The first thing we do is prepare a form for everyone joining us from the client-side to fill out. We send a way for them, and we start with a question:
Question 1: What are the top two things you'd like to get out of the Sprint:
- Validate ideas and prioritize features.
- Increase user engagement of existing products.
- UI design.
- Increase user activation.
- Monetization of a new or existing product.
- Clear vision and direction.
- Defining what the USP should be.
- Prioritizing the project timeline and agile backlog
This is for us to know what they need and see if everyone on the client-side is coming with the same goal. You'd be surprised how many times people are coming in with different assumptions, different purposes, different expectations.
Question 2: After the Sprint, the next step is this project is:
Get further buy-in for the organization/stakeholders (to greenlight & finance the project). It might be an idea that you know a couple of people have within a company, but they don't have a budget. Hence, they run a sprint because they can do it fast and without investing a ton of money into developing a product. They get validation for it, and then they can show like the prototype and the user feedback to their bosses and get permission to run with this project if they've already decided that they know for sure. Maybe they already have a product on the market, and they have the data that tells them they should be building a specific product.
Pass the Sprint outcomes immediately (prototype and testing results) to another internal team to keep making progress in the project (e.g., design team, marketing team, content team). They like the prototype to an internal team that keeps working on it.
Go into a development team to start execution. This is rare. Sprint doesn't take care of the whole design, but sometimes if you run a couple of Sprint's back-to-back, you can go into development after the Sprint.
We asked this question so that we can tailor the report that we
give them at the end. If we know what is their next step. The Sprint is so great at giving you momentum and just having a great start, and we want to help our clients carry that momentum throughout their work on the product. We ask them what the best way for us is. What is the best format? What are the assets? What are the most important things that you need to get out of the Sprint and plug right into the next step so that you can continue just moving fast and iterating?
Question 3: Looking ahead at what you have planned for this project, please finish this sort of sentence:
- "In two years, our product/service will be...."
We ask them to fill out, you know, to complete that sentence.
Question 4: Who is their target customer/user?
This helps them understand who was designing for, which is crucial and super important. They give us an excellent description of who their users are. Is it a B2B company? Is it a B2C? What is age group are the users who primarily are on mobile or still on the desktop? For example, a B2B solution that service reps use or something like that. This helps us put out a form to recruit users before we start the Sprint once we know who the target customer is.
Question 5: Who their most significant competitors?
We can also take a look at the market since we work with companies from various industries. Not just the tech industry. We ask them who are your base competitor is, who do you want to beat, and take a look at their solutions before the Sprint. Therefore we're informed on what that market looks like.
Question 6: Name 1-3 companies/products that inspire you, and you would like to emulate your product?
We can incorporate some of that design into the work because this is something that they want to emulate. So if you like apple, and you like their design values of just being minimal, straightforward, and clear. That helps us a lot in knowing how we're going to design the prototype for them. What kind of you know aspects, values, or elements we can borrow from other design systems or other companies.
Question 7: What are some ideas/directions that you'd like to explore during the Sprint? Maybe something that you've wanted the company to try but hasn't had the chance?
Many people who work at companies get constant ideas about how they can improve their product or service. They don't have the time. They don't have the resources to try these things out, and they want an outlet to try and see. The Sprint is the perfect vessel for this, for them to like play around and test out their idea.
Question 8: Are there any documents you would like to share with us because they are relevant for the Sprint?
Sometimes companies have already tried to build something and maybe if they've designed some internal prototype. Before they've come into the Sprint, they've explored an idea, and they want to explore it further. It's beneficial for our team to have that context and know if this will be what we will be working on. If we're going to be continuing down a direction that they've already started.
We asked them to share that, but we say this is not mandatory. You can share this if you have it. That's the form that we send to our clients, and everyone on the client side who will be joining this print has to answer that. We can get the best possible picture of their business before we start the Sprint. After we have all the answers from our client's form, we schedule a few calls, maybe not with everyone from the client-side but definitely with the decider and maybe one or two extra people that the decider recommends we talk to before the Sprint.
Now that we have the answers from the forum that they submitted, we get on a call to go more in-depth and have the decider precisely explain how their company works, how their existing product works, or the new product they want to be working on. It's going to be, you know the business model for it, why are they going into this in the first place, do they have specific targets that they want to meet, and how does the industry work in general. This conversation is super valuable. The form doesn't go deep enough, and it's just better to have this out all on a call because it's much easier for the client that way. We're then taking notes during that call to share with the entire team from our side.
After done with that call, we go out with all the information we have, and we start looking for some Lightning demos that we're going to show off during the Sprint during the Lightning demos exercise. We begin looking for solutions within the industry and outside the industry that might be relevant in interactions.
For example, if it's going to be a two-sided marketplace, uber could be an example because you have the driver's side and the writer's side. Then once we're done with that, we move on to preparing how we might questions. Those would be questions that we want to ask everyone in the room and answer during the expert interview section. Those are usually super good for us to know more about the client's business. Maybe stuff that came up after we talked to the decider, or if we want to hear from more people on the team who we didn't have calls. For example, someone in the customer support role, or the marketing role, can see their perspective on the problem. That does it in terms of the preparation that we do before this Sprint.