In the last decade, design thinking has come along way in helping organizations understand themselves in a more full way. What design thinking really does on a high level, is provide organizations with solutions to problems. Sometimes organizations don’t know what their biggest problems even are, so how could they ever come to a solution?
Design thinking and understanding modern trends in agile software development, led to a new process by GV (Google Ventures) that would merge the best of these worlds. GV formed a pragmatic, highly iterative approach to product design.
The following definitions and except are directly sourced from GV themselves.
What’s a Design Sprint?
Definition 1: A design sprint is a five-phase framework that helps answer critical business questions through rapid prototyping and user testing. Sprints let your team reach clearly defined goals and deliverables and gain key learnings, quickly. The process helps spark innovation, encourage user-centered thinking, align your team under a shared vision, and get you to product launch faster.
Definition 2: The sprint is a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers. Developed at GV, it’s a “greatest hits” of business strategy, innovation, behavior science, design thinking, and more—packaged into a battle-tested process that any team can use.
Working together in a sprint, you can shortcut the endless-debate cycle and compress months of time into a single week. Instead of waiting to launch a minimal product to understand if an idea is any good, you’ll get clear data from a realistic prototype. The sprint gives you a superpower: You can fast-forward into the future to see your finished product and customer reactions, before making any expensive commitments.
The Sprint Framework: Where Does It Come From?
The Google design sprint framework was created in 2010. Over the years, working alongside Google Ventures, we’ve studied and tested 300 different business strategy, design thinking, and user research methods from places like IDEO and Stanford d.school. We took the most effective ones and evolved them, arranging them into a framework that supports both divergent thinking (creative brainstorming that results in multiple possible solutions) and convergent thinking (using defined, logical steps to arrive at one solution). The methodology has evolved over time and continues to be refined and tested.