Growth Thinking vs. Google Design Sprint

Originally published

Growth thinking, like Google Design Sprint, is a design methodology for problem-solving. Google Design Sprint is for solving big problems with product and service design in a short time period. In contrast, growth thinking accelerates the organizations’ Growth regardless of the products or services being offered.

Both serve an equally important role as they complement each other in several ways. They compliment each other, where the Google Design Sprint is about product and service Design, and growth thinking accelerates the organization’s Growth.

If you look at the spectrum of business methodologies, there are four types.

Accelerating Growth​

  1. Pirate Funnel AARRR
  2. G.R.O.W.S.-process
  3. T-shaped Growth Hacker
  4. One Metric That Matters
  5. North Star Metric

Build a company​

  1. The Business Model Canvas
  2. The Value Proposition Canvas
  3. Lean Startup Canvas
  4. Blitzscaling Canvas Business
  5. Model Innovation Framework

Managing projects​

  1. Agile
  2. Scrum
  3. Waterfall
  4. Kanban
  5. PRINCE2

Offering Design

  1. Design Thinking
  2. Google Design Sprints
  3. Lean Startup
  4. Double Diamond Design
  5. Kano Model

Where do Google Design Sprint and Growth thinking to connect

If you are a startup — Google Design Sprint helps bring all your talent into one process to focus on exacerbating the product and service design process. Growth thinking helps accelerate that talent tool to build an actional organization designed to scale and sustain long-term Growth.

If your an operating business — growth thinking would supersede Google Design Sprint as the strategy, and the optimization of your Growth would set the scene for how the Google Design Sprint model would help achieve your organization’s Growth in alignment with your strategy.

Will Google Design Sprint improve design thinking.

Selecting the right methodology is about the following aspects:

  1. Can it achieve what we need
  2. Is it easy to use and learn
  3. Is there enough supporting materials
  4. Can it improve our ROI

Those four factors help you choose the right method at the right time. Supporting materials and being able to learn the method are critical. The faster and easier you can adapt to a new method, the better it is. This factor would supersede inherent drawbacks, which they would all have.

It’s more important to learn quickly vs. inherited drawbacks because once you know the drawbacks, you can become even more creative with those methodologies. Many of the methodology designers focus on updates and upgrades over time.

The Google Design Sprint explained

Properly guided design sprints combine fast, prototypical, powerful shortcuts to answer big questions about what we should be doing. While building a solid foundation for a company’s long-term success, the model focuses on products and service design with the customers at the center of it.

Focused on solving big problems

Knapp invented the Design Sprint process at Google and perfected it with over 150 sprints at startups and Google Ventures. He has developed Sprint Design for Google and many other companies and organizations around the world.

Google formalized its brainstorming process when designer Jake Knapp published his Design Sprint book, Design Sprint. Designed for Google Plus and Google Hangouts at Google +, perfected by sprints with John Zeratsky of Google Ventures, and then published the book “Design Sprint” with him.

Making the Google Design Sprint easy to access

Provided you know the original Design Sprint, here’s a quick review: A Design Sprint is a 5-day or less long process that quickly allows you to design a business idea. By using a design sprint, you essentially compress your time to iterate it in a few days. It’s an opportunity to promptly produce designs in a week and solve big problems in five days! We decided last year to try out the GV Design Sprint for the first time on Google as part of the Google product development team.

Pending deadlines, coupled with a clear process, allowed the Design to be done in a few days instead of months or years. This helped Google Ventures’ Design Sprint by enabling them to get a working product ready in a matter of days, rather than months of thinking and planning.

The Design Sprint model quickly allows customers to capture needs, and we quickly change the original idea to meet those needs. This distinguishes the Design Sprint from the traditional design process: you don’t have to tell people how to design and think. You can let people do the Design for you during a design sprint, so you can quickly see that your initial ideas meet your needs and repeat themselves.

Boosting the effectiveness of the Design Sprint

The Design Sprint methodology is build to a UX culture and design leadership in companies. Its origins started from UX design challenges and an absence of models to support this process. The leadership at Google adopted this as a tool across the organization to improve performance. By doing so, they have seen massive productivity enhancements ranging from 25% — 1500% increases across their business units.

Google’s design sprints are not for people who are mostly satisfied with the status quo but for companies who want to work on a particular, small function.

How does Google Design Sprint work

It is a full, five-day process to collect and validate insights from users quickly. With a design sprint, you can get quick feedback, improve your product or service, and improve and find new opportunities by creating testable prototypes. If you follow the Sprint design steps, you can start developing the product by following agile methods such as Scrum XP. MVP’s definition requires more than what can fit into a typical five-phase sprint, but design sprints are a good start.

Most Design Sprint coaches and consultants will work to design something that works in the time you have. The problem is that the design work runs parallel to a backlog in Design and development. Time-bound approaches have some drawbacks:

  1. they don’t allow for creative flow to take full potential
  2. not everyone is instantly aligned and needs time
  3. the thinking doesn’t have time for validation and improvements
  4. encourages people to finish the process done regardless of results

Design thinking vs. Google Design Sprint

This distinguishes a Design Sprint from the traditional design process: you quickly learn what your customers “needs are and quickly see that the original idea meets these needs. Because the Design Sprint process is so streamlined, it helps you keep costs down by allowing your team to produce results quickly, validate or reject assumptions about your users.

One of the unique traits of the Google Design Sprints is the deadline. This enables people to see an end and encourages them to work more quickly. Although this can have drawbacks, this process overcomes this by having all the different expertise required in the design spirit itself. This avoids gaps, solos, and other communication issues. It helps overcome blind spots others do not see and instills a culture of collaboration.

You don’t have to tell people how to design or think; you can let them do the Design during a design sprint. A Design Sprint can be an excellent opportunity to solve problems, validate ideas, and share ideas with your team. The benefit of this is no knowledge or preparations are needed in advance. You just take action within the process itself.

Google Design Sprint Kit and support network

A Design Sprint team must include all the people responsible for doing the Sprint work, not just the design team members. This, combined with the kit and other support materials, the Google design spirit is designed for anyone to put into action at any time.

Design Sprint and agency usage

Google Design Sprint in summary

One of the biggest questions you ask when implementing design sprints in your company is how you can measure your design sprint’s success.



How does Google Design Sprint help growth hacking?

What is the Google Design Sprint?

How does Google Design Sprint work?

Strategist entrepreneur & innovator in space tech, government, & health/wellness. Has raised $20m directly /+$100m indirectly for startups.

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