Sprint by Jake Knapp attempts to teach us an engaging and interactive way to come up with solutions and test ideas in just five days. In my opinion the book succeeds at doing that. See my review of the book here. While the book focuses on a single technique, within the techniques are many ideas that canbe used independently. One of such ideas is the ‘four-step sketch’. The four-step sketch is a way to come up with a rough sketch for a potential solution. The four steps involved are: notes, ideas, crazy 8s and solution sketch.
- Notes: during a sprint you will collect lots of information and ideas. The aim of the four-step sketch process is to bring the information and ideas together to begin to create solution for the goal set at the beginning of the sprint. For the notes step, people will be given 20 minutes to go round the room and note down information which they find relevant to the solution being designed. After the 20 minutes is up they will be given an extra 20 minutes to review the information they’ve noted down.
- Idea: next is the idea strage, when each person will start jotting down ideas derived from all the information they collected at the notes stages. Ideas can be jotted down as doodles, headlines, diagrams, stick figures and whatever cones to mind. It does not matter if the ideas look messy or are incomplete. Another 20 minutes is used for this stage.
- Crazy 8s: this is a quick exercises which involves each person taking their strongest idea and rapidly sketching out eight variations of the idea in eight minutes. To do this each person divides the sheet of paper they have into 8 different sections and uses each section for sketching one variation of the idea, so that in the end the same idea has eight variations. Note that the ‘crazy’ does not refer to the idea, but rather the pace of the sketching. The focus here is on deriving usable ideas.
- Solution Sketch: this is the stage where everyone’s idea will be assessed by the whole group. But first each person must take their best idea sketch it out in detail in a three-panel format. This can be three sticky notes or three sheets of paper. Some tips for doing this well are: make sure it is self explanatory, keep it anonymous, it doesn’t have to look elegant, ugly is okay, good writing is important and give it a catchy title.