INSIGHTS / Innovation 
Innovation Sprints
An innovation sprint is a 3-day creative experience delivering outcomes.

What is an Innovation Sprint?

An innovation sprint is a short period of time where you focus on creating new ideas and solutions. It's a way to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.

You might think that you're too busy to spend time working on new ideas. However, if you want to become a better leader, you should start thinking outside the box.

Innovation sprints are a great way to get started. They allow you to explore new ways of thinking and create new ideas. Innovation sprints are used to validate whether or not a product idea has real potential and if there's enough demand for it. If there is, then the next step is to develop a plan for bringing it to life.

Let's dive into the world of innovation sprints. We'll explore their purpose, their structured approach, and how they can be applied. Plus, I'll share some real-life examples of how agile innovation has been implemented with great success.

An innovation sprint is a powerful tool for driving innovation and achieving faster results. It's a structured process that allows teams to collaborate effectively and bring their best ideas to the table.

To use an innovation sprint, you need to have a clear goal in mind and assemble a diverse team of individuals who can contribute their unique skills and perspectives. With a focused approach, you can generate fresh ideas and creative solutions in a short period of time. It's noteworthy that the best innovators are not necessarily those with the largest budgets. The 2017 PwC Innovation Benchmark and the 2011 Global Innovation 1000 reports found that the most successful innovators excelled in choosing and executing the best ideas and fostering a company culture conducive to innovation.

Now, let's delve into some real-world examples of how agile innovation has been implemented successfully. From tech startups to established companies, the use of innovation sprints has led to groundbreaking products, streamlined processes, and improved customer experiences.

Fast-Track Innovation: Unleashing the Power of Innovation Sprints

An innovation sprint is a multi-day creative experience where individuals and teams begin with their business idea, explore what makes business ideas successful, design, test and strengthen their business idea. At the end of the sprint, you will have identified the key milestones to accelerate the concept along its innovation journey.

Innovation Sprints reduce the time to develop a tangible innovation project from a good idea. It is an intensive week in which individuals and the innovation team break out of their core activities. The approach is iterative; it provides a clear and logical framework for individuals and teams to gather their views, knowledge and assumptions of the idea.

Innovation Sprints improve and strengthen business ideas:

  • Identify and overcome critical challenges.

  • Spot gaps in your capacity to innovate.

  • Test assumptions that may be hindering progress.

  • Clarify areas of risk and uncertainty.

  • It makes it ready for presentation to decision-makers.

  • Develop a strong business idea with the team fully behind it.

  • Secure management buy-in.

  • Identify and recognize the potential and implementation risks.

Watch this 2-minute video to get insight into who the Innovation Sprint is for and what you can expect.

What Business Ideas and Innovations are Suitable for Innovation Sprints?

Innovation sprints are particularly well-suited for challenges that require rapid ideation, validation, and problem-solving. Here's a list of business ideas and innovations that could benefit from this methodology:

Digital Products and Apps:

  • New mobile apps or features
  • Digital tools for productivity
  • E-commerce platform innovations
  • Virtual reality experiences

Service Innovations: 

  • Customer service chatbots
  • Subscription box services
  • Personalized content curation

Physical Activity Space to Improve Health Outcomes:

  • Outdoor Play and Parks
  • Walking and Biking Initiatives
  • Corporate Fitness Challenges
  • Elderly-Focused Activity Programs
  • Children's Activity Camps
  • Fitness Gamification
  • Adaptive Physical Activity Programs
  • Outdoor Adventure Programs

Physical Products: 

  • Wearable tech devices
  • Eco-friendly packaging solutions
  • Smart home gadgets

Health and Wellbeing: 

  • Telehealth platforms
  • Fitness tracking applications
  • Mental health support tools

Sustainability Initiatives: 

  • Energy-saving solutions
  • Waste reduction techniques
  • Sustainable supply chain innovations

Education and Training: 

  • E-learning platforms and modules
  • Virtual classroom tools
  • Gamified training applications

Fintech Innovations: 

  • Blockchain applications
  • Mobile payment solutions
  • Investment and savings tools

Retail and E-commerce: 

  • Augmented reality shopping experiences
  • Personalized recommendation engines
  • Seamless checkout processes

Transport and Mobility: 

  • Electric vehicle technologies
  • Smart public transportation systems
  • Bike-sharing models

Agriculture and Food Tech: 

  • Precision agriculture tools
  • Food preservation technologies
  • Plant-based or lab-grown food products

Entertainment and Media:

  • Content streaming innovations
  • Augmented reality gaming
  • Social media platform features

When selecting a topic for an innovation sprint, it's crucial to ensure the challenge is substantial enough to warrant the sprint and feasible to address within the sprint's short duration.

Planning the Innovation Sprint Program

In the planning phase of the Innovation Sprint Program, we must meticulously strategize our approach before plunging into the sprint. It's important to note that there is a distinct difference between simple brainstorming and methodical planning during this crucial phase.

By engaging in purposeful planning, we can ensure that each step of the innovation sprint is thoughtfully executed. This allows us to maximize our productivity and efficiency, ultimately leading to more successful outcomes and impactful results. Structured planning helps us stay focused and on track throughout the entire program. It enables us to identify potential challenges and obstacles in advance, allowing us to proactively address them and mitigate any risks.

With a well-defined plan in place, the Innovation Sprint Program can be executed seamlessly, harnessing the full potential of our team's creativity and innovative thinking. Ultimately, this structured approach lays the foundation for a successful and impactful program.

Here's a step-by-step guide to planning an effective Innovation Sprint Program:

Define the Challenge:
  • Clearly articulate the problem or opportunity you want to address.
  • Ensure the challenge is specific enough to be actionable but broad sufficient for creative solutions.

Assemble the Team:
  • Choose a diverse team with varied expertise related to the challenge. Typically, 5-7 members work best.
  • Include a facilitator—ideally someone experienced in leading sprints.

Schedule the Sprint:
  • Set aside a specific timeframe, typically 5 days.
  • Ensure all team members can be fully dedicated during this period.

Gather Resources:
  • Identify tools and materials you’ll need, such as whiteboards, sticky notes, digital collaboration tools, and prototyping materials.
  • Book a dedicated space for the sprint, ensuring it’s conducive to collaborative work.

Set Clear Objectives:
  • Define what you hope to achieve by the end of the sprint. This could be a prototype, a solution blueprint, or a validated concept.

Outline the Agenda
  • Refer to the Innovation Framework in the next section.

Gather Feedback Mechanisms:
  • Plan how you’ll gather feedback on the final day through interviews, surveys, or usability tests.

Plan Post-Sprint Activities:
  • Decide how you’ll move forward after the sprint, whether further refinement, implementation or another sprint.
  • Assign responsibilities for the next steps.

Communicate Expectations:
  • Ensure all team members know their roles and what’s expected of them.
  • Foster an environment where all ideas are welcomed, and there’s the freedom to think creatively.

Prepare Documentation:
  • Designate someone to document the process, decisions, and feedback.
  • This will be crucial for post-sprint reviews and teams working on the project in the future.

Logistics and Comfort:
  • Ensure the workspace is comfortable, with snacks, drinks, and break provisions.
  • Keep necessary technology on hand, like projectors or video conferencing tools for remote participants.

Lastly, remain flexible during the sprint. While it’s good to have a structured plan, the nature of innovation sprints is dynamic. Be ready to adapt as you uncover new insights and challenges.

The Innovation Sprint Framework

The Innovation Sprint methodology is a practical, step-by-step framework on how to apply the Innovation Sprint methodology and get the most value out of it. It's a framework which shows how to apply the Innovation Sprint at different stages of the innovation process.

Activity 1 Your Business Idea: You get started by describing your business idea in one succinct and persuasive sentence. We explore what makes business ideas successful.

Activity 2 Customer Needs: You identify your target customer, as well as understanding what drives their choices, what their needs are, and what they expect of an excellent solution to fulfil those needs.

Activity 3 Market Potential: You explore both the total market, and the available market helps develop an offering or solution to address that market sweet spot.

Activity 4 The Offer / Solution: You define your innovative solution, the minimum viable product, and what type of innovation strategy to use to differentiate in the market.

Activity 5 Market Positioning: You develop the market positioning and align your market entry strategy with your unique value proposition, the market solution fit.

Activity 6 The Path Forward: You determine the significant milestones and key activities reduces the time to transform your business idea into a viable solution.

Testing the Business Idea: You strengthen your business idea. Use our testing processes to test and evaluate the business idea and map out the most critical assumptions for testing.

The Innovation Sprint Framework

How to Use ChatGPT as a Tool for Innovation

We have been working with business leaders to leverage the capabilities of ChatGPT to revolutionize how they approach innovation and get value across the end-to-end innovation journey.

You can learn how to Harness ChatGPT's power to inspire ingenuity and expedite results in your innovation initiatives here.

Innovation Sprints Drive Competitive Advantage

Innovation Sprints has become a real focus for organizations seeking competitive advantage. They are valuable initiatives in an organization's overall innovation program, enabling the senior leadership team to make better investment decisions on their innovation portfolio.

The innovation sprint is different to a design sprint; it's focus in more strategic than on developing a prototype. The innovation sprint program can be repeated every 6 to 12 months to accelerate your product development and push projects to completion faster. It is not a one-off program.

Innovation Sprints drive Competitive Advantage in several keyways:

Rapid Problem-Solving: Innovation sprints, being time-bound, catalyze swift ideation and solution development, allowing companies to address market gaps or internal challenges more quickly than competitors.

Customer-Centricity: These sprints often emphasize user feedback and testing. Businesses can design products or services that resonate more effectively with their target audience by involving users early in the solution development process.

Cost Efficiency: By prototyping solutions and testing them quickly, companies can identify and discard non-viable ideas, reducing wasted resources on extensive development or market launch.

Agility: In today's fast-paced business environment, adapting is crucial. Innovation sprints instill a mindset of adaptability and continuous improvement, enabling companies to pivot based on market feedback or changing circumstances.

Cross-functional Collaboration: Innovation sprints bring together individuals from various departments, leading to holistic solutions considering multiple facets of the business. This collaborative approach can lead to more robust and well-rounded innovations.

Enhanced Employee Engagement: Engaging in focused, impactful projects boosts employee morale and motivation. An empowered workforce can be a significant differentiator, leading to higher productivity and creativity.

Shift to Competitive Business Models: Innovation sprints also help organizations explore and transition to more competitive and efficient business models. By iterating and refining ideas quickly, businesses can identify and adopt models that provide greater value and differentiation in the marketplace.

In summary, innovation sprints equip organizations with the tools to innovate efficiently, respond to market needs, and stay ahead of competitors, cementing their position in the marketplace.


Why should your team include innovation sprints?

A team is often busy working in the business and not on the business. Because of this focus, innovation can often be left behind in favour of business as usual.

Innovation culture: including your team in an innovation sprint enables an intense focus on exploring and building customer value. Teams are challenged to think differently during the innovation sprint. Innovation sprints give teams a dedicated time to use their creativity which often leads to groundbreaking results.

Generating ideas: innovation sprints serve a valuable purpose in bringing teams together and improving products. They are instrumental for teams to create new ideas, explore new and creative ways to improve products, and boost employee morale!

How can employees benefit from an innovation sprint?

1. Faster Problem-Solving: Innovation sprints provide a structured approach to tackling complex problems. Employees can focus and fast-track their brainstorming and decision-making processes by setting a fixed timeframe. This ensures that actionable solutions are derived quickly.

2. Boosted Creativity: The intensive and collaborative nature of a sprint encourages out-of-the-box thinking. Employees are often pushed out of their comfort zones, leading to more innovative solutions that wouldn't be conceived in a traditional setting.

3. Enhanced Collaboration: Innovation sprints promote interdisciplinary teamwork. Employees from various departments combine their expertise to develop holistic solutions. This builds a sense of camaraderie and broadens an individual's perspective.

4. Skill Development: Participating in an innovation sprint is a crash course in rapid prototyping, customer validation, and iterative design. Employees refine essential skills and learn new ones, making them more versatile and valuable team members.

5. Immediate Feedback: Due to the sprint's short duration, ideas are tested and validated promptly. This immediate feedback loop allows employees to understand what works and what doesn't, helping them improve in real time.

6. Enhanced Employee Engagement: Being part of a quick process that produces tangible results can be highly motivating. Employees feel a stronger sense of accomplishment and ownership, leading to increased job satisfaction.

7. Reduced Risk of Failure: By testing and validating ideas quickly, businesses can avoid investing time and resources in projects that might not be viable. This saves costs and ensures that employees' efforts are directed towards feasible and impactful projects.

How can organization’s benefit from an innovation sprint?

Idea generation and investigation: innovation sprints challenges teams to think differently. Concepts and opportunities can be researched, instigated or rejected. This allows the organization to develop its innovation culture, where ideas are developed and strengthened.

Increased engagement and buy-in: innovation sprints are a change from the typical formal projects. They provide a positive and open setting to engage employees with clients and external stakeholders.

Empowered staff: innovation sprints are a great way to empower staff as they directly contribute to idea generation, giving them the permission to innovate and solve problems.

How can a sole entrepreneurs benefit from the innovation sprint?

The innovation sprint is a exciting method for exploring and testing potential ideas quickly. It is a tool for sole entrepreneurs who want to fast track their business idea , but are unsure where to start and can't afford to spend a lot of money. The Innovation Sprint is a process based on the principle that most ideas can be solved in a focused time frame by applying lateral thinking and structured creativity. It is a proven approach for market success by getting to the heart of the opportunity quickly.

From Concept to Concrete Impact: Amplifying Innovation with Chase Consulting

Seeking transformative ideas for your organization? Embarking on a fresh project? Many struggle to evolve mere concepts into actionable, innovative outcomes.

At Chase Consulting, we've designed an online Innovation Sprint Program to guide your innovation journey. Our comprehensive package includes:

  • A tailored sprint plan template.
  • A curated list of pivotal workshop topics.
  • Insightful video series.
  • Key reflective questions.
  • Comprehensive checklists ensure every step is accomplished.

Our Innovation Sprint Program, born out of Chase Consulting's expertise, equips you with the arsenal to swiftly turn visions into realities. It's not just about generating ideas; it's about sculpting them into feasible products, groundbreaking technologies, unique services, and transformative business models. By streamlining the preliminary stages, the program clarifies your innovation roadmap, defining both the concept and the essential milestones.

Being an innovation of Chase Consulting, a renowned Australian consulting firm, the Innovation Sprint Program guarantees that your ideas undergo meticulous evaluation. It abbreviates the journey of converting an inspiration into a tangible innovation project. Emphasizing an iterative approach, our process offers a coherent framework. It empowers individuals and teams to amalgamate their perspectives, expertise, and assumptions about the concept.

Our Innovation Sprint Program isn't just a tool—it's a beacon for organizations striving for innovation. It bestows a streamlined process complemented by real-world case studies of organizations that successfully adopted the Innovation Sprint.

From our experience, an external facilitator is indispensable in navigating stakeholder dynamics and maintaining momentum through every sprint phase. Our program offers this tested structure and equips you with the expertise to discern the potential of ideas—whether they're worth pursuing or best left on paper. With us, you gain access to tools, strategies, and insights, enabling the metamorphosis of ideas into sustainable solutions.





The Innovation Sprint Program

You've got this amazing idea, and you know that opportunities don't just fall into your lap; you have to make them happen.

That's where our Innovation Sprint program comes in. We help you take your business ideas and turn them into something even better.

Ready to level up your idea? The Innovation Sprint is designed to develop new products, technologies, services, and business models.

It's a proven program that takes your ideas and turns them into game-changing innovations. Let's make your idea a reality.

The Innovation Sprint Program Format

Our innovation sprint program is available in two formats:

  1. Individual On-Demand Program - This sprint round is conducted entirely online where participants progress at their own pace to develop and strengthen their business ideas.

  2. Organization Program - The creative platform encourages employees and innovation teams to come up with ideas.  

The Innovation Sprint Program develops ideas for new products, technologies, services and business models, and is suitable for social impact ideas and business ideas. The action learning modules enables both individuals and teams to improve, reject, pivot and change the ideas until the idea is strengthened and ready for presentation to decision-makers.

The Innovation Sprint Program Format is all about harnessing the power of technology. We believe that by incorporating innovative and simple technology ideas into the sprint process, we can achieve better outcomes and drive true innovation.

We're not just talking about using technology for the sake of it. We're talking about using technology as a tool to unlock new possibilities and unleash creativity. It's about pushing boundaries and exploring uncharted territories. By embracing technology, we can create a more dynamic and collaborative environment. We can streamline processes, improve efficiency, and ultimately deliver groundbreaking solutions. It's about thinking outside the box and leveraging the power of technology to drive innovation to the next level.

The program has the necessary depth and support for the creative development of the idea. It contains tips, case studies and diagnostic checks to enable iterations. Using this approach, it reduces the time and cost spent in your business by validating your ideas to end-users in as little as 3 to 5-days.





Our Work with Clients on Innovation Strategy and Outcomes

“The Innovation Sprint gives a methodology to efficiently test a new idea, and then to present objectively-based results in a compact form. It can also provide a traceable path from initial concept to detailed viability analysis.”



“Craig from Chase Consulting helped us build Squash & Racquetball GO! as a viable and innovative product. Together we have been able to challenge the “normal sport program” concept and test our key messages to find the market sweet spot. Right from the start, Craig helped us to focus on the scale-up process with tangible resources and processes – so that now, we have been set up for future success.”



“With the help of Chase Consulting, we enhanced our TRI2gether Program and developed our sustainability plan and started to build in-house innovation capability.

If you want to take a more structured and practical approach to innovation, Craig gives you step by step instructions and encouragement and motivation. But even more, the practical steps to develop a strong innovation plan.”



“The Innovation Sprint has been a really useful tool to support our team to develop our latest campaign plans.

It has helped challenge our thinking, facilitated some important conversations so we could discuss and explore ideas, and provided a key framework for us to develop a united approach; to ultimately innovate a model for market success.

Working through the customer piece gave us clarity on our targeted customer, who is the financial customer and who are our stakeholders.

When we are increasingly adopting remote working habits, it’s great to have this tool available to help our team connect and have valuable conversations.

We intend to keep using the Innovation Sprint for future idea development.”


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