SigSci – Advisory board design sprint
Signal Sciences hosted an annual customer advisory board for 12-15 of its most engaged customers. However, the output of the sessions was informal, meaning there was no direct way to channel the feedback we received into a coherent product strategy.
What problem were we trying to solve?
Two full days worth of high value (and otherwise expensive to collect) customer feedback was going unused.
How might we reimagine the customer advisory board with design activities to guide product strategy?
- Successfully introduced and organized the first design sprint at Signal Sciences
- Led a cross-functional team in using our qualitative research to create product storyboards that helped guide strategy heading into 2020
Collecting and synthesizing
I stocked the room with post-its and Sharpies and encouraged everyone, both customers and SigSci staff, to write down their thoughts and pass them to me as the sessions went along. This resulted in a lot of clearly captured qualitative data like you see to the right (organized by session).
Affinity mapping all the things!
I co-led an affinity mapping session alongside one of our product managers (which helped with buy-in from the whole team), in order to turn our ocean of qualitative data into a few focused themes.
Picking a target
Coming out of that session, we honed in on our top takeaway and I started organizing the design sprint to take action on it.
Organizing and facilitating the design sprint
First, the logistics: I assembled the team, crafted the agenda and put together the facilitation materials.
A constraint I encountered was that I could only get buy-in to use 1.5 days of the team's time (compared to the recommended 5), so I diverged from the format that you'd find in Jake Knapp's book. The result was that we would end our sprint by creating an experience storyboard together which I would clean up and formalize myself after the session.
While I would have liked to run the full week sprint, I felt like this would still meet the needs of the team at the moment, when more than anything, we needed to start making product strategy more tangible. The storyboards achieved this and actually did influence the company's strategy going into 2020.
Deck used while facilitating the sprint
Sprint agenda & discussion guide
Creating the output
After we wrapped on the sprint, I took the ideas the team expressed through our quick and dirty whiteboarding session and formalized them into what you see below. The team had two ideas that played well together so we ended up with two storyboards that built upon each other. The first captured an experience the customer would encounter before engaging with anyone from SigSci while the second focused on improving the experience once a prospective customer was working with the SigSci sales team.
One of the most immediately influential ideas that came out of these explorations was the concept of security content bundles or 'kits'. This helped shape the vision for how SigSci could become a multi-SKU platform without having to develop independent apps like so many other legacy enterprise software companies.
Socializing with the organization
Sharing the output of our sprint was critical. The more people understood our vision, the more they could start to put the ideas to the test and help us make them reality. I ran two sessions with the entire product and technology organization to share what we did, how we did it and why we did it. The first came right after the sprint finished and focused on the exercises we went through. The second came the following week and focused on the ideas in the storyboards.
Sharing the methodology & mechanics
Sharing the output