looks like.

Timeframes

Sprints are often done within five days. This is the most popular timeframe that companies select to come up with a prototype of some solution or product and validate it. You don’t need to follow all the rules - a design sprint can be flexible.

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Stages

As said before, there are five stages of the design sprint. Let’s see what kind of deliverables you get on each stage.

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Stage 1: Understand

The goal of this stage is to create a common knowledge about the business problem you are working on. You bring everyone together and unpack all your team’s knowledge about the problem.

We start from the end – describing the state when “everything is ideal”. Then we take a step backwards to identify risks that prevents us to reach our new ideal reality.

  • During 15-minutes talks team experts share the knowledge they have about target users
  • Your team identify risks to address them with further actions
  • Together we map the problems and choose one specific target

Stage 2: Sketch

Second day of the workshop is devoted to creative thinking. We want you to come up with as many ideas as possible to get to your final goal.

  • We introduce inspiration through Lightning Demos
  • We work individually and as a group to sketch as many and as wild ideas as possible
  • Then we narrow down competing solutions to the problem, make them more detailed and challenge them

Stage 3: Decision

Having full knowledge of the business goal and an overview of possible solutions. On the third day of the sprint, the team determines whether it intends to use one whole idea for the final prototype or build a new solution based on elements from different solutions.

  • You pick the best solution(s) with a structured decision process facilitated by the Sprint Master
  • We create a scenario of solution validation with users that need to be supported by our prototype

Stage 4: Prototype

Stage 4 is all about prototyping. The goal is to create a realistic product prototype that we will be able to test with target users. We need to ensure consistency with the goal defined on the first day.

  • We build a realistic prototype

Stage 5: Validation

The most important day of the sprint. We validate the prototype with users and draw conclusions to determine what further actions need to be taken.

  • We conduct interviews or experiments with real users from the outside of the company
  • You’ll learn what works, what doesn’t and why
  • You’ll get recommendations on what to do next

Why innovate companies use Google Design Sprint?

Companies and organizations reap the benefits of all kinds: money, time, business knowledge, teamwork. But the truth is that innovative companies use Google Design Sprint to strategically move forward.

#1 Most companies investing in innovation generate incomes in just 3 years

According to BGC’s 2020 report on the most innovative companies, innovation is seen as a top management priority for 66% of all innovation executives.

Almost 60% of committed innovators report generating a rising proportion of sales from products and services launched in the past three years, compared with only 30% of the skeptics (lower investment commitment) and 47% of the confused (innovation is not a priority).

This numbers show how impactful innovation is. Google Design Sprint is proven to incorporate innovation in a smart manner into the company – you take business decisions upon the gathered, shared and validated knowledge. No room for mistakes.

#2 Incorporating innovation is fast

The sprints are complete within a few days. The original formula takes 5 days, but we need to remember that Google Design Sprint is a framework, which means that we adapt the time frames to your needs.

Our Google Design Sprint workshop for the company Medim is a great example of a customized and fast design sprint which resulted in direct measurable financial results.

In Skyrise we understand that our clients have different priorities and not always can devote a whole week for a workshops. We have therefore also designed versions of the Google Design Sprint that fits the need of businesses that can devote a full team for 5 full days. We have a 3-days Design Sprint called Light, an 8-days Design Sprint called Extended and the regular 5-days Google Design Sprint. You can learn more about each type of workshop and how to run these workshops here.

#3 Smart team = smart decisions = smart savings

Instead of investing money and time on developing a full business idea the design sprint gives you a great opportunity to gather and share business knowledge, so that everyone in the team is on the same page and knows what the goal is.

Because your sprint team consist of people from different departments, you gain a panoramic view on e.g. your clients’ problems.

First-line employees who are in contact with your client know which language the clients are using, marketing managers know what clients’ desire, the sales team know what clients are asking about and so on.

Phases of the design sprint leave no space for mistakes – you gather the business knowledge during the workshops and based on that you make right decisions. Then to complete the process you built a prototype of a solution (e.g. clickable mock up of mobile application) and validate your business assumptions with real users.

Summary

Google Design Sprint offers a lot for companies and organizations. Thanks to complete and fast business innovation process, it delivers many benefits – from financial to administrative.

  • Build alignment around key strategic challenges
  • Save your financial future
  • Incorporate innovative way of thinking
  • Change your position on the market
  • Save money and time on development phase
  • Cut time to market
  • Get feedback fast from real users
  • Create innovation team

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