Design Sprints: The bigger picture

Kalina Simeonova - 21 April 2020

Just like the corona crisis doesn’t stop us from doing remote Design Sprints, it also doesn’t stop us from organizing remote meetups. Our creativity continues, even remotely! 

About the meetup

The Design Sprint is a powerful method that helps teams to solve problems, generate new ideas and validate assumptions in 4 or 5 days. We have helped companies of all sizes by using the Design Sprint process to enable them to go-to-market faster with products and features. The design thinking behind this method can however also help organisations to transform themselves. Either by shaping new ways of working in your team, solving strategic challenges, or could be even tailored to other contexts. 

So, for this first online meetup on Wednesday, 8 April, we decided to dig deeper and explore what else the Design Sprint method offers under the topic of 'Design Sprints: The bigger picture'. Our speakers, Margriet Buseman from Orange Minds and Maarten van de Heuvel from GoWeekly have many sprints under their belt. They shared their experience with using the building blocks of the method for adapting it to different organisational needs and challenges.

Margriet Buseman: Stop talking, start doing!

Margriet Buseman (Orange Minds)

Orange Minds is a management consulting company of two focused on finding impactful solutions for digital challenges. Having run 90+ Design Sprints with Orange Minds, Margriet has seen the power of the Design Sprint many times. Not only in terms of output but also the impact on a team in a new way of working. So she was curious, how do you go from one Design Sprint to scaling it to 50+ in your organisation to support the digital transformation? To understand this better she spoke with PwC, Tetra Pak, Pearson and IBM who have all run 50+ Design Sprints internally to indeed change the way the organisation looks at innovation and digitalization. Here are some lessons she categorised in 5 phases:

  • Start small: Run a Design Sprint to solve your own internal challenge;
  • Camouflage it: Get others excited by sneaking tools into meetings;
  • Create ambassadors: Nourish those who get excited by the way of working;
  • Build prototyping mindsets: The high-interaction sprint format creates safety and increased learning;
  • Adapt and scale: Once you have a deep understanding, change it to fit your organisation.

So, can the Design Sprint really transform the way large companies work? Yes they can! Go through her slides from the meetup. Read all her 21 lessons from running Design Sprints at large scale.

Connect with Margriet Buseman on LinkedIn.

Maarten van den Heuvel: Experimentation is in our DNA!

Maarten van den Heuvel (Go Weekly)

As a co-founder of Go Weekly back in 2014, experimenting with the Design Sprint is in his DNA. They are a management consulting company for digital products, using different innovative methods with their clients. After running well over a 100 Design Sprints during the better part of a decade, they're now applying their experience to other types of tailored Sprints.

Where Design Sprints usually focus on a product related challenge, they have decided to tailor their approach to three focus areas: Strategy, Concept and Team. Each with a unique process. With customizations of the steps, duration (from mere hours to a full week or even longer) and output based on the challenge at hand.

In his talk, he discussed different ways in which organizations can experiment with the Design Sprint and amend the methodology to their needs while preserving the mindset and aspects that make the Design Sprint such a successful tool for innovation. And with that, he explored the questions: What’s next for the Design Sprint? And how can we use our extensive experience to contribute to that future? Check out his presentation slides from the meetup.

You can find a summary of their company deck with more details on the Sprints in general and including the agenda for a typical Strategy Sprint. For more, here is a background information on their different types of Sprints.

Connect with Maarten van den Heuvel on LinkedIn.

Rewatch the meetup

Watch the full talks from the meetup evening in the video below. It's 1 hour long excluding the Q&A session at the end. If you'd like to connect with our host Robbie Farrel, who is personally passionate about Design Spints, reach out to him on LinkedIn. Enjoy watching!

Join us next time?

This meetup was hosted under the chapter of Digital Creators Amsterdam. For updates on other upcoming meetups follow our chapters from the Digital Creators community. Our previous Digital Creators meetup was hosted together with and Flow. We looked at how the Design Sprint method is applied from the perspective of a corporate, agency and start-up

About Digital Creators
Digital Creators Amsterdam is a community for digital product enthusiasts. We get together to share and learn about the hottest topics in digital product creation. Whether you’re a Designer, Engineer, Researcher, or Product Manager feel welcome to join us for inspiring talks, workshops, networking sessions!

Kalina Simeonova


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