The Outbrief

Dissecting the Design Sprint Event

Step Four: The Outbrief

The finish line of a design sprint is the final outbrief. This last piece is when participants and decision makers see the results of the hard work everyone has put into finding a solution. The outbrief is an integration of everyone’s efforts during the event and includes all the design sprint elements: the refined problem statement, personas and scenarios, solution design, and all the pieces in between.

Vel Preston, AF CyberWorx Head of Innovation Design, describes the elements of an outbrief. Just as the event begins with the problem statement, the outbrief also starts with the problem. As Vel asks, “What’s the impact of the status quo?”

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Next Steps

Dissecting the Design Sprint Event

Part Five: After the Sprint: Next Steps

A design sprint’s ultimate goal is to improve a situation, whether that means improving an existing process or developing a new product. Not acting on the solutions a team suggests means a design event has not fulfilled its purpose. AF CyberWorx continues working beyond the sprint itself to help the results of a design sprint reach implementation.

The last step of the event is the outbrief where participants present their findings to the stakeholders. With team suggestions in mind, AF CyberWorx uses their own crack team to work with stakeholders to determine the next steps.

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Breakout Groups

Dissecting the Design Sprint Event

Part Two: Breakout Groups

AF CyberWorx design sprints are tailored to the needs of the stakeholders. One crucial aspect is the number and diversity of participants in the group. Events at AF CyberWorx can have as few as five people and as many as forty or fifty. In each group, dynamics are determined by individual personalities, experience with the problem area, and strength of opinion as well as rank and positions (and perceived deferment to such). Each element may affect how people interact with one another.

However, each event is very short. The typical forming, storming, and norming growth of a group needs to happen as quickly and painlessly as possible while still gathering as much information and as many ideas as possible. The answer to this is to break a larger group into smaller diverse teams of four or five people.

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Solution Design

Dissecting the Design Sprint Event

Step Three: Solution Design

The solution design portion of a design sprint is often considered the most fun and free-flowing part of an event. This is what people come to the event for: to come up with solutions to their problem. What most newcomers to the design sprint process don’t realize is that the solution design portion is still part of a much larger process. Knowledge and artifacts from the previous steps in the event feed into ideating solutions and then paring them down for realistic solutions that will have a strong impact on the organization.

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Refining the Problem

Dissecting the Design Sprint Event

Step One: Refining the Problem

The first step during a design sprint at AF CyberWorx is refining the problem. Stakeholders have an idea of what problem they want to solve. They may want to save time, streamline or automate processes, fix a system showing bad metrics, or set up a policy for a new requirement. Initial problem statements may reflect this focus, but usually lack the specifics the problem solving team needs to be effective.

Larry Marine, lead UX designer at AF CyberWorx, explains why it’s so important to re-examine the problem statement. As he states, “If you don’t know what problem you need to solve, the best you can hope to do is solve the wrong problem very well.” Just like a mission statement gives direction for a business, an accurate problem statement gives teams a solid visualization of what they need to achieve. Larry gives an example of a poor problem statement from his previous experiences:

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Participant Roles

Dissecting the Design Sprint Event

Pre-game Part Four: Participant Roles

Many moving pieces go into a successful design event at AF CyberWorx. Each person has a specific role to play: multiple roles, in some cases! While the most visible roles are the participants and the facilitator at the head of the room, the magic wouldn’t happen without everyone involved.

Stakeholders: Each event begins with a stakeholder. Some events have more than one; but the role is the same: to provide direction for the event and everyone involved. They know what the problem is, why it’s a problem, and what the end goals are. Without an involved stakeholder, the event is missing the backbone that provides structure and focus for the entire event.

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#radAF

#radAF

AF CyberWorx has released the #radAF tag to show its focus on accelerating human-centered solutions which best resolve Air Force problems. When warfighters have problems fulfilling their duty, the Air Force mission is in trouble. To mitigate this, AF CyberWorx puts the warfighter first as the ultimate user of each solution to Air Force problems. RAD reflects how to best meet and exceed the needs of the user:

Resolve – Each problem can be stated in terms of the basic needs of the user. The user needs must be resolved.

Accelerate – Once the right problem is identified, a rapid solution is needed. AF CyberWorx accelerates the process to a rapid solution concept.

Deliver – Developing the concept is only one piece of the puzzle. Potential challenges and necessary policy and procedure changes are identified to outline a path to solution delivery.

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Air Force CyberWorx Director Engages Colorado Springs Defense Community at AFCEA Luncheon

Air Force CyberWorx Director Engages Colorado Springs Defense Community at AFCEA Luncheon 

Chiaramonte AFCEA LuncheonLieutenant Colonel Michael Chiaramonte, Director of AF CyberWorx, had the honor of being the guest speaker at the monthly Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Rocky Mountain Chapter luncheon, held May 16 at the Peterson Air Force Base Club.

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