A phenomenon institutionalized by Facebook or Google, sprint designs is invading companies. Jerome Bloch, CEO of 360 Digital Heroes, explains how these sprints maximize business performance and innovation in an extremely short time frame.
What is the Design Sprint?
All companies, from start-ups to multinationals, face the same problem, they must achieve a very high level of performance on short time scales. The principle of sprint comes from IT companies like Facebook, which have revolutionized the way a project is managed by multiplying very short meetings - sometimes 1 minute - followed by intense coding phases focused on a specific point for a predefined time. Today, the practice has been extended to many other projects in the company: optimizing recruitment, clarifying the company's values, boosting communication, etc. These sessions combine collaborative work and training to produce a tangible result in three hours or a day, the results of which can be easily measured using one or two key indicators..
What are the golden rules of sprinting?
The first is to align all participants with a resolutely positive state of mind. A person who speaks must necessarily bring a stone to the building. For example, it is prohibited to criticize an element without making a proposal for improvement. Then, stakeholders must understand the incremental methods. A 20-minute sprint will undoubtedly allow you to make significant progress, but not to reach perfection. However, in many companies, the obsession with excellence kills many projects in the bud. In sprint designs, the idea is to progress during the time allotted, and with a succession of progress, the objectives set can be achieved. Finally, the last golden rule is that all team members must demonstrate a high sense of responsibility to do their part of the work between two sprints and accept the risk of formulating bad ideas to move forward. It often takes a hundred ideas to find a luminous advance!
“Innovation is no longer the prerogative
of computer scientists.“
Do you have any examples?
I can give three of them. The first, in communication, is websites. Anyone can now easily put a website online in three hours and improve it in the following weeks. The old method of working for six months or a year on a website before putting it online leads to instant obsolescence and obscures the main problem: creating content. Second example, in the financial sector, giant strides have been made in IT projects by having IT specialists work on sprints with business experts. Innovation is no longer the prerogative of computer scientists. As a final example, a few days ago in Brussels, we created a 12-page brochure for Members of the European Parliament in three hours, bringing together eight experts in the room. To prepare such a document by e-mail would have taken months and hundreds of corrections at a cost 10 times higher."
Published in Duke magazine in October 2019 (www.duke.lu)