Agile Scramble - getting to design solutions fast

Updated: Oct 29, 2019

Ever had a creative project where you need a solution fast? In this post I'll show you a process which can help your team to collaborate and align to create positioning, messaging and visuals at super-sonic speed.

In golf, there is a game called "Texas Scramble". Two or more players form a team. Each player hits a tee shot on each hole, but everyone in the team plays from their next shot from the place of the best shot. As a team they get close to the hole, minimising mistakes and working together.

I have used this "Scramble" technique with creative teams to get them close to the end result for years. In effect, it becomes the basis of a "design sprint" which quickly eradicates ideas which are not working and helps teams focus on ideas that are.

I've found this powerful and agile way of working creates a great team environment, does not rely on one person, can improve the creativity of less experienced members of the team, can speed up the creative process, minimises mistakes and can produce brilliant end results.

Source: Unsplash. Credit: Courtney Prather

Here's how it works:

1. Briefing

It is crucial that a good brief, filled with purpose has been obtained. Who is the audience? What is the end goal? What is the story this piece of creativity needs to communicate? How will this concept be used? The more information the better.

Appoint a creative leader to facilitate discussions and keep order through the process.

Once the information has been obtained and a creative leader appointed, assemble your team - I would suggest away from desks, in a breakout area or meeting room.

The creative leader should then lead the briefing ensuring a clear destination for the process is defined. For example:

"Our idea must communicate the concept of how the product has the power of transforming our audience's lives. Our audience are Mothers with two or more children who have the following pain points... "

2. Research & Moodboards

In this stage, the group goes away (Scrambles) for a set amount of time. Their mission is to research other places where this type of message has been communicated. In our example, they might like to focus on different themes of the communication we are seeking to achieve, like "transformation" or "power". They must glean visuals, sketches and ideas from anywhere they can - museums, books, magazines, sketch pads, scrapbooks and, of course, the internet. Notice I have put the internet last - I often find sending teams off into a city or giving them some space outside of a desk can produce interesting results!

Towards the end of the set time, each team member must group their findings and produce 3 mood-boards.