A design sprint is a short, time-boxed period (usually 1-2 weeks) committed to moving through the design cycle, start to finish. This means rapidly engaging stakeholders to learn about a problem, uncover insights, generate ideas, build prototypes and gather feedback.
Why Use a Sprint Model?
- Solve complex problems fast—Go from defining the problem to testing solutions in a few days or weeks. A sprint enables you to quickly consider possibilities and learn what works so you can get to solutions sooner.
- Collaborate on problems, anytime, anywhere—When working in a distributed team, shared problem solving can be tough. Overlap’s design sprints enable teams to work together virtually and asynchronously, across locations, timezones, and schedules.
- Achieve reliable, structured innovation—Coming up with a great idea can be a repeatable process. Our sprints apply tried-and-true methods for progressing through the design process and helping teams develop creative solutions to problems.
- Choose a scope and scale that work for you—The sprint model flexes according to your team’s capacity and budget. We can invest a few hours at each step to arrive at a few key ideas, or invest more time to generate more insights and deeply explore diverse solutions. Overlap can act as facilitators and advisors to your team, or act as co-designers and do more of the heavy lifting.
Steps in a Design Sprint
- Research—Observe, ask questions, and gather data to understand the people’s experiences.
- Form Insights—Clearly articulate people’s needs and create insights that reveal surprising details about their worldviews and priorities.
- Focus the Challenge—Identify opportunities for problem solving that are rooted in people’s needs and experiences, and capture them as “How Might We…?” Questions.
- Generate Ideas—Come up with lots of creative ways to solve the problem, then prioritize the most promising ideas.
- Build & Test Prototypes—Build prototypes to make ideas tangible, then share prototypes with people to get feedback.
- Implement—Determine next steps and begin to act on solutions.
Rachel Hofstetter Vice President & General Manager Overlap Associates Canada
Rachel Hofstetter, is a strong leader with exceptional management, business and people skills. She’s a natural coach who inspires people to work collaboratively toward new outcomes, while developing organizational cultures that support continuous learning and innovation. Get to know Rachel, see some of her work and engage with her ideas here.
Our Sprint Software Partner Sprintbase
For virtual or distributed sprints, we use Sprintbase as a platform to capture and coordinate the work of the sprint. Sprintbase is purpose-built to help remote teams collaborate on design and innovation projects. The platform actively guides teams through every step of a design thinking process, combining a team workspace and tips for the design process, all in one place.