29 April 2021

The Rapid Innovation Sprint as an Accelerator for Your Big Idea

Ben Wakeman, Sr. Director, Head of Product Management
Strategy / Innovation

True innovation is a risky proposition. The bigger you are as a company, the more you have to lose and the more difficult it is to be nimble, to take risks and to disrupt—but without innovation, your business won't survive.

Sometimes, all that's required to spark innovation is an obvious catalyst. Let's say there's a Chief Marketing Officer named Raina. She works at a venerable clothing retailer called B&C, whose business has been eroding sharply for the past three years for several reasons, but primarily because they were not built to keep up with the light-speed evolution of commerce in the digital age.

Further consider that B&C currently has an e-commerce platform, a mobile app and the requisite internal teams in IT to support them both. During her tenure, Raina has had no success pushing any effort to radically innovate their customer experience—which she knows is the only way anything will change. She has a big idea about using mobile to better connect with their customers and build brand affinity, and she has even secured some budget. Still, she's meeting internal resistance because teams are too busy maintaining the status quo.

Raina believes that if there were some way she could quickly prototype and test her idea, she would have the evidence she needs to shift their CEO’s priorities and ultimately change the future of B&C.

The Rapid Innovation Sprint

The Rapid Innovation Sprint Engagement, or RISE, is a service that Rightpoint offers to clients looking to use digital products to address a problem space or opportunity for growth in their business. We provide a time-tested, client-proven framework and the cross-disciplinary talent required to collaborate in defining, prototyping and validating a game-changing idea for your business.

Prototyping is not a novel idea. Positing a hypothesis and testing it is not a new concept in the world of digital products. But doing so in a controlled, consistent way results in not just a go/no-go on your idea, but a blueprint for the task of making it a reality. 

Difficulty arises because it requires a small, dedicated team of experts in strategy, design and engineering who have decades of experience in their craft, years of experience collaborating as a team and a passion for digging into challenging problems. The start-up success stories we've all heard—those lightning-in-a-bottle companies—are a result of a company organically collecting all the right ingredients.

So how can an established company possibly expect to instantly compile a team capable of this level of evolution?

Rightpoint developed the RISE because we recognized this problem as an essential one to solve for our clients. The RISE is a time-boxed engagement because we understand that deadlines are paramount. We also know from experience that the original Google Ventures style 5-day Design Sprint is simply not realistic for many clients; that’s not enough time to produce meaningful results. However, our RISEs range from two to eight weeks, which allows for plenty of time to gather necessary data and iterate on how to define the project before moving into production.

Regardless of duration, all RISEs share the same stages of development in building high-quality customer experiences, but ours operates within a compressed timeline under tightly focused constraints. These five stages are:

  1. Understand the problem space and develop a hypothesis
  2. Explore possible solutions  
  3. Decide on the best solution candidate
  4. Create a prototype that demonstrates the solution
  5. Test the solution with real users to collect feedback and refine 

In the next part of this series, we will take a deeper look into each of these stages and provide some detail on the activities we leverage to drive meaningful outcomes.