Now that we have realised the need for Design Sprints-the five day processes that help in building or rebuilding a website, platform, or application. Design sprints do the thing for us. But they are inevitably linked to the requirement of a professional mind.
Your design team can surely run sprints for you but it might not prove to be beneficial for you as it comes at the cost of pouring the team's mind and soul into the process and later burning out of the team.
The situation puts us in a great dilemma but at the same time lights up our minds with the prospect of hiring an external facilitator.
Don't think facilitators could help you?
Read on, as we convince you otherwise.
A facilitator can help you in doing three things well:
1. Manage both the team and the process
Timekeeping, keeping things moving, and, making sure all deadlines are met can be aced at by an external facilitator. But the facilitator also helps in keeping the atmosphere positive, keeping an open mindset while listening to all of the ideas, and guiding members through the interpersonal interactions so that everybody gets along.
2. Ensure time and energy are invested where needed
It sounds simple, but experience and the mechanics of skills are necessary to deal with the situation. During a Sprint, some ideas and discussions are not worthwhile. Others are brilliant and need further discussion. A good facilitator knows how to guide the team towards better ideas and where to spend time and energy.
3. Show empathy
A necessary soft skill that is often overlooked but is super important for the Design Sprint process is Empathy. Every member has their challenges, and there might exist issues within the company that creates tensions before the process even starts. An external facilitator with well-finessed skills knows how to deal with such situations and get the team aligned united and focused for the Sprint.
The uplisted points would've led our esteemed readers to the question, is it better to hire an external facilitator to run your Design Sprints, or should you facilitate it yourself?
There’s no hiding that we might be biased, but we have several good reasons why it makes sense to hire an external facilitator.
Here are the top 10 ways a facilitator helps to make your Design Sprint a success:
1. Maintains Momentum
It becomes hard to keep the flow going when your team is working together. Decisions might go off tangent, some tasks become too time-taking, discussions get dried, and stalling hurdles decision making.
The facilitator carries out techniques that ensure keeping the energy up, sticking the group, and making decisions promptly, to keep the pace up.
Having an external facilitator ready to supervise and guide in the room helps keep the feeling of ‘this is a special meeting/event’ in the vibe.
2. Deals with disputes
Colleagues might end up having disputes, some people are unable to stop discussing, and others hinder the smooth running of things.
An external Design Sprint facilitator who is free of any biases will better handle such issues and an entire range of anything that threatens the success of the Sprint.
We at Dezy It respect everyone who works with us and handle disputes with care. We make sure everyone feels heard and everyone’s perspective is taken into account.
3. Keeps the track
A Sprint tends to get intense with everyone’s thoughts, ideas, and solutions passed around, shared and evaluated. It then becomes difficult to keep a track of it all.
The facilitator takes the responsibility of capturing everything on the whiteboard. It’s super important to help keep everyone on track than forget everything later.
Each and every minute thing which is discussed is logged in by the facilitator for later reports in order to keep a check on members. We at Dezy It follow a similar structure to carry out all our processes. We try our level best to improve the management of projects in the best way possible. To know more about us, you can book a call here.
4. Asks the Right Questions
One might assume that everyone is listening to the same thing and empathising with one another. But, that isn’t always the case.
So one more crucial task an external facilitator takes up is to ask lots of obvious ‘why’ questions, which creates no room for misinterpretation and cuts out any miscommunication problems quickly.
Dezy It is a design agency which provides redesigning and revamping of your platform or website into a better version of itself. What makes us unique to other design agencies is the fact that we “listen” to what you want and what you aspire your site to become. We also ensure we empathise with clients and try to understand what they expect by putting ourselves in their shoes.
5. Manages the Group Without Bias
It is the Design Sprint facilitator’s responsibility for the general supervision the group. They ensure everyone is addressed to, not overwhelmed, and gets involved/heard, etc.
Because the Sprint facilitator is from outside your organization and doesn’t know your team, they can manage the group without bias.
This helps the Design Sprint be more successful and a better experience because it levels the field for everyone. The design Sprint facilitator manages the group without bias.
6. Provides Confidence and Support
A Sprint might be a completely new and different way of working, which some can find hard to adjust to.
However, a good facilitator projects confidence in the group to ensure they always feel supported. The facilitator focuses on small achievements along the way with continuous and consistent progress, keeping the group motivated.
7. Has the Right Kind of Authority & Leadership
During the Sprint, the facilitator needs to have the authority to direct the activities and manage the process. And that’s why selecting an internal facilitator may be problematic.
If the person who is chosen is normally in a leadership role, it ends up causing issues based on how their leadership is usually perceived as. It may result in the team trying to gain favour instead of looking for the best solution.
On the other hand, if you choose someone who doesn’t usually have authority, this may not go down well with the team and may result in a failed Sprint.
8. Provides New Perspectives and a Fresh Pair of Eyes
When designing new solutions, an outside perspective is crucial. A Sprint facilitator can provide this whilst also ensuring the team hasn’t tunnelled themselves in and aren’t too close to the project. Thus, making it more likely that you will cover all bases during the Design Sprint and create better solutions.
9. Stays Unbiased and Motivated
Experienced external facilitators come with tons of knowledge from the other Sprints they have already run. They thrive by helping you create your next successful experience and thus possess a lot of energy and enthusiasm, which helps keep a team motivated, making the experience much more enjoyable. Experienced facilitators help you create your next success.
10. Puts their Training and Expertise to Use
An eligible external design sprint facilitator would be able to bring his experience, knowledge, and more to the process. Many of the professional personnel in the market today offer award-winning innovations. Their potential is hugely rewarding.
Whilst you certainly can run Design Sprints yourself, it’s always good to keep an open mind about what an external facilitator can add and how we enrich the process further.
Your day-to-day business operations still need to run. Customers still expect the high standard of service and fast response times that you usually provide.
Hiring an external facilitator helps in keeping most of the company’s internal resources free so that you don’t have to compromise your part in your day-to-day processes and won’t fall behind on emails and any other deadlines.
Experience shows that Design Sprints where the facilitator was not from outside the team or played more than one role, e.g. designer and facilitator, resulted in unsuccessful Sprints.
It’s super important that the facilitator is from a completely different team, if not from outside the organization. That’s why, although it does require some investment on your part, it is better to hire an external facilitator rather than time-blocking four days for a Sprint only for it to fail.
The cost of a failed Design Sprint is higher than what one can imagine, with an added negative impact on your team. Therefore, to avoid failure in design sprints, an external design sprint facilitator becomes an unsaid necessity.
Don't worry, we're here to cater to this need of yours.
Dezy It offers extraordinary facilitators for all your design sprint-related worries and more.
Do give us a chance!
Click here and get in touch with us today.