As a lead facilitator of Decision Sprints I frequently get asked, what’s the benefit? How does this differ from other workshop techniques? And believe me, if you’ve been in businesses of a reasonable size for any length of time, you’ll think you’ve seen it all.
When we ask our clients for feedback on what they valued most from the Decision Sprint process we get a variety of responses: clarity, unity, direction, speed and …. focus.
Getting focus from a Decision Sprint doesn’t seem such an unrealistic expectation does it? Perhaps not, but usage of ‘focus’ in decision Sprints is perhaps different than your ordinary workshop in that we don’t mean the focus you get in the workshop session where the key decisions are made - we mean the drive that focus gives you when you leave it and how you optimise that.
One of the best examples of this was following a sprint we carried out for our client E2Tech who specialise in IT Operations and who engaged our services to plan, design, and build a new website.
We had a project plan which was dependent on running the main Decision Sprint workshop on the morning before I was due to go on holiday, as this was the only day that all the relevant minds would be available.
The session itself was (as expected) brilliantly insightful and gave rise to some unexpected but highly effective directions and got us even further than expected in the two hours allotted, with the next step being wireframing.
Having recorded the session my plan was to pass this on to Brew Digital’s Project Managers and Designers to pick up on, but we were so inspired with design ideas and fired up regarding what the structure needed to be that it seemed to me a terrible waste to suddenly down tools and expect the team to come back to the wireframing with everything as clear in the mind as it was at that moment.
I had a bunch of admin I had planned to do in the two hours remaining before leaving for holiday. Whilst it would have been a nice ‘wind down’ prior to a break I opted instead to harness the focus from the Sprint session, clear the diary, and work straight away with the team on the wireframes.
I’m so glad I did. The wireframes were agreed internally within two hours and the design team had full concepts ready to show within 48 hours. This helped us gain valuable time in the process, impressed the client with the speed at which we had made progress, and set the pace for the project.
This is why we build immediate actions into our schedules at the end of the facilitated session. Nothing is so powerful as the focus you have when you emerge from the session - harness it and you’re on to a winner.
And the admin… wasn’t that urgent. Honestly.