Develop Strategy or a Strategic Plan in Sprints
As the business landscape becomes increasingly complex and fast-paced, traditional strategic planning methods can often fall short. Strategy Design Sprints, often referred to as Strategy Sprints, emerge as a new dynamic approach to aligning business strategy with the ever-evolving market. In this type of design sprint, the team goes step-by-step through a process in a short amount of time. They’ll explore their challenge, generate ideas, and quickly build a “prototype” of their strategy or plan that they can test. Read on to learn more about this approach or contact us if you’d like to connect about building out your own strategy design sprint and are seeking a facilitator or group to help.
Strategy Sprints: The New Age Strategic Planning Tool
The term “Strategy Sprint” is inspired by the “Design Sprint,” a methodology made popular for solving complex problems through design, prototyping, and user testing. Strategy Sprints, however, take this concept a step further by applying it to business strategy. These sprints are time-bound, structured, and intensive workshops aimed at solving a major business challenge or defining a strategic path forward. They foster creativity, collaboration, and rapid decision-making.
The Anatomy of a Strategy Sprint
A Strategy Sprint typically unfolds in several stages, each designed to expedite strategic planning and increase its efficacy.
- Stage One – Understand: At this stage, the team gathers to define the problem at hand. They’ll explore the business context, share knowledge, and study relevant data. This is the foundation that informs the rest of the sprint.
- Stage Two – Diverge: The team now broadens its perspective, brainstorming a wide variety of strategic options and innovative ideas. This stage is characterized by free-thinking and creativity, pushing beyond traditional boundaries.
- Stage Three – Converge: Following the creative brainstorming, it’s time to critically evaluate the strategies and ideas. This is where the team selects and refines the most promising strategies. Evaluation can include a SWOT analysis, feasibility study, or risk assessment.
- Stage Four – Prototype: Next, the team crafts a “miniature version” of the selected strategies. This could take the form of a business model canvas, a strategic roadmap, or a service offering mock-up, depending on the nature of the strategy.
- Stage Five – Test: The prototype is then tested to validate its feasibility and effectiveness. This could involve a market analysis, simulations, or obtaining structured feedback from stakeholders or potential customers.
- Stage Six – Implement: The final stage involves the execution of the chosen strategy. Simultaneously, a monitoring and feedback mechanism is set up to measure performance and adjust the strategy as necessary.
The Value of Strategy Sprints
Strategy Sprints offer a host of benefits that make them a highly effective tool for businesses. The intensive, collaborative, and time-bound nature of a sprint can lead to innovative breakthroughs. It reduces the time it takes to make strategic decisions, allowing businesses to adapt to changes quickly and mitigate risks more effectively.
Moreover, the sprint’s collaborative nature ensures buy-in from all participants, increasing commitment and reducing potential resistance during implementation. It’s a potent way of aligning stakeholders towards a common objective, fostering a sense of shared responsibility and ownership.
Interested in applying this unique collaborative approach to your own business or organization? Contact us if you’d like to connect about a strategy design sprint.