Organizations are constantly under pressure as a result of shifting market conditions. Conventional tactics that were formerly thought to be excellent are just no longer as successful as they once were.
Because of this, businesses have fallen short of certain standards. And as a result, many of them are investing considerably in various solutions that may aid in the efficiency of their procedures.
Running an innovation sprint is one of the greatest methods to handle this, and getting an innovation sprint master to oversee its implementation makes it even better.
However, what is an innovation sprint master? And what does he do for the company?
In this article, you will learn the value of innovation sprint masters in an organization, including their tasks and related responsibilities.
Let’s get started.
What is an innovation sprint master?
Innovation sprint masters are experts in arranging and conducting innovation sprints — timed intervals between one to four weeks in which three prospective solutions are developed and evaluated.
At a glance, innovation sprint masters enable the company’s innovation team to perform innovation sprints at maximum quality and speed.
In a sprint, the innovation sprint master implements an agile way of working — a method that seeks to use and integrate people, procedures, synchronization, technology, time, and place to discover the most expedient and productive way to create business value.
Because of this, innovation sprint masters need to be imaginative individuals that can go beyond traditional limits. They need to be capable of effectively planning and executing sprints that discover whether an innovation concept is feasible or not.
What does an innovation sprint master do in a sprint?
In a scheduled sprint, innovation sprint masters supervise teams in translating challenges and concepts into concrete, pragmatic, and feasible propositions.
The rest of the innovation team carries out this approach in certain stages with a quick turnaround period to secure the best possible results.
Ultimately, the main purpose of innovation sprint masters is this:
To provide a comprehensive output that indicates whether your ideas have the potential to deliver substantial economic value.
Should the results indicate otherwise, other forms of modification and alternatives must be designed, studied, and validated for deployment.
What are the functions of innovation sprint masters?
A sprint master shares the following tasks while also contributing to the sprint’s content:
1. Designing the sprint
Besides the Agile method, an innovation sprint master designs innovation sprints that involve an intensive, streamlined set of procedures that result in real, sizable outcomes.
With a distinct goal and commitment, the innovation sprint master will craft the entire sprint based on the following factors:
- User. As a problem and solution are defined, the sprint should establish a clear picture and understanding of who gets to benefit from the sprint’s outcomes. Once the innovation’s users are identified, the challenges that they’re currently facing should be recognized, particularly the things that could be done to solve them. This is important as every proposed solution should match the user’s needs and pain points.
- Objective. The purpose of the innovation sprint will determine its flow, direction, expected outcomes, and intricate elements. Whatever the objective is, innovation sprint masters must make sure that every stage of the sprint should coincide with it.
- Budget. Innovation sprint masters also have to consider what costs will be incurred during the duration of the sprint. This has to be done particularly in phases where other inputs and considerations have to be factored in such as research, prototyping, and customer testing.
Before the sprint begins, this should be established to ensure that the team’s work will not be inhibited at some point due to budget constraints.
2. Facilitating the innovation sprint
Just like any other innovation activity, innovation sprints have to be planned out carefully. Hence, people in charge of conducting it should be mindful of the following:
- Time. Innovation sprints are usually done within one to four weeks’ time. And given how sinuous this process is, innovation sprint masters may find it ideal to set milestones for each day to make sure that every period of the sprint is spent and used well. This also includes how long the sprint’s participants should spend in one stage of the sprint before proceeding to the next.
- Place. As the sprint requires full attention and focus, innovation sprint masters are expected to secure a place or an atmosphere that’s devoid of any distractions and other forms of disturbances.
- Participants. Every participant must be fully prepared to take part in the sprint. Any tools or software involved in the process should at least be something that’s familiar to them for ease of use and navigation.
Moreover, they should be informed about what is expected of them. Otherwise, they won’t be able to immerse themselves enough in every stage and deliver what is necessary.
3. Helping participants go through every phase of the sprint successfully
As innovation sprints have five major steps to follow, it is the job of innovation sprint masters to help and guide participants go through each of them smoothly.
The phases of innovation sprints include:
- Problem finding. Identifying the right problem is actually one of the most crucial stages in upholding the viability of a concept. Participants must work with the innovation sprint master to decide what issue needs to be solved without making any assumptions. This step ends with a validated ‘problem canvas’ along with a ‘problem statement’ which ensures that the results of all the succeeding phases can always be tested at any time against the initial problem.
- Solution finding. This stage is divided into two subsequent parts: The first is idea generation, where everyone should be able to develop as many ideas as possible with the most varied set of people imaginable (employees, customers, external parties, and other stakeholders). At the end of this phase, numerous ideas that fall within the scope of the assignment should be generated. Following that is the selection process, in which ideas are narrowed down into the finest three concepts through a series of ingenious selection rounds. The significance of these ideas is then presented in a solution canvas.
- Solution building. The solutions are made and designed to produce a certain result. This might be a design, a functional app, a mockup, an animation, an infographic, a simple app, a prototype, or a simple sample. It’s presented in such a manner that stakeholders can vividly see the ultimate outcome of the sprint and comment on it.
- Validation. The initial product is presented to stakeholders for validation and user feedback. And then, it is tested to see if it can move on to a more detailed proof-of-concept stage or the business case. The feedback you obtain will then be utilized to enhance the final product until it is ready for release.
4. Other related responsibilities
Aside from the three major tasks of innovation sprint masters listed above, that person also has other related responsibilities to take care of.
Here are the following:
- Problem analysis. Problem analysis and definition guarantee that the sprint’s participants make the correct assumptions about the problem at hand. This allows you to validate that you are investigating the right problem and that your team has a mutual understanding of it.
- Resolving critical challenges. Innovation sprint masters assist participants in identifying possible dangers to the company’s concepts. They also identify the best ways to address these problems without endangering organizational resources or other critical aspects of the organization.
- Discussing preconceived notions hindering innovation progress. One of the advantages of having an innovation sprint master is that complexity will be discovered as the sprint progresses. As a result, major focuses may change or adapt to these limits. Preconceived notions will be dispelled, and project objectives will be customized to ensure success.
- Characterizing the innovation problem’s ambiguous areas. Innovation sprint masters may spot uncertainty in concepts. They can also take advantage of these loopholes to find opportunities for progress. And this is because they recognize that sticking to old, established methods and routines is unlikely to result in anything new for the industry.
- Enhancing business concepts for easier decision-making. Innovation concepts can be studied, executed, or rejected. Due to the sheer structure of innovation sprints, the company may swiftly obtain trustworthy information on a wide range of alternatives when necessary. As such, using innovation sprint masters, you will be able to eliminate ideas that will most likely fail or render ineffective. Instead, you may concentrate on ideas that you truly feel would be a terrific complement to your current line of products and services.
- Improving sprint participation. Participants will be given leeway and guidance in engaging and experimenting with innovation sprint masters. Because of this calm and open environment, everyone will be able to actively engage and emphasize their value to the company.
- Recognizing employee knowledge and skills in sprint sessions. An innovation sprint enables employees to learn and practice new abilities.
With the objective of including everyone in the process, each employee may uncover and cultivate abilities or even an aspect of themselves that they may like to pursue personal improvement for in the future.
Lead an effective innovation sprint
An innovation sprint master may utilize innovation software to streamline innovation sprints. It’s essentially a platform that combines ideation, concept management, and implementation.
- Because the purpose of innovation ideas is to uncover as many feasible innovations to implement as possible, and innovation software can assist in gathering ideas from individuals, groups, and even external sources.
- Following the generation of ideas, it is frequently difficult for businesses to put these creative concepts together in a systematic manner. Good innovation software enables users to share their expertise and build on each other’s ideas.
- The same software should also allow you to design your own set of criteria and assign points for smart selection.
- A Kanban feature built straight into the innovation software is really useful in tracking an excellent idea from conception through implementation.
- Adding gamification, ala-social media likes and followers, and other elements will undoubtedly increase the company’s involvement in the sprint.
- Finally, innovation sprint masters will be able to simplify tasks that might otherwise impede or inhibit the sprint, such as project management, communication, and tracking results.
If you want to learn more about innovation sprints, feel free to download the innovation ebook from here. You can also download various canvases to use in innovation sprints from our innovation toolbox.