As Director of Bank Innovation at USAA, I had the opportunity to introduce the sprint format, to help create momentum and an environment for generating new and innovative ideas, challenging business as usual thinking.
Sharing how my team was organized, how the work was selected, how we worked utilizing design thinking process and a customized sprint plan, was paramount in demonstrating a new way of working. The customized sprint plan came from a desire to accommodate the business culture and organization at the time.
I worked with the executive leadership across the bank to prioritize the work coming into bank innovation and scheduling sprints, to ensure leadership had a say in what was most important to work on, so my small but talented team could focus on the ONE initiative at time.
As part of a greater Innovation organization, my team was focused on the Ideation phase of the process. My team handed it to the Iteration team, where a Test and Learn pilot or prototype could be developed, then on to Implementation, which was typically a development team from either Innovation or the business.
Working in this manner, we had regularly scheduled meetings with IP attorneys, to document IP opportunities and determine if patents could be applied for or if there was a prior art record. From each sprint, typically had 5 – 8 ideas that needed to be researched. This sprint approach was very conducive to generating unique ideas to be tested with users and against business goals.