Workshops & Sprints
"Sprint" or "Design Sprint"?
I prefer to call them just Sprints, as Design Sprint makes it sounds like it's only for designers and about design. Ideally Sprints are a multi-disciplinary effort, and a condensed version of what happens over a series of Agile Sprints.
Workshops and Sprints are a great way to kick-start a new initiative, or inject some fresh thinking and cross-disciplinary perspectives into an ongoing effort. They're also a great way for us to get to know one another.
I've set up and facilitated over 50 workshops over the years, for clients of all types, and ranging in size from 10 to over 100 participants. The topic of a workshop is completely customizable, and I'll work with you to refine the focus up-front (getting the breadth of the focus right at the start is critical to success). But common topics include:
- Jump-start innovative thinking on a new project
- Immerse a team in research findings and start ideation
- Rapidly ideate, prototype and get user feedback on a concept
- Forge alignment between stakeholders on a "wicked problem"
Good for quick bursts of new ideas, team bonding, creating momentum.
A customized longer session, or following the Google Sprint process
What does your team need to help it achieve escape velocity?
What makes for a successful workshop or Sprint?
- Pre-planning to get agree on the "Goldilocks" focus - not too broad, not too narrow - and on what the objectively defined outcomes are.
- A mixture of disciplines, seniorities, roles, levels of expertise, so there are lots of perspectives looking intensively at the same problem.
- Structured agenda...that's also flexible as needs arise during the session.
- Structured ideation activities, because just telling people to "invent" from a blank sheet a paper is a recipe for disappointment.
- Supportive executive sponsorship that is aligned on the goals, outcomes, and expectations about what can be achieved in the timeframe.
A sampling of workshops for corporations and NGO's that I've set up and facilitated:
30+ workshops for clients at frog design, including:
- Microsoft (100+ people)
Haas School of Business Executive Education Program
American University of Mongolia
World Economic Forum, San Francisco
Mobile World Congress, Barcelona
i7 Summit, Paris
I've spoken at conferences worldwide on innovation, design, and business:
LIFT conference, Geneva
The Next Web Conference, Amsterdam
Interviewed for Temkin Group's report on "Humanizing Digital Interactions"
Interviewed for the Commanding Business podcast about my book and wicked problems
ITT Corporation Annual Leadership Summit
Online Publishing Association Annual Summit
Autodesk University Annual User Conference
Salesforce.com Design Series