Terry Markle, our Senior Strategy Consultant discusses using Google Ventures five day sprints to quickly solve business challenges.
Many would say you can’t achieve much in just five days. But bring us your meatiest business challenge and five days of your time and we’re sure we can change your mind.
At AmazeRealise we’ve been introducing clients to the Google Ventures Five Day Sprint as a way to quickly solve business challenges that would traditionally take weeks or even months to tackle. The Sprint is a potent mixture of business strategy, innovation, behavioural science and design thinking, and the results our clients have seen are impressive to say the least.
The GV Sprint provides a quick way of breaking down and solving a problem then creating a prototype that is tested with actual users – all in a single week. It means you can wake up on Monday with a headache and leave on a Friday with a solution. The week is laser focused on defining the issue and coming up with a tested, workable answer.
There is finally an alternative to those lengthy waterfall projects and endless cycles of rework. Instead, you have the ability to rapidly respond to the ever-changing needs of your customers.
Getting ready to sprint
To get the most out of your sprint, the process is ideally led by a neutral facilitator, someone who has the strategic mindset to steer the team and keep them moving. We also recommend a little homework beforehand to gather insight and intelligence about the problem (analytics, competitor analysis, customer data, etc) to hit the ground running on day 1.
It's also important to have the right mix of skills in the room. If the solution is likely to require UX design then invite a UX expert along. Or sales and customer service if you’re tackling a customer facing problem. We tell our clients to use as many of their own people as possible but often augment their teams with specialist skillsets pulled from across AmazeRealise.
Once the initial research has been done and a team shape decided, everyone meets on Monday to begin dissecting the problem. That’s day one. On day two ideas are sketched out and day three sees a decision on which idea to pursue. Day four is about building a believable prototype of the solution which is then tested with actual end users on day 5. By Friday afternoon, when the sprint wraps up, you should have the answer to your question.
Real world solutions
We’ve recently experienced the power of the sprint with one of our clients – a large insurance company struggling to message the breadth of its services beyond its marquee product.
We sat down with them on a Monday, together with a few select experts from our own team, and worked through the issues involved. Using the GV Sprint, the team broke down the problem, defined a goal, sketched solutions, built a realistic prototype, and tested the solution with actual customers.
After five days, the end result was a intelligent chat-bot that was capable of matching customer needs to products through a series of questions. Producing a personalised recommendation page tailored to the customer’s profile. The prototype was created in PowerPoint using hot spots and input fields rather than sophisticated programming, but when shown at full screen users had no idea they weren’t using a fully functioning piece of software. It was a quick and simple process but will lead to something that revolutionises how the company talks to customers.
This is just one example, but the sprint process can be used in almost any scenario, from defining a brand, creating a new product, or simply tackling a single inefficiency.
If you’re a business looking to drive innovation quickly, or add some pep to your digital transformation programme, the Google Ventures sprint might be exactly what you need.
If you’re interested in learning more about how AmazeRealise can help you run a GV Sprint, get in touch with one of our experts using the form below.