Four mistakes we made while building Sprintbase – and what we learned from them

There are a huge number of good decisions that inform a business going where you want it to go. But, along the way, there are always going to be a fair number of mistakes that inform how you get there.

That’s definitely true with Sprintbase. When I think about how the platform came to be as it is today, I realise what a huge role trial and error has played.

So, in the spirit of celebrating what an important part of any journey tripping up, learning and adjusting can be, I thought I’d share some of the mistakes we’ve made during the last few years, and what we’ve learned from them:

1. Assuming that we should try to replicate face-to-face experiences online

At first we thought that what we needed to do was recreate in-person workshops, but just run them virtually. We were wrong about that.

We soon discovered that the trick to creating great virtual innovation workshops and projects is to stop trying to recreate in-person experiences, and instead focus on maximising the unique advantages of a remote setting. These include:

  • The opportunity to involve all the right people
  • The chance to make the most of group and individual creativity
  • The ability to hold everybody to account
  • The fact that you can share feedback and iterate more quickly
  • The immediate, more tangible, actionable output you get

Working remotely brings a flexibility which isn’t possible in an in-person experience. Introverts have the space to make their voices heard, everybody has more time to reflect in their own time, people can flex when they contribute around their lives, and there’s space for a much greater diversity of contributions.

As soon as we started embracing the unique elements of going virtual, we started offering virtual experiences which could help organizations bring about real, transformational change.

I’ve written in more detail on this subject, if you’d like to read more.

2. Assuming that people would make the move to remote working gradually

Whilst remote working was certainly on the up before the global health crisis, nobody expected the entire world to suddenly be working from home.

We’ve all been caught off-guard by the pandemic, and in our case, we’ve had to move quickly to manage an influx of new users and the changing nature of the challenges teams are seeking to solve right now. It’s taught us a huge amount about how to communicate what people can do with Sprintbase, and about just how much can be achieved in short periods, as people seek to resolve big, game-changing issues at speed.

The biggest lesson we’ve learned during this time is that remote projects work best when people focus on what they can do virtually, not what they can’t. When people embrace the format and the unique advantages of bringing people together remotely, incredible things can happen.

We’ve seen several examples of people achieving amazing things with design thinking in just the last several weeks. Here’s one example.

3. Assuming one process would work for every client and every situation

At first we thought that a one-size-fits-all approach to Sprintbase was the way to go.

But we soon learned that we needed to make it possible for organizations to incorporate their own ways of working into the platform. Some businesses have their own innovation processes or templates that they want to use whilst running a sprint on Sprintbase. We had to find the right balance between providing a structured, guided process for people to follow to apply design thinking with rigor, and allowing the flexibility for teams to customize Sprintbase to their situation.

So now the site can be adapted to meet bespoke requirements.

4. Assuming people need a long time to tackle a big challenge

Surely transformative impact can only happen if teams have several weeks to go deep on an issue?

But actually, just because organizations are facing big problems, it doesn’t mean they want – or can afford – to spend a long time solving them. We’ve learnt that businesses want to run projects and training for a variety of lengths of time. Some teams want to come together for a few days, some a few weeks, and some just for a couple of hours.

And we’ve seen time and again – and particularly when businesses are facing a crisis – that truly groundbreaking change can come about in much shorter periods.

More from the blog

1011021031049895
Great icebreakers: How to kick off a virtual workshop

Whatever kind of design thinking workshop you’re running – whether in-person or virtual – it’s so important to take a few moments before you kick off to get your participants warmed up, comfortable with one…

Join us at the BAistanbul Virtual Business Analysis conference – 1-3 December 2020

How does your organization need to change to help it keep moving forward? The BAistanbul Virtual Business Analysis Conference is going to be exploring exactly that. Covering themes including virtual business analysis and collaboration, remote…

The dos and don’ts of remote working

The whole world is suddenly working remotely. To help anybody new to virtual working, our team of seasoned virtual workers have shared their top tips.

Drop us a line to discuss how Sprintbase can help you.

Please enter your name

Loading...
We use HubSpot as our CRM platform. By submitting this form, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to HubSpot for processing. Learn more about HubSpot's privacy practices here.

Thank you!

A member of our team will be in touch shortly.

In the meantime...

Why not learn how to overcome the challenges and unlock the benefits of running remote innovation projects.

See more
Loading...

Building a design-driven culture in your organization?

Sprintbase has you covered.

Please enter your name

Loading...
We use HubSpot as our CRM platform. By submitting this form, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to HubSpot for processing. Learn more about HubSpot's privacy practices here.

Thank you!

A member of our team will be in touch shortly.

In the meantime...

Why not learn how to overcome the challenges and unlock the benefits of running remote innovation projects.

See more
Loading...

Want to make an even greater impact running design thinking projects with your clients?

Sprintbase has you covered.

Please enter your name

Loading...
We use HubSpot as our CRM platform. By submitting this form, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to HubSpot for processing and consent to allow Sprintbase to store and process the information submitted above in order to review your candidacy for joining the Sprintbase Consultant Network and to provide you with the requested materials. Learn more about HubSpot's privacy practices here.

Thank you!

A member of our team will be in touch shortly.

In the meantime...

Why not learn how to overcome the challenges and unlock the benefits of running remote innovation projects.

See more
Loading...

Equipping students with the practical innovation skills they need?

Sprintbase has you covered.

Please enter your name

Loading...
We use HubSpot as our CRM platform. By submitting this form, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to HubSpot for processing. Learn more about HubSpot's privacy practices here.

Thank you!

A member of our team will be in touch shortly.

In the meantime...

Why not learn how to overcome the challenges and unlock the benefits of running remote innovation projects.

See more
Loading...

Want to build your virtual facilitation skills?

Get everything you need to lead amazing remote workshops and projects with the Remote Design Sprint Essentials course, led by the experts at Treehouse Innovation.

Get skilled up