Sprint as a starting point for discovery.

The problem: our products and design decisions were not being driven from an understanding of our users, or their motivations. We lacked a real discovery process and too often would jump to building features without proper validation.

There were negative effects to this. First, a growing disinterest from the team as they had no connection to the problems the company was trying to solve. Second, features that missed the mark entirely and provided little to no value in the real world. Lastly, months of development effort lost on sub par experiences.

The solution: more research validation, and a stronger focus on discovery before solutioning. Admitedlly I was very inspired after reading Jake Knapp’s Design Sprint handbook. The method and philosophy made sense, get the right people in the room, and solve a problem quickly before investing too much resources on the actual build.

The first step to changing the delivery process would be to bring new methods to the table. Enter design sprint.

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We ran our first sprint in December of 2018 our long term goal:

Power a car buying experience for both dealers and buyers that can take place anywhere.

Our sprint questions:

What is the benefit to dealers?
Do we understand the behaviours and interactions between buyers & dealers?

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Even after the sprint week had concluded, that statement and those challenges can still be looked at, as the product design team’s north star at Motoinsight.

Sprint week allowed us to dig into the car buying journey and all of the actors involved. Getting that high level view gave our team the understanding they would need to solve the most critical problems for the business.

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It also forced us to quickly prototype some ideas that otherwise would have taken weeks to conceptualise.

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Beyond the prototype that was produced from sprint week, the process had longer lasting effects on the team.

We have a better understanding on how to implement sprint excercises into our delivery process. We now know when its appropriate and how much we should do.

We have a better grasp of the car buying problem and all of the smaller touchpoints involved, and we understand all of the humans involved during that process.