Benefits of Product Sprints for Your Business
Starting or running a new company can be quite challenging.
Getting new customers, increasing brand awareness, responding to customer needs, and successfully launching your product or website to the market may require you to make hard decisions.
One way to face these critical challenges is adopting the product design sprint.
What is product design sprint?
A product design sprint is a workshop that helps companies/organisations to launch better digital products.
Ideally, it is a 5-day workshop, but can take a shorter time depending on your product and business. These workshops are often done with everyone around the same table or remotely via Zoom.
It involves fast prototyping, testing, and quick idea validation to minimize the risk of failure.
Here are six benefits of product design sprint to your business:
Simple solutions to complex business challenges
Product sprint creates a perfect environment for a collaborative approach which helps obtain answers to complicated challenges within a short period.
It brings on board all the key stakeholders to examine all pain points and turn them into valuable solutions. They help you create a clear vision for failure and success, and see how you would handle either eventuality.
This process requires effective communication to empower contributors to share ideas freely, and the risks and doubts that may impact the final result of your product launch.
You can collect all the facts, assumptions and doubts from all the stakeholders.
As Marc Benioff, Salesforce CEO rightly put it, speed is the new currency of business. Speed is especially critical in large organizations with a bureaucracy that inevitably slows down the decision-making process. Your fast-growing company will also benefit from speed, which is an inseparable part of scaling a business.
Sprint is itself meant to be agile and short to adapt to the complexity of your project. One of its main objectives is to speed new product discovery by allowing small teams the autonomy to explore opportunities within the product design sprint.
A good example is Spotify, which maintains its agility by letting small focused teams to explore opportunities within a product design print and prototype their project in 5 days.
Spotify is a giant organisation, but it is able to achieve its objectives within the shortest time possible by allowing small teams some level of autonomy.
Product design sprint also allows you to reduce risks by minimizing the time and budget on validating ideas. This process produces a prototype within a few days, five at maximum, thus, letting you shrink months of development and testing into less than a week. It means that you can create an MVP in a blink of an eye.
The faster you prototype, the faster you can validate the idea with customers, investors and all other stakeholders. It squeezes time for you to make changes or improvements in case of a failure.
Big companies are using this method to build a competitive advantage with minimal risk of failure along the way. Such companies include Airbnb, Google, and Spotify, among others.
One strong point for the product sprint is fostering collaboration among various groups of people. You can craft a multi-disciplinary team comprising client-side-ideators, and domain knowledge holders, for exchange of ideas and learning from each other. Everyone gets to hear every voice and appreciates all idea raised.
You can expand the team to include developers, who can check whether the ideas raised are possible to implement (Me! That's where I can help!). This is a satisfying experience that allow you to spark creativity and encourage people to think outside the box.
Efficient collaboration saves money, time and stress. This is because it creates no room for ineffective discussions, and lack of organization, because brainstorming sessions are easy to plan and manage. Moreover, a brainstorming session can yield a variety of solutions, letting in a breeze of freshness.
Service validation by customers
If your company still underrates the value of the user-centered approach, you will be in for a rude shock. You may experience a difficult time sorting out misunderstandings, and missed market needs. One of the most important pillars of the framework in product design sprint is the user-centered approach. This means that during meetings, your team members have to act with empathy while fully aware of the customer needs.
It is also important to build meaningful relationships with users through the process of enhanced listening and trust creation. By so doing, you will be building products from the customer's perspective, meeting the needs that customers want to fulfill using your product. This is how AirBnB transformed itself from a tiny startup to a giant accommodation-service provider within a short time.
Ingraining design thinking
Product sprint, through its collaborative nature, brings together developers and designers, helping them to tackle challenges together. Involving other stakeholders from across the board helps to broaden the framework, collectively determining the future of your customer experience. But you have to be sure you have the right people on boards for this process to be successful.
As such, there is need for consensus building. Identify the right persons to include on the team and bring all of them on board. One way of streamlining this process is by putting user needs on the forefront. It gives everyone an insight into the main objective of the product design sprint, and help shorten the duration of the sprint.
The power of design thinking will come to the forefront after exposing the process to customers and other stakeholders on the testing day. This will give them a sense of how much effort goes into crafting a great design and what differentiates a good experience and a great experience.
Product design sprint is a crucial process in launching a better digital product and taking your brand to the next level.
This process requires that you bring on board all stakeholders, emphasizing on a collective approach and building consensus.
The sprint process can tailored for your organisation; 1 day sprint, 3 day sprint, 5 day sprint - sometimes even just one half day sprint is enough to set a organisation on the correct path.
If you need more information on the product design sprint, contact me.
About Fraser Clark
I've been a professional developer for over 10 years. I've been consulting and developing websites & software for small businesses, multi-nationals & governments.