Sprint, digital product co-creation

Mark Ralphs

9 January 2017

Back in 2013 we worked with a FTSE 100 financial services company that faced significant challenges:

  • Culture / conservatism / working in silos
  • Technology / restrictions / IT risk management
  • Speed / lack of agility / time to market
  • Knowledge / making the most of the knowledge within the business / having the required expertise

We recognised that these were significant, intractable challenges. No one project could solve them.

Instead we proposed a new approach to developing digital strategy and product, which we called Sprint. We still apply the lessons today.

Sprint was designed to spark interest, generate momentum, build capacity and overcome obstacles.

  • A Sprint project lasted one day.
  • It had a single, clear objective.
  • The objective was addressed by a small team (no more than 8 people), working offsite, supported by external expertise.

Before the day planning was essential:

  • Set the right objective, one that is immediately relevant to the business and its stakeholders.
  • Identify the right mix of participants from across the business. Not the ‘usual suspects’.
  • Co-create the session structure and activities in consultation with the group..
  • Set the principles and framework that guide the project, manage risk and allay any wider concerns.
  • Achieve buy in from key stakeholders

On the day:

  • We created a ‘lab’ environment where people could think freely and experiment with the latest technologies and platforms.
  • We used expert facilitation and provided inspiration, expertise and support.
  • The process and outputs of the day wee captured on film.
  • We identify clear follow-up steps that ensure value is shared and built on.
  • The key output was a paper or interactive prototype that was presented back to the business.

Immediate value:

  • We demonstrated the possibilities, “it can be done”.
  • We inspired and educated the team, “we can do it”.
  • We overcame obstacles, “this is realistic, it’s not that big a leap”.

Long‐term value:

Each project was a step towards changing the ingrained mindsets and behaviours that prevented the company from working effectively with digital and social media.