The ideate sprint: the real first step to new IoT products

In the world of IoT, opportunities for new technologies and IoT products are endless. That’s good if you want to crank out new products and services. But it’s also easy to lose focus and waste time pursuing product ideas that will never go anywhere.

By way of ideation, design thinking and pinpointing the “right” product ideas, sprints give you a step-by-step blueprint to identify opportunities and kick off a project. Most times, the first inclination at this point is a design sprint, which helps you conceptualize your product idea and scope, create a high-fidelity prototype, test it with actual customers, and validate it for real-world use.

But going directly to a design sprint is overlooking a more critical and valuable first step—an ideate sprint, a.k.a., an ideation sprint.

Ideate sprints are a time- and money-saving precursor to a design sprint

In the step-by-step process of sprints, ideate sprints let you understand the problems your customers face in the first place. They then help you focus on the exact solutions your customers want. For the opportunity you see, the idea you have and the product you envision, this is where you determine if developing your new product truly holds value—or doesn’t—and whether to even proceed to a design phase or development roadmap.

Let design thinking and the agile process begin

Shown here is an ideate sprint conducted over a 3-week period, although schedules can be more compressed. It’s where design thinking and the agile process help you determine a solution scope, and if the idea behind your solution is valid. If it is, you can then decide your next step toward a product development project.

What commitment does an ideate sprint take?

While ideation never stops, planning a sprint requires only a few hours with your project sponsor. This is where you define the sprint’s goals, agree on the location, and identify your team’s participants. Ideally, the size and makeup of your team should be no more than eight persons, from all parts of your organization—development, engineering, sales, marketing, and so forth.

With all team members participating, the ideate sprint process typically requires about 2 hours.

What happens after the sprint?

• You better understand key persona challenges, and how to go about solving them

• Internal team discussions become more centered, based on sprint outputs

• Decisions on what to do next are more informed and easier to make

• Should you decide to proceed, you select the “right” opportunities to carry forward to the Design Sprint

The outcome

The outcome of an ideate sprint and its deliverables can depend on the vendor partner you work with. At a minimum, though, you should expect to at least walk away with:

• Fully defined and documented key personas, problems and goals

• A breakdown of customer challenges, opportunities, and potential solutions

• A clear vision of your IoT product or IoT application to guide internal alignment

• An objective measure of prioritization for all associated opportunities

• A high-level executive summary with recommendations on how to proceed

Ideate sprints are named that for a reason. They let you validate ideas for opportunities and products beforedefining a development project that might or might not pan out.

You know, the proverbial horse before the cart.

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We’ll show you how an ideate sprint can take your idea from the opportunity stage to the next step on your solution development roadmap.

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