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6 minute read

What are Design Sprints and how can they benefit you?

Sprints help break down digital projects into manageable segments, meaning teams can collaborate effectively to solve complex problems and make quick progress.

Learn more about what a design sprint is and the benefits that working in this way will bring.

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by SD Ameyaw
02 April 23
  • Design Sprint
  • Digital Product Success
  • Efficiency

In today's fast-paced world, innovation is the key to staying ahead of the curve.

Design sprints are a methodology used to solve complex problems through a structured process that involves research, prototyping, and testing. They are becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare sector, as they provide a framework for creating solutions that are both effective and efficient.

In this article, we will explore what a design sprint is, how it works, and why it is relevant.

What exactly is a design sprint?

A design sprint is a collaborative, time-bound process that brings together a cross-functional team to solve a specific problem or challenge. The process was developed by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz of Google Ventures (GV) in 2010, and has since been adopted by many other companies, including those in the healthcare industry.

The design sprint process typically lasts for five days, although some teams may choose to shorten or lengthen the timeframe depending on the complexity of the challenge and the needs of the client. During the process, the team works through a series of structured exercises to develop a prototype solution to the problem, using collaborative ideation tools. (Whether online or offline).

Working in sprints

Working in sprints is a core aspect of the design process here at Graphite. In traditional project management, work is often planned out in long phases or stages, which can lead to a lack of flexibility and a slow pace of progress. In contrast, sprints are an agile way of breaking down work into smaller, manageable chunks that can be completed in a shorter period of time.

Sprints are typically short, intensive periods of work, ranging from a few days to a few weeks. During a sprint, the team focuses on a specific goal or deliverable, working collaboratively to achieve it. At the end of the sprint, the team reviews their progress and assesses whether they have achieved their goal or whether they need to pivot and adjust their approach.

What are the stages of a design sprint?

The internal process of a design sprint typically involves the following stages:

Understand: In this stage, the team gains an understanding of the problem and the goals of the sprint. They review existing research and data and identify key stakeholders and user groups.

Define: Next, the team defines the problem statement and creates a clear and focused sprint goal. They use this goal to guide their work throughout the sprint.

Diverge: In this stage, the team generates a wide range of ideas and solutions through various ideation techniques, such as brainstorming, sketching, or mind mapping.

Decide: After ideation, the team evaluates the ideas and selects the most promising ones based on criteria such as feasibility, impact, and alignment with the sprint goal.

Prototype: In this stage, the team creates a realistic and interactive prototype of the selected concepts. This prototype should be testable and able to provide feedback on the viability of the solution.

Test: Finally, the team tests the prototype with real users and gathers feedback. They use this feedback to refine the solution and create a plan for implementation.

Working in sprints has many benefits and positive impacts for clients.

What are the benefits?

Ability to rapidly iterate and test ideas.

Design sprints allow teams to quickly generate and prototype ideas, test them with users, and get feedback on what works and what doesn't. This helps to minimise the risk of investing time and resources in an idea that ultimately may not be successful. By iterating quickly, teams can move towards a successful solution much more efficiently.

Cross-functional collaboration and team work

Another benefit of working in design sprints is the focus on collaboration and cross-functional teamwork. Design sprints unite people with different skills and expertise, such as designers, developers, product managers, and stakeholders. This interdisciplinary approach fosters creativity and innovation, as well as a deeper understanding of the problem at hand. Collaboration also ensures that everyone has a stake in the process and is invested in the outcome.

A clear view of progress and milestones

Clients are typically involved in the sprint planning process and are able to provide feedback on the user stories or tasks that the team will be working on. During the sprint, the team provides regular updates on their progress, allowing clients to see how their project is progressing in real-time.

By working with a team that uses design sprints, clients can also be confident that their needs and goals are being taken into account throughout the process. This level of transparency helps to build trust between the team and the client and ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Innovation is vital for the success of organizations in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Design sprints offer a powerful tool for driving innovation and tackling complex challenges, by bringing together diverse teams to collaborate and innovate in a time-bound and structured process.

By working in sprints, teams can be more agile, adaptable, and focused, ultimately delivering better outcomes for clients and staying ahead of the competition. Whether developing new medical devices, improving experiences, or streamlining internal processes, design sprints offer a powerful way to drive innovation and deliver meaningful impact in the healthcare industry.

By embracing the design sprint methodology, you can drive transformative change and create solutions that truly meet the needs of all clients.

Want to learn how a design sprint can move your digital project forward?

We collaborate with organisations across the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors to create meaningful digital products and experience.

To learn more about how our agile working methodologies can help drive progress for you digital design projects, get in touch.

Get in touch

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