The Sprint of Innovation
Nowadays, every company is competing intensely with startups. Everyone wants a piece of their industry’s market share.
If the secret of success is execution, large companies have a competitive edge. They have an abundance of staff and resources.
However, they face obstacles that slow innovation like slow decision-making and a demotivating hierarchy. Unfortunately, these companies have lived with the obstacles instead of challenging them.
What if there was a way to unify execution with innovation? It is possible! The result: innovation sprints.
Decide Faster, Execute Faster
When athletes need to improve their speed, they do not train at the same pace. Instead, they change from long distance training to interval training. They alternate their routine with high intensity and fast pace training. This mirrors the concept of sprint innovation.
Thiago Ururahy, head of ACE Corp., commented on his experience with the method:
“The [company’s] advantage to develop and test a new idea through a sprint is that it has a brilliant execution time. It is not short enough that you can not be productive.
[However,] it is not long enough to make you feel comfortable. The deadline is always in your face! You have to rely on the working method to meet the deadline. “
So, What Is An Innovation Sprint?
An innovation sprint is a period of time when teams stop their main activities to create an innovation plan ready for application, investigating technologies or responding to challenges. It is usually 5 to 7 days. This movement serves to push the limits of the company’s knowledge to add value.
The sprint consists of executing 5 simple elements.
Firstly, find out the status quo. Everyone should be in the know and understand the need for improvement.
Secondly, set the innovation mission. The team will agree with specific objectives to achieve an innovation strategy.
Thirdly, create the innovative plan about how the team will achieve the goals.
Next, bring the plan to the key stakeholders for approval. At this stage, the board meets separately and agrees to a specific plan.
Finally, the team hears the verdict and executes the strategy.
On the last day, the team presents their results to the company’s executives.
Innovation Sprint Benefits
An innovation sprint empowers employees by giving them challenges and opportunities to learn. By giving them room to experiment, you bring them closer to the company and involve them in the company’s current direction.
For example, having six developers on a project for a few days will bring incredible results. At the end of the sprint, you can have prototypes and demonstrations available to show customers, investors or board members.