The art of moving from innovation to delivery

I’ve covered what happens after the Design Sprint in a previous post, but that’s really for iteration, rather than . What people have been asking is “what does look like?”

Let’s start with the outcomes of a Design :

  • A human-tested prototype
  • User test evidence
  • Decisions made
  • A product backlog

These are often not enough to give the production team what they need on Day 1. At Etch, we often follow the Design Sprint with an Iteration Sprint. The outputs of that include:

  • Component additions or a new component guide
  • More documentation around the prototype
  • Further time to iterate the design
  • A handover day

Hopefully, you would’ve included a designer and developer on the Design Sprint, so none of this is alien to them when they start.

So here’s three top to ensure the pace of change continues into production:

1. Know your production team

Purely from my experience, I’ve found that each production team I’ve ever worked with works in a different way. They might use methodologies from Agile, Waterfall or their own mix. Maybe it’s less that 30 days effort, which may mean it goes to BAU (Business as Usual), or if longer, a project team is formed.

Identifying how production work early on is incredibly useful to know, especially when you have limited time and you need to deliver exactly what they need. Talk to them early, or better yet invite them to participate in the Design Sprint.

Understand how the next team are going to work early

2. Include the right people

The facilitator doesn’t need to be involved (but the decision maker most-certainly does). Within the Design Sprint, the decision maker was responsible for making, guess what — the decisions. The Design Sprint needs to empower the decision maker to carry on with the good work and continue making decisions, but also communicate what led the sprint team to the outcomes so far.

If more critical decisions need making, use The Lightning Decision Jam, but likely they’ll be production only decisions and can be solved in the usual way. Questions production may have could be:

  • Do we create a new development branch to work from?
  • What technologies do we use?
  • How does this fit with our current component library or style guide?

Again, the Iteration Sprint helps here, by delivering production-ready outputs in a format that can be quickly started upon.

Here, I’m facilitating.

3. Add value to the production process

Production can take a long or short time depending on what you’ve innovated, but also on the skill of the team. Add value by including designers and developers within your Design Sprints which has the added benefit of joint responsibility to do a great job and get to greater outcomes.

They may even think of new ways they can innovate within production and launch!

Efficiency should continue through into production — share what you have learned!

More to come

As we interface with more production teams, I’ll share the learnings as we go. “What happens after the Design Sprint” is a hot topic!

Please do send me feedback on whether these tips are useful to you and your team. The more I learn, the more I’m going to share.

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