Today I attended Intro to Design Sprints with the Google Sprint Master Academy taught by Kai Haley, Burgan Shealy, Sydney Hessel. Now I know what you might be thinking…”Aren’t you a little advanced for the intro class?!%” Well the answer that question is no, but here is why.
- I am constantly learning from how others teach Design Thinking and Design Sprints. Watching Kai and team share their practice gave me a totally new perspective and allowed me to dive deep on their approach.
- I got a chance to listen to the people in the class and some of the challenges they are having with their own companies.
- It always good to go back to the basics and reinforce what you already know but may have forgotten.
Here is a quick recap of what I learned:
Design Sprints are a framework not a tool. As I sat in a room full of experts it dawned on me that while Design Sprints were certainly a process that had clearly defined steps, the tools that we used during that process changed depending on the clients needs. Whether that was using User Journey Maps or Lightning Talks or Affinity Maps the idea is that you need to use the right tool for the job.
Google is investing heavily into the Design Sprint Process, with rooms dedicated to the Sprint Academy and a robust team that helps other groups run sprints it’s clear they are preparing for the future.
Many other companies are interested in Design Sprints but few have been able to actually implement them. Some of the common themes were: “I can’t get buy in from upper level management.” “My team won’t block off time to do this” “how do I manage my day to day schedule combined with a sprint” “the upfront investment is too high”. These still remain as major hurdles but as more companies adopt this methodology it will become easier.
5 days Design Sprints are only possible when your working on a singular product feature in a mature product or a small startup with a simple product idea. Otherwise be prepared for 4 to 6 weeks of work. While this sounds long it actually will save countless hours of development, customer support calls, and headaches not too mention lead to happier users.
The Design Sprint Community is strong and motivated to make this work. The bevy of consultants, agencies, and companies jumping on the trend suggests there is a high demand for this type of work and it will continue to grow.
More to come later today. Look out for a recap of Day 2.