The Shop runs design sprints, usually for clients who don’t follow an agile, ‘product management’ approach to their work. This is normal. Most organisations don’t usually solve problems by having small teams work with a single focus for five straight days.

A reasonable number of our discussions about collaboration with potential new clients fail on this basis. It’s just too hard to imagine putting a group together for a week, even if they agree with the logic of the process and understand the quality of the outcome.

Some design firms have tried to solve this by running five day design sprints in four days, but in our view, doing this is just too intensive, leaving too little time for reflection and deep thinking.

Instead, we’re introducing an alternative to the five day design sprint, which we think of as being more like a triple-jump – a hop, a skip, and a big leap at the end.

Here’s how the Design Hop, Skip and Jump works:

The Hop: We facilitate the first three days of the sprint in much the same way as we always do. We agree what we’re trying to achieve, we learn about it together, design together and work out what we think might be the most appropriate solution. There’s a little extra decision making at the end of the third day, as we’ll need to spend an extra time together agreeing exactly what we’re going to prototype and how we’re going to do it, but otherwise the sprint process is unchanged.

The Skip: The fourth ‘day’, which is normally spent with the team building a prototype together, you leave to us. There’ll be a little back and forth over email and Slack if there are decisions we need to make together, and an opportunity to incorporate your feedback. We’ll take a few days to bring the team’s ideas together into a prototype and set things up for…

The Leap Forward: On the fifth ‘day’, a week or two after the Hop, we’ll get back together as a team and test the prototype with a small number of research participants. This is where we learn whether the ideas we’ve worked on are credible and valuable to real people.

The advantages of doing it this way:

  1. You only need to clear your team’s calendar for three consecutive days, plus one day later on for research.
  2. You can start the sprint on a Monday, Tuesday or a Wednesday (five day sprints typically start on a Monday).
  3. You don’t need to worry about the prototyping skills of your team. We’ll look after that.
  4. We have more time to recruit good research participants to test the prototyped ideas.
  5. We can schedule the research tasks for a more convenient time, both for yourselves, and for the research participants (you could split it over two evenings, for example).

Everything else is the same as any sprint facilitated by The Shop:

  • We’ll help you define the problem and select a team to work on it
  • We’ll help you understand your customer/user needs in advance of getting started
  • We’ll explore the problem together, develop solutions and test them
  • We’ll work with you to work out what’s next
  • We provide expert facilitation, strategic and creative thinking and all the other stuff you’ll need for a successful project
  • A flat fee of £7,500 + VAT

Read about our work with world famous concert halls, the second most important politician in the country, the largest trade union in the land and more.

Sounds interesting? Want to discuss further? Give The Shop a ring on +44 7766 281 239.