Design Sprint: Learn how to apply this methodology in your project

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Are you seeking short term solutions? Have you heard about Design Sprint? By using Design Thinking, premises, such as immersion, ideation and prototyping, this methodology makes the development of projects more agile and assertive. With a more practical approach that focuses on the user, this is a key tool for anyone seeking short term results.

Design Sprint has several advantages, such as allowing you to foresee flaws and anticipate improvements due to the dynamics that require ideas to be constantly created and tested, enabling you to release a product only when you are sure it meets the results expected by the team. This application of the methodology creates an environment of innovation and constant collaboration within the company.

Plan before implementing

This first step is to set a specific challenge on which the sprint will be project-centric. It’s up to the Sprint Master to come up with a proposal that is both, inspiring and short. The Sprint Master must also explain to which user groups the solution is intended. The Sprint Master is responsible for inviting the sprint team and sets the schedule for the studies with the users for the sprint comprehension and validation sections. In addition, it also prepares the materials and the room that will be used during the sprint.

For a broad initial view of the challenge, the sprint master interviews the sprint team participants taking into account business needs, user experience, and the practical application of the technology. Participants use this time to create a five-minute pitch on the subject, which is presented to the group on the first day of the sprint, providing different perspectives of the challenge.

The sprint stages

Although Design Sprint takes place in a short time, it requires a few essential steps to understand the problems to be solved and to see new possibilities to improve the development of the product or service.


Day 1 – Understand and Define

The first day is dedicated to understanding the challenge and its components as a whole. It is important for everyone to share their ideas since, in general, knowledge is spread among members. Stakeholders may know things that developers do not. Activities can be proposed to the group so that everyone is aligned from the start of the sprint, which is critical to the success of the project. At the end of the day, insights will emerge, and from them, a simple user story and the scope for the week are produced.


Day 2 – Diverge

The goal of this step is to come up with as many possible solutions as possible, and exploring a large amount of ideas. Unlike the brainstorming process, team members work on solutions not as a group, but on their own. Each member writes down their ideas on a sheet of paper and then presents them to the group, then, everyone has a say and vote on the best ideas. These steps are followed because, according to Jake Knapp (creator of design sprint), the best ideas usually flow individually and not in a group.


Day 3 – Decide

This is the moment to filter and refine the ideas generated the day before. As it is not possible to prototype all the ideas, the team agrees on one that will be developed. The decision prioritization technique, called “dot voting”, can be used, in which each person is entitled to three votes, distributed among the items in any way they wish. This dynamic activity allows the team to select the best solution, bringing even the most unusual ideas to the decision process. After the choice is made, the group draws a storyboard that functions as a map of the prototype.


Day 4 – Prototyping

The penultimate day demands maximum productivity. Early in the morning, it is important to plan all activities that will be carried out during the day, including the function and the estimated time of each activity. The goal is to have a prototype of the chosen idea built by the end of the day, which must be faithfully developed for the test. While the prototype is done, part of the team prepares the tests the next day, a task that involves inviting those who will be interviewed, preparing the script, etc.


Dia 5 – Validate

On the last day, the prototype is shown to potential users in individual sessions. At that point, they will interact with what has been developed and provide real-time feedback on their experiences. At the end of the day, the entire team meets to discuss the information provided by users and decide whether the idea should move forward or be overhauled.

Download the material below to read more about design sprint and how it can contribute to improve your business’ performance.


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