Jan. 19, 2021

#4 – Design Sprints w/ Steph Cruchon

#4 – Design Sprints w/ Steph Cruchon

In this episode, Steph Cruchon chats with us about the history of design sprints, their value, and why they work.

Steph is the founder of Design Sprint Ltd., the first company in the world to offer design sprints commercially. He had an important role in the rate of adoption of the methodology in Europe and around the world. He's organized several events around design sprints and has personally run over 120 sprints since 2015.

Steph's Linkedin - 
https://www.linkedin.com/in/steph-cruchon/

Design Sprint Ltd's website - 
https://design-sprint.com/

iToday Conference - 
https://itoday.ch/

iToday Monthly Apéros -
https://itoday.ch/itoday-aperos/

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/eddzio/

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Transcript
Speaker 1:

I see so many agencies, that's 42 , that traffic traits to work for all types of products. And we can do wire frame. We can, we can. Yeah, of course you can do all of that. The promise that you are not specializing, useless , being very good at what you're doing.

Speaker 2:

Hello, welcome to the growing design podcast, where we help you grow your design agency. If you want to learn how to price your services, how to sell your expertise and how to attract the right type of client , you've come to the right place. I'm your host at Orosco let's get started.

Speaker 3:

Hello,

Speaker 2:

Welcome to another episode of growing the sign today, we have Steph [inaudible] with us, and he's going to be talking about the sign sprints and the value of design sprints, and how to sell the value of design, sprints and workshops in general as a design consultant or design agency. Um, Steph, can you , uh , introduce yourself a little bit for the audience?

Speaker 1:

Well, thank you so much for having me , uh, to the , uh, ad . Uh, so I'm Steph I'm a designer based in Switzerland and , uh, yeah, I've been doing design sprints for the last five years. Um, and the founder and CEO of a company called design sprint LTD. So highly focused on design sprint. And before that , uh , I was the more classic Q week, sir . So I've been in UX for the last 15 years working on very big products and websites , uh, for the last 15 years.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. You guys were the first correct me if I'm wrong, but you guys were the first company in Europe to offer design sprints as a service, right?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. In Europe, for sure. Maybe even in the world , because back then it was mostly done at a Google adventure . Uh, and I , I think I've been lucky enough to be one of the very first to offer it as a , as a service for companies. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And also , um, you sort of started, I don't know, this is just sort of what I, what I understand you, you started doing it even before the book came out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it's such a long story. So we are in 2000 , uh , 21 now. Well , um, and I studied running design sprint in 2015, but , uh, lots of, so something that people don't get about the speed , they think that it's new, it's a new concept or it's a new thing. It's not like the first design sprints that were run at Google venture , uh, 10 years ago, the very, very first ones. But back then it was, you know, it was heat only . It was kind of a secret methodology that Google venture where we're using , uh, created by my good friend, Jake Knapp , uh, who was a designer back then at a GV and the , yeah, just wasn't public. And the one was talking about it. And when , uh, actually, so I was a designer , um, I was working for a big products. Um , like what are they going to make forum? I worked for, for four banks or so I was designing a bank apps back in the year, 2000, a six, seven, and then 2015, I discovered , um, and wanted to work closer to my clients. That was the , the idea because I've been in production, you exert, I've been in these big companies and they saw how inefficient the things were. And I got that. Um, I got a job that I hated at the time. I'm no glassy for bits for , for a very big company. Can have it company. They went on in Switzerland and I realized how broken the process was. And I just wanted to work closer to the clients. And at the time I was working with , um, you know, agile teams , uh, that were doing sprints of agile development sprints, and that was a designer and they came up with that name, you know, I should do sprints of design. So it was early 2015 and I just took them in the design sprint. That's come like for myself on my own , uh , you know, for my own workshops or my own. Um, and one day, you know, I just write some Google, my own websites, a design sprint. And I just discovered that that's thing , you know, it was on the blog of GV, the design sprint, how we do it at Google venture. And I read that it first just blow blog articles, blog posts at this moment. And I was like, Oh my God. And it was X , you know, like it was exactly what they had in mind, just so much more mature and, you know, run at Google with all the startups and that crazy cool guy, Jake was explaining all the recipe. And I was like, this is so cool. So I wrote to that guy to take nap and they ask him, okay, sorry, because I took the name and I didn't know, you guys existed and that you were doing that. Uh, but it looks amazing and I have more influence . And so he gave me the formations and they asking , can I do it? Am I allowed to do it? He said, Oh yeah, of course , uh , I'm writing this book posts because I want people to do it. And they think it's awesome. And I'm really excited. And he told me, yeah , I'm going to release the book in March, 2016. Um, so I knew January two , 2016 that, you know, I just quit my job. I started my own company. Uh, the first Prince , I run them 2015 before the book. And , uh , yeah , it was the first to launch a service around that. And we be , we became good friends with, with tick .

Speaker 2:

So if I understand correctly, you came up with the same name they came up with without knowing that they were thinking about releasing the book on there , the same name.

Speaker 1:

Yes, exactly. Which makes it a lot of , uh, which makes a lot of sense because when you are into design and UI designer , uh , at some point you work with, with teams that are doing agile and that are doing sprints. So, you know, doing sprints of design made sense to me. Uh, and that's how I discovered the methodology early , basically because , uh , no one knew about it. Uh, at least maybe , uh , in San Francisco or in the, in the tech cycles. Uh , I was in tech, but in Europe and we always a bit late. Uh, but yeah, that allowed me to discover it's really, really early. And it was a ,

Speaker 2:

And maybe we can pause for a second and explain a little bit the difference between development, agile sprint and design sprint, because it could be, I know it can be misleading, especially for people that are already working in tech and happy working in development. It's not the same thing,

Speaker 1:

No adult at all, actually the, so I came to the consensus through , uh , through that, but it's totally different. The sprint means that it's a certain amount of time. It's a time box , uh, activity basically. So typical agile sprint is more about engineering and development. That is like two weeks and the design sprints it's , uh , it's typically five days and it will get , uh , you know, designers, business people , uh , engineers can also be part of it, but it's like way more global. It's more about , uh, yeah, the , the whole concepts , um , getting to the right ideas and prototyping things. So it's typically UX. It's not at all , uh , engineering. Yeah .

Speaker 2:

Yeah. The , the , the way I see it, the design sprint is more about generating ideas and deciding which direction to take. And the development sprint is building that idea and how fast, or how efficiently can we build it?

Speaker 1:

Basically the sprint typically comes through there , the very beginning of the project, or even before the project and when you know what you have to do or to build then yeah. You can do agile sprints to actually develop the solution.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. That's um, I think it's, it's mind blowing the fact that you came up with this so early that even before the book, like, I don't think people realize that , um, probably a lot of people say like, Oh yeah, this guy is just, he read the book and just start running sprints. No, you're actually taking a very active role in what would end up being the shape of design sprints as we know them today. Um, so I think , uh , this that's very cool and I knew that, and I wanted to like cover that part because I think is , is very, very interesting for the , uh, the story of design sprints. Um, I want to ask you, why did you decide to focus on design ? I know that you were working on doing some workshops before and you want it to be closer to , uh, the idea generation par of the product development cycle, but why did you choose to focus on such a specific niche?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Um, I mean, th that's super interesting. Um, the point is first you need to focus. It's super important. You can't, you know, you can just do the same as everyone else and you need to kind of specialize yourself if you do UX , uh, you, I see so many agencies that fall into that trap. They try to do everything. Oh yeah. We worked for all types of products and we can do way frame . We can put a type we can. Yeah, of course you can do all of that. The problem that you are not specializing yourself, and you're not being very good at what you're doing. Um, and myself, why I studied , uh , in tech, something like actively so professionally 15 years ago, and I was also doing some front-end coding. So being very late in the chain, you know, like, like on the food chain, basically when everything is this idea that you are just a gay , who is just breeding it. So I've done that. And then I've been, you know, coming, you know, closer to the , uh, like to the beginning of the project. So I was being a designer and then you exert. So my goal was to have an impact basically, and because, and that seeing engineers will have impacts , uh , they have tremendous impacts , but they will have an impact on the strategy or the decision. Most of the time they are breeding what was already decided before. And I just saw that the sprint was an amazing opportunity for, for me as a designer to have an impact, but also to act a bit like a guide, because you know, I'm from Switzerland and it's sad to say, but the country is not that , uh, technology clear , aware, or fast in general about digital transformation and people need a lot of guidance. And I felt at some point that's , you know, after all these years of being, you know , uh, in the, in the trenches and reading all these projects, I have something to add and that can really be guide them to that process. So that was the idea. And, and also , also it's terrifying through to run workshops. If you don't know what you are doing, and you are young, you exert, yes . You laughing. So it's really scary and what they love with the, with the sprints . And especially when I discovered the book, how well it was , uh, uh, how well the VCP was , uh, written in the book and was, it was so clear to me. I had, you know, kind of a guide. I knew I could follow that and it work. So yeah, if I'm running a workshop, I want it to work. So that was the point. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I think a lot of the signers want to have a role, have a say in the way the product is going to look like or work, but they don't want to go and talk to the client and they don't want to take a more active role in the idea conception, or they don't really know how to have those conversations. So they end up just doing whatever comes from, like you said, the top of the food chain , um, you mentioned something that, yes, front-end developers and developers are at the end of the food chain in the product development cycle. However, one of the cool things about the designs brand is that you have multidisciplinary teams coming in together to work together. Right.

Speaker 1:

Exactly. And I mean, that, that's what they felt was. So for me, to be honest, I think the design sprint is a, is a total game in the way you work in the way you approach work and project . And that's why it's, it works also for non-tech projects. We can run these in sprints for all kinds of problems. Maybe you're going to talk about that earlier. Uh , and what I love is that I've been some kind of developer myself, a really bad one, but there was a , I was a developer. And , uh, I know how frustrating it is to have to read something that, you know, is not right. That's , you know, is not going to work. And , uh, I think that that's just an amazing format to it's fact , these it's package, and you can ask, yeah , engineers , uh , data scientist , or whoever , uh, they can be here as part of the conception of the strategy of the product. They can bring everything they know and , uh, yeah, you just go faster and for them, you know, it treat all that frustration . The, they have a say , uh, to the future of the project. And for me, that's, that's a total game changer.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And it's so important, I think, because developers know that technology, ultimately, they're the ones that are building that layer between what's happening in the, in the brain or like the API or the, the application and what the user is experiencing. So I think they're real, they last stop before, or like the last layer between the product and the user. Well, maybe the hardware is going to be one step ahead, but, you know , we don't have a lot of control over the hardware , um, as designers and developers. Um, let's talk a little bit about the value of design sprints. How, what have you found is the most valuable , um, benefit or the most valuable , uh, outcome of running design sprints in your organization?

Speaker 1:

Um , so , um , okay. Now it's five years I run design sprint and I run probably more than 120 myself with all kinds of company in that. I think that's very important to , uh , to note , so it's not only tech companies or it's not only kids, I will say, you know, startups, you know , uh, I've been running design sprints with really a very , uh , classic corporates or even governments or people, very being very , uh, or stylish in the way they approach things. And then that's okay sometimes. Um, and , um, I felt the value was just about speeding . It was, I thought , because when you read the book and yeah, it's like, you're going to completion five days, what will take month or sometime even years because you bring the right people together in one room, you figure out the problems and then you find solutions, then you prototype them and you test them at the end of the sprint. So it's really package and it's great, but they've realized that speed , uh, is important, but it's not what matters the most. Uh, after five years, I can say it, it's more the empowerment of the, of the teams of the employee, of the fact of reading something, conceiving something together, and this , you can bring any employee of the company , uh, and that people can have an important role in the strategy of the product. So it's not, you know, top down with the senior manager who has to figure , uh , to , to figure it out. Um, you know, like , uh , like , uh , it doesn't depend from one person. Um, for example , uh, it's not the designer who needs to find all the solution. No, it's the team and you can really bring everyone , uh, in that process. So this for me is really key. It's also a great way to just teach UX , uh , to a team it's like , uh , you don't know what your experience is. Just do a design sprint, and you will see exactly how, how this works, how you come up with ideas, you select the best ideas. You put them and you test them at the end of the week, the test at the end of the sprint, it's sort of ways that aha moments , you know, that people are like, what? Uh, because the default before that you have to breathe the product for real, to launch it on the market. Maybe it's going to take one, two years and then you start having answers the sprint . You start having answers at the end of five days without even having a real product. So yeah , the , yeah , it's that team spirits, that energy that you can create around the project, that's the real , uh , the real value.

Speaker 2:

And these are people that usually don't have the opportunity or the space to collaborate because each one, if they, if we choose one person to represent each stage of the development process or the product development process, they're not going to be talking to each other all the time. They're going to talk to each other every once in a while, maybe once a month or twice a month. And they probably talked for about two hours in a meeting where there's like 30 people we're not in, is really happening. You know, someone's playing candy crush and they're not really exchanging, which is one of the most for me, one of the most fascinating things about the design sprint is that is a moderated discussion because humans are really bad to , to brainstorm. And I think Jake Knapp says this, that brainstorming doesn't work because he's , it's not organized. There's always someone who's very shy. There's always someone who's very loud and the loud person, and he's going to talk over the quiet person. So it's not the best way to make sure the best, all of the best ideas are capture . Whereas with a design sprint, there's no room for, for informal discussion. Everything has , um, a methodology and a process that you follow to me. That's really great because I think this should be applied not only to the science sprints, but the way we communicate in companies and teams , um, how, how we work around solutions, not necessarily for, for, for product development, but for every problem that you have to discuss and brainstorm in a company. You know,

Speaker 1:

I think Jake and the teams are at GVD. They wanted to design a process. That's very fair to everyone. Uh, you, it's not the loudest voice in the room that wins. It's not the manager that has the best idea is like one part that's very interesting in the design screens is that everyone's going to come up with the concepts , uh, individually. So you don't know what others are actually designing or doing, and you discover that and that's anonymous. So you are judging ideas and you don't know who is behind the idea. So maybe it's the senior manager, but maybe it's just a, it could be the intern, for example, who was on that sprint. And , uh, I think this , this is so great because you talk about ideas and not about persons anymore. And that makes it really, really fair. And yeah, I just love that , that way of , uh , of working. Um, and also I love because I'm a designer and I'm also a consultants because they bring the printing companies, but they don't have the responsibility of finding the ideas myself or telling the teams. You have to do that. Of course, I will bring my opinion if I'm asked, or if, if I have something to say, I'm going to see during the sprint, but at the end of the day, it's the team who chooses. What's the key, what's the concept they're going to save , uh , what they're going to prototype. And my role is to guide them. And that I have to admit, I'm an expert at the process of design, but they're not an experts in their field. I've worked for cosmetics. For example, for example, I don't know anything about cosmetic myself and that even the clients look at that, but , uh , I can guide these teams to actually achieve really good work. And they are, they are the expert or the field.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that that's one key thing that I think people tend to forget, which is the client. He said , his ex is an expert in whatever it is that they do because they build a business around whatever it is that they do. Like, let's say cosmetics, but you as a design consultant or RSI design firm, your expertise is making things happen, just helping them organize their ideas and make decisions.

Speaker 1:

This is so important. I think it was so about the , um, the ROI or the sprint. There are so many projects that, you know, have gotten further thanks to the sprints . You know, they , they were pushed forward that otherwise would have just been stumped or killed very early on. Um, because you know, when you, when you innovate in general, it's so easy to have someone seeing our , but sorry, it's not the right time. Or we don't have the budget or it's too hard or a scene somewhere, someone who does the same and, you know, in these kids, the project very early on, and they think this printed gives a good chance to these innovative projects . Um, the projects are nuts anymore, just a PowerPoint slide or vague idea. It's a prototype at the end of the week. It's a test and it's way more solid . So you just giving the project a better chance to move forward and to become real.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And then you get really high quality data, because if you're just, just making a very basic prototype and PowerPoint, you're the user that you're testing it with knows that is just a basic prototype. So that's going to condition the type of feedback that you get. Exactly. So let's talk about , um, we, we've talked about how, like what's the value of for design sprints and why they're so important, not only for product development, but for decision-making , uh , because they're very fair. Like you mentioned, it gives everyone a , an anonymous voice where you're deciding ideas based on ideas and not on, on, on rank or person. Yeah . Um, you guys also have developed a lot of templates to help people run their own sprints , um, in, in Myra or Miro , if someone from real-time boar or Amiro , or Myro , um, is listening to this, please send us a message and teach us how to pronounce it. Cause nobody , no one really knows.

Speaker 1:

No , that's true. So I've been in touch with some people , uh, in-house in their Hussein Miro, and they've been in touch with some other people who say my role . So even inside the firm, I don't think it's clear.

Speaker 2:

I have another one. There's a Miro . Cause I thought the name came from the, from the IRS . So the painters , so me rogue could be the right way of saying it. I don't really know. We want to know, could be , could be, but you also, you did some templates for them. You also did some templates for mural , um, and for envision . So can you tell us a little bit about that?

Speaker 1:

Sure, sure. So , um, I mean the templating , uh, really comes from COVID crazies basically. Um, I think it's important to , to , to note that at this moment that's , uh , before COVID the sprints , when you read the book , uh , the sprint, it's a totally , um, you know, in-person thing, workshop analog with papers , tikis , all of these . And , uh , when COVID hit , uh , when COVID hit, you know, everything stopped, we just couldn't run workshops anymore. We couldn't get her in the same room and everything had to change. So, I mean, there was that, that idea that it was possible to run , um, remote design sprints. Um, there is that guy, Robert Krabi , you can check his , uh, his website is from Dallas and he was probably the first to really experiment a lot with the idea of remotes design sprints. Um, but what they were doing were more like experiments, or I couldn't recognize really the sprints that they were doing during these experiments because it wasn't really five . The , it wasn't really the same type of workshop, but the tools were here and the exercise is weather. And I was really following that. And I was like, okay, that's interesting, but there is no way I can even sell that in my own country, in Switzerland , uh, back then, you know, it made just no sense to do it remotely. Uh , when we could just gather in one room when COVID hit, I knew the first thing we had to do was to move remote. It was, it was crystal clear. So I had the tools, I had the knowledge of the methodology, how it's supposed to work real full five day design sprint. And I had to build the templates for myself to run sprints where they did. So , uh, I , I breached the template and, you know, I was quite nerdy because since I have , uh , now quite a lot of experience in running these workshops, I know how many stickies it takes for each exercise, how many ideas are generated, how much a space of real estate it takes on the wall. So I could take all that experience in and make a think pretty good. Uh, on 90 pits studied with a mural. So the pink one that the yellow one that is Miro and they there , and then , uh , Jake , [inaudible] the creators of the sprints retail to me and were like our staff . We are writing a guide to, to run remote design sprints. And could you just could just show us , uh, what you guys do? I showed them and they showed them the template and they were like, Oh wait. And they looked at the template. They were like, Oh, okay, this is neat. This, this , this works here . We can, we can say that it's works. And that's cool. And it's actually Jake who asked me , uh, would you be okay that we can have finished a template together is probably there were Horry Birla typos in English, or you had ideas on how to improve. It's a bit more , uh, but that's , we finished the template together, but then that we, this distributes under the design screen name and we make it kind of the official template for these experience. So yeah, what's taken. And I think that was great. Or we took some time with Jake and John and Jackie Colburn also , who was , uh, was part of, it was a great friend of , uh, of John and Jake. And we took the time to really, you know, we took the book, we took this Prince , the road, some , uh, very clear instructions and we just competed finished the templates that was released on , uh , on mural. And then we made the mayoral vision and along the way , uh, envision reached out because they saw that it was getting popular because what's cool. Is that now a lot of people are using these templates to run their own sprints , uh, including us and yeah. Your vision . Also, they have that nice product called freehand that is kind of , um, an alternative to rural Romero and they wanted the templates as well. So, so we made it for them and, yeah, it just, it's just cool to see all these people who are using the templates worldwide and yeah, that was our contribution to the remote design sprint.

Speaker 2:

I think that was really awesome that you guys made that public and free. Um, because like you were saying that like a lot of companies when COVID hit where, or a lot of design firms were like, how are we going to continue to work in if we always run our workshops in person and we cannot meet. Um, and then that thing, when I saw it, I think I saw it on LinkedIn or something. I immediately share with all of my friends and all of my designer colleagues, because I was like, this is so well done. And of course it is because you guys have all of these experience of running the real sprints. So like you said, you know, how many posters he took to , um , for , for each section. Uh, so you had all the knowledge , um , you were in a great position to make like the official template. So that was very cool. And I think that whole design community is very thankful , uh , for that. So , um, yeah, that was, that was very nice.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, you can actually find the template , uh , you write official design sprint template and you can find it , uh, what they want you to say about templating. Uh, it's not hard to make a template in general. Like it's not hard to distribute the templates, but it's hard to make a good one really hard because , you know, I've seen, there are many templates that exist for all kinds of workshop , including design sprints, but , um, what they see a lot of people fall into the trap either to make something super complex with millions of odd boards. And you don't, you have no clarity or super lean and you , you don't even know where to start. And I think with that one, we have something that is in the sweet spot. It's easy to use yet. It's deep enough to like, if it's really the tool that we use, we don't use any other than this.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So the whole point, I think I heard Jake say this in an interview one time that the whole point of making the original sprint so analog and with papers and with whiteboards is to separate us from technology because technology is so distracting last night, I was actually having a conversation. I was, I was on another podcast. Now , this one I was invited to , uh , on another podcast and we were talking about the importance of simplicity. A simple is good. The more simple things are the easier they are to understand. And especially if you're working with all this complexity that, you know, building a product is very difficult and collaborating with people to build a product is very difficult. So the, the easiest it is , um, to work with the tool or the easiest it is to use the tool the better for everyone. Cause he's gonna , you're going to get more people on board and you're going to start actually creating value instead of fighting the tool or fighting the template.

Speaker 1:

Exactly. You know, it's a , the design sprint is very deep and very rich. You could talk or read for the end of your life about that because it's so deep. But when you take the book, for example , uh, it , it looks, you know, it's an easy read. Maybe it takes one day or two days to read it. And you're like, Oh yeah, simple, simple, simple. Uh, no, it takes a , it took them 150 sprints, I think with companies like Slack or Uber before writing the book before they were confident that, okay, this is the book we're going to write. So I see a lot being written , you know, people running one sprint, one workshop and the rights food articles. And , um, but it's , isn't about the quantity. It's about the quality of what you put out and yeah. To make, make things look simple, like about the templates . Some people reached out to me and they were like, Oh, you should ask these exercise or this or this or this, this, and then just asking them. Yeah. But what can I remove? Because it's what I'm trained to do. I'm trying to make it, you know , uh, even more to the points with less things.

Speaker 2:

Wow. That's so that's so deep. And so , um, impactful is like, yeah, I'm not going to add another exercise unless I know it's better than what I already have in there.

Speaker 1:

Exactly. Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 2:

That's so great. Um, okay. So for you, what's the, what's the difference between doing , doing production work? You know, the classic product development work and versus doing workshops like the design sprint and you know, all the things that you've been doing before.

Speaker 1:

Hmm . I think it's , um, it's a matter of, for Rio of experience and seniority. Um, at least it's hard to compare, but when I was a young designer, I only cared about making nice things on Photoshop and , and that wasn't that you just treat her and they want you to make shiny, shiny things. And they see that a lot. You know, you're going to websites like dribble, you have contest of the most, the best crusty acorn , the best, whatever. So I've done that for years and I love that. And at some point you, you realize that's probably, you're not going to be the best visual designer in the world. Uh , there are some crazy guys there anyway , and competition is it's crazy. And also you probably have more impact not spending 20 hours in one acorn. You see, to , to accept that it's good enough , uh , to be used. And sometimes the best designs are not the most pretty , um, I would say so once they understood that about the impacts of my work, I started to lose interest in just pure visual design. So I went into UX , uh, to work on yeah . And functionalities and the way we are doing things that we fight , you know? And, and I think, yeah, workshop is just another step. Uh, I know a lot of great users would just love to do projects and this thing that's random of , uh , pushing very big projects . Um, workshops is for a specific type of people who are okay to speak in front of people , uh, who are kids who lead people and who are key with high level of incident , uh, uncertainty, sorry. Um, because you need to guide them. It's blurry, it's messy. You know, we are creating new things that just don't exist. So of course you're going to have pushback . So you're going to have people who are starting to panic , uh, people who are going to be aggressive even, and you need to be able to yeah. To , to just guide them in a nice and meaningful way. And that, that that's, you just give it , then , then she , uh, that's makes the project start of or move forward. And I just, yeah, I just felt maybe , um, there are some people who are better than the Nia at this, but they just felt that it was time for me. I was the right person for that. And , uh, and yeah, and it's , it's kind of, you know, it's kind of a niche when not that many people are, because it takes a lot of years of experience to be, to feel comfortable doing that and to feel, you know, relevant there is , I think post-its imposter syndrome and yeah . It just takes time to feel good.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And how do you feel, do you think, is there, is, is there a difference between running sprints in Switzerland and , uh , Europe versus fronting them ? Because I know you guys have done sprints for other companies outside Europe, right? Of course. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And actually more and more, I think one of the B my stone , uh, thanks to COVID , uh , is that we , we are becoming more and more international in a way. So, you know, maybe one year ago, most of my clients were in Switzerland or France because I'm a , obviously a French speaker. So that was my , uh , big assets. Um, but now we have more and more, and even like, all our clients now are international and they come to us because they just want to do good design sprints , uh, because it's not enough to just read the book and run the sprint. You, you need to have clear guidance and experience. Um, even the templates are great tools, but you need to be able to use them well. And to , to create that energy and cause people , uh , if they commit to a sprint, they want results. So , um, I would say there are differences in running sprints in Switzerland , uh , versus the rest of the world, but they will say it's more about the mindsets and awareness about technology in general. So it's certainly is probably a bit, a bit late. And we saw that , um, you know, the first month of COVID in suits and on it was the full panic to get just webcams or just work from home was already a big thing, you know, for the companies. Uh, so maybe that explains why we don't find that many remote design sprints with Swiss companies because they are still, they're trying to figure out how to work remotely , uh, while , uh, many companies worldwide, otherwise have figured that out. And I was just more advanced. So I would say when they run sprints in Europe and being more like a teacher, I really teach the process and explain why we are doing these exercises. And when they will work with a startup , uh, from now from recap , I will be less about the process with more bots doing the work and the energy and teaching the process. That that's the difference.

Speaker 2:

Let's see. And do you feel like your clients from Europe, since you're more sort of teaching the process, do you feel like they are more, their mindset is more about learning how to run the process internally versus other other clients wanting to actually run the process with you?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's, it's a mix definitively it's , um, people reach out to us because they want to be to run proper good design sprint , and they want to learn from us and to see the there's always that idea of how can we internalize this friends , you know, have a in-house facilitators or run it for , uh , or a lot of projects in house. And I mean, we are fine with that. Now we are at first of course, I was a bit defensive. I was like, Oh, they're trying to steal all our knowledge that we gathered. And , uh, no , no . I see our role as , uh , as a thought leaders in that space. And as a , we have a lot of experience to share and I'm really happy to be kind of a mentor for, for companies to help them. Yeah. We run the first design sprints, and then we help you run these ane sprint in house if you want. Um, and the, I think it's where we can bring value.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I think overcoming that fear of other people's stealing what, you know , uh , it's a big step. It's a big milestone, but once you do, it's amazing because people don't really want to steal it. They just want , they just want to learn. And at that doesn't mean that they're gonna, they're not gonna keep coming back to you for more advice, because you are still seen as the expert.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Yeah. And I think it's , um, w like when you react like that, it shows that you're not very comfortable about who you are and what you can do, and what's your differentiator. Um, that's why I was failing to share the template, because even if that template took me a lot of time to design and to cast a lot of thinking , um, I think it's just great to share it, but anyway, w us running sprints with our templates , we are adding way more value than just using the templates. That's what companies are looking for. Now. They are looking for not only run these in sprint , but learning, running good design sprints , especially when the other first design sprints , uh, in companies, because, you know, you have just one chance if you're an innovation manager and you want to bring the sprint as a metallurgy in your company, you need to have very good experiences. The first one . So you can tell the story of these successes in a way , uh , and then you would be allowed to organize more and more sprints, and you just can't fade your first sprint.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And some of them will actually manage just with your template and the book and the videos to run successful sprints internally. And that's fine, you know, more power to them .

Speaker 1:

Exactly. The thing is , uh, there's also one thing , uh, that we are consultants and we are external to the company is that we don't compromise. Um, and maybe I can explain a bit more about that. We, I know what works, everyone, so many sprints that's and I've made, you know, even experience experiments before the book came out. So I had my own ideas and exercises. I want you to do and format about number of days and everything. I know what works and what I see a lot of companies that try to internalize the sprint . You know, there will be that big bus who says, Oh, five days is too long. There is no way we can do that. So let's do a two days in sprints or let's do it in one day. And it just comes as a constraint. That's, he's not believing that there's the process. Um, he wants to challenge. And the problem is that if you are an in-house facilitator and it's your first print , of course, you're going to compromise you and say, yeah, we're going to do something in two days. You know what? It's not going to be good. It's not going to deliver the right results. And I think now we have the confidence and the experience to tell no , uh, follow the process , Anthony, the recipe is good and follow the process because we had these successes in the past. We also had failures. You will feel it . But , uh, the , the feelers were , uh , probably because we didn't respect the process or we, we want , we tried another direction than what's actually works because we were asked to do it. Um, and when they looked back at my screens five years ago, without the guidance of the book and what we do now, wow . We, we did a lot of mistakes and I just don't want people to redo these mistakes. Yeah .

Speaker 2:

And those mistakes reinforce that what you're doing is the right way of doing it. Because when you deviate from that methodology, you don't get the same results.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly. What they love also is that it's a , um , I see it a bit like a, like a blue jeans , uh, it's a, it's a methodology that works in all kinds of contexts and that is actually run all around the world. So we own very close contact with some depth , much faster . Your data is waterway . You know, we on the Slack group, we exchanged sometimes daily with some of them. So even if I operate in Switzerland or in Europe with French speaking clients or , or, or European clients, I get insights from the U S I send insights from Europe. And we talk about the same thing. As soon as you start running one day design sprint, or whatever, you don't talk about the same thing anymore. So you can't, you can't learn from each other anymore. Yeah. I really see some value in talking about the same thing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Um , I was thinking if you want to do a one day sprint and, or a two day sprint, and that's fine, if you feel like that's valuable for you is not the same thing is , but you're just coming up with a new process. So it's going to take you a lot of time to develop it, to mature, to test it until you're comfortable with it. And if you actually managed to develop it, please write a book.

Speaker 1:

Yes , yes, yes. We want to learn , you know, that it's , um, uh, discovering that book, you know, at first I was doing my own thing before the book came out and discovered the book and I was like, yeah, it's easy to read. And the AIDS it's , it's really good, but there were things I was , I was kind of disagreeing with as are , we can do it faster maybe, and they're going to do that exercise. I don't see why I will do that. And, you know, I was challenging a lot. And over time, if you realize that, you know, I've tried when I was something was fitting and not working well, maybe it was working with one team, but that was doing it with second team and it wasn't working. And finally, I was trying to add exactly the way Jake and John were doing and having conversations, even with them and realize how smart it is and how, you know, it is literally standing on the shoulders , uh, shoulders of giants. They have run so many sprints , uh, and they wrote the book when the new way it worked and I've done the same, you know , um, there were lots of things that, that was doing at the beginning and I was newbie and I was in now I realize how good the book is and how deep it is . You can read it 10 times and you discover some more details , uh, that you can add to your sprints and that , Oh yeah, it actually works.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And it's also, I think it was great that you already had some experience before you , um , read the book because you read it with a skeptic mindset, challenging every exercise. So that sort of stress test the ideas in the book. And for you, it's like, okay, this is solid. I already, you know, I've done it differently. Now I'm trying to add this. I prefer this way. Now. I feel more confident with this methodology. Yeah ,

Speaker 1:

Exactly. You need to, but that's not specific to the sprint. That's about anything you read. If a book becomes a bestseller it's for a reason is because the book is , uh, is really good or there's something very important or that, that plays not only to you or to one specific company, but that can apply to thousands of companies. And you need to try to , to understand the value in that book. And yeah, you can have that critical, you know, you read it like, yeah. But then the truth is gonna work for me. You know what, just trait , a lot of people start changing, eats before even train it. Uh, and my best advice is try it once , twice. And we talk after,

Speaker 2:

Yeah. There's no amount of advertising that can replace word of mouth. When , um, when a book like this become so popular East for a recent, I don't think Jake on, on his own and John would have been able to promote it at a level of popularity that it is today by themselves. The recent, the book became so popular is because a lot of people read the book and tried it , and they felt like it really worked , that it really delivers a lot of value. And , um , so they recommend it to other people and they talk about it and they YouTube about it. And the ideas spread

Speaker 1:

Exactly. You know, there's some people in the field a few weeks maybe who saw it as a threat, because if you do a, if you have your process that lasts three months, and then someone's telling you, Oh, look what you can do in five days . It just looks, you're trained to go to the time or cook, get the cost and whatever. It's not that it's, the spin comes before the project, basically. So as soon as you have understood that , uh , it's not thinking anyone's job. Uh, it just ensures that when the projects , uh, is even becoming a project it's for a good reason, is that there is a reason to build that thing. And eventually what is breeds is becoming better products is they have a reason to exist.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. Um, I wanna talk very briefly about your experience organizing the I today conference. I know that was a very , uh , challenging endeavor. Um, so can you tell us about how you, because you started promoting the conference before COVID and then a good timing , perfect timing to plan that conference and that you had to like switch to remote. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Whereas yeah, it's , I mean, it's such a cool , uh , story and journey. Um, so basically we , we were thinking how we can promote , um, the design sprint to people who didn't know about it , uh, because , uh , I think it's super popular in the niche of UX design or, you know, design thinking field , but it's still reaching the same people over and over. And it's a niche of people who are tech aware, but we realized that the sprint can be used in all types of all types of challenges and for really non-tech companies. And we're like, okay, we want to create an event. Basically . That's going to talk about innovation in general , uh, including design sprint as a , an important piece or method for innovation, but , uh , talking yeah , from a broader perspective , uh , in Switzerland. And it was , uh , uh, it is still, but physically it's , uh , uh, the idea was to have Jake coming , uh , in person in Switzerland at a deep EPFs U state convention center. So if you don't know, EPFs is one of the , um, most famous university , uh, uh, in the, in Switzerland for sure. And one of the most famous in the words, I think it's like the Fody , um, very important university and there is a Congress center right there, and we have links with them and we're like, yeah , let's organize a really big event about innovation there. And Jake is going to come and also Alexa , the Warder and [inaudible] who are the author of , uh, any , um, uh, invincible company. They are the creators of the business model canvas as well. So really, you know, like big, important , uh , people in , in the field of innovation. So we had all of that figured out. Uh, it was really looking good and we launched the event. Uh, it was like December, 2019. Uh , and we studied heavily , uh , promoting it in January interest, supposed to happen in August. We'll be the heats and , uh , like in early February and that's video Burma because when you, you know, I've put so much of energy money, you know, that we had to pay up front and so much of investment in breeding that, and then you're like, no, it's like everything falls apart. And you're like , uh , so at first we had hopes that we could organize it in August. Uh , but then we saw that the situation really was getting grim in Europe and yeah, we had to go to , to go remote. And so , um, yeah , uh, I learned how to stream things, you know , uh, how to get beat into that game , uh , of , uh , you know, put casting or YouTubing or whatever. And , uh , and we, we run so HD summit was a remote summit and still we, we have, what we decided to do is to keep the masterclasses as an in-person event . And we hope we have good hopes that we're going to be able to do it this year, simply as EFL , uh, that will be end of August. So August , uh, 18th and 19th at the convention center that will be in person. And if we can do it because of COVID and now we know how to use the digital tools, it's going to be a virtual , but we hope nuts.

Speaker 2:

And can people still sign up for the masterclass ?

Speaker 1:

Of course. Yeah, of course. Uh, you can go on the eight today that ch um, and you can sign up for , uh, either Jake or , uh, Alexa welders, nearest master class . And we have also a cool , uh, package combo , uh , if you want to add them both. And yeah, we , we think it's going to work because from a very big contrast that was supposed to be 700 or so people , uh, in kind of an auditorium, we went to a more intimate workshop. That's going to be max between 50 to a hundred people per day. And it feeds in , you know, next August with vaccines , uh, with heat and sun , um, it looks like it's gonna be,

Speaker 2:

Yeah, hopefully we're going to get rid of these horrible, evil thing. That's COVID, as much as the remote brand is being very successful where we're sick of this situation.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, exactly. It's , you know, like , uh , we embraced change and we, we went through the fire, you know, when organizing virtual events and they think it's works, but , uh, w w if we have a shuts, you know, if we can still see , uh , meet each other physically, I don't want to, you know, to , I want to try, I think , uh, I think it's what people want still and , uh, if we can make it work yeah . And we are really able to adapt very fast now. So it's, it's cool .

Speaker 2:

Yeah. That's very cool. So hopefully that's going to work out. Um , I'm definitely, definitely going to be there. Um, all right. So Steph, thank you so much. This has been, it's been amazing. It's been a huge pleasure to have you on the podcast and talk about all of these very cool things. Where can people go to find more about your company, the science brand and about yourself and about the I today conference?

Speaker 1:

Sure. Uh , so far I , to date that we just talked about, it's a two day the th uh , that's what you get. Uh ,

Speaker 2:

What was it about the domestic lessees this

Speaker 1:

Summer? Uh, we have a monthly event that's called a to the up arrow and I've had the hour thing , uh, we've talks each month. Uh , so you're welcome. That's for free. And if you want to know more about this experience of my company , uh , you can look on Google it's design, sprints , uh, Switzerland, or design dash print that com uh, the company is called [inaudible] LTD. Uh, and if you want to follow me closely, I'm mostly on LinkedIn. So under the name, Steph crucial STP.

Speaker 2:

I'm good. I'm going to add all of this links , um , in the show notes, so that it's easier for people to just tap in and follow you. Um, all right. So there you have it folks that was staffed crew Sean , and the history of design sprint. And thank you so much for listening, Steph, thank you so much for spending this time with us.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for having me add really, really cool. See you soon. Bye.

Speaker 3:

Yes .