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Ambitious About Autism Design Sprint Training

  • Ambitious about Autism

Design Sprint facilitator training

Project Objectives

Ambitious About Autism

Ambitious About Autism

'Ambitious about Autism' are a charity that offer a wide range of services aimed at improving the lives of children who have been diagnosed with autism. Their ambition is to make the ordinary possible for more children and young people with autism. The team approached Graphite as they wanted to learn to run design sprints internally. They wanted to help create solutions to a number of problems both the charity and the families they are helping experience. The team wanted to train as facilitators so that they could use design sprints to test ideas and prototype solutions quickly and efficiently in the future.

Graphite Digital ran a two day design sprint training course for the team - helping them to discover how to run sprint sessions as facilitators, allowing them to get a feel of what the design sprint process is like and how to run a design sprint from Day 1 to Day 5 including tools for prototyping. The course also offers support for incorporating the training into their existing business models. 

Provided Services

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Our ambition is to make the ordinary possible for more children and young people with autism.

Ambitious about Autism is the national charity for children and young people with autism, they help provide services, raise awareness and understanding, as well as campaigning for change. Through TreeHouse SchoolThe Rise School and Ambitious College they have been offering specialist education and support.

Something the team at Ambitious About Autism are very keen to support is earlier diagnosis for children and their families. The majority of autism cases are still diagnosed from around the age of 5 onwards. This team are looking at helping parents to get access to help when their child is at an earlier age. Children can display signs of autism as early as the age of 2 and the Ambitious About Autism team wanted to use design sprints to create a roadmap for help from this age onwards to give help to parents right from the start. The aim of the Ambitious About Autism 'Right from the Start' project is to equip parents with knowledge that will empower them as they navigate the diagnosis system - helping them feel better informed, more autism-confident, and ultimately ensuring they can secure the support their child needs as early as possible.

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Team design sprint training

The 'Right from the start' team from Ambitious About Autism approached Graphite to take them through the Design Sprint Facilitation course. The team included Ian Sutton, the 'Right from the Start' Programme Manager, Francesca Minelli, the 'Right from the Start' Information Officer and two more colleagues from the Ambitious About Autism team.

The team chose to take a 2 day course that would take them through all of the stages of the design sprint and allow them to practice the exercises and processes that form part of a design sprint. The course aim was to help the team become confident enough to facilitate their own design sprint in-house.

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Key Takeaways

The 2 day course shows teams how to prepare for a design sprint with hints and tips from our course facilitator that were learned from the many design sprints run by Graphite Digital with their clients. The Ambitious About Autism team were given an example problem and together they ideated a solution and mapped the journey and went  through the design sprint process. The team learned how to map a journey, which problems work in a design sprint and how to reframe a problem in order to create innovative solutions.

The team each received their own Training Playbook and went through a number of exercises that helped them to sketch ideas quickly and to understand the process to choose a solution. They used simple prototyping tools to create a prototype.

How did the team find the course? 

At the end of the course the team were able to understand the design sprint facilitation process and the exercises that form part of a design sprint. Ian says "I'm now clear on the steps I need to take to run a design sprint from having a big problem to creating some kind of solution. One of the exercises I found the most helpful was mapping a user journey. The kind of work we do to support children and young families with autism follows an initial journey from getting a diagnosis, to getting your child into school and your child growing up. Along that journey are pain points, and being able to focus in on these and ideate solutions will help us to help families on an ongoing basis. I also found it so useful to be able to use software to create prototypes. This is an enormous skill for our team to have. I want to get back to work and get started with the ideas this training has developed. I know what I will bring to each stage when I facilitate a sprint. I would definitely recommend this training to others and I would encourage others in the charity sector to do this training to expand their minds."

I would recommend this to anyone in the public sector looking to expand their mind.

Ian Sutton - Programme Manager

So what's next? 

We're hoping to catch up with the team again soon to hear how it went when they facilitated their first design sprints. The team hope to improve the lives of those with autism and their families by adopting this new process internally. 

Find out more about Design Sprints and Design Sprint Training or get in touch via the form below.

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