our process

What on earth is an Idea Spike you ask?

Market pressures, whether defensive or offensive, mean that deadlines are often ‘asap’ or ‘tomorrow’. We have to thrive on the challenge of a quick turnaround to ensure that we're meeting our client commitments. There are delivery frameworks that can assist here, but none are better than an Idea Spike.

Inlight’s Idea Spike is a rapid process that delivers incredible results from our cross-functional team, where we carve out a week or two to run fast at an idea or opportunity, putting our Listen, Think, Make, Evolve framework into hyperdrive.

So, what is an Idea Spike?

An Idea Spike is Inlight’s way of rapidly exploring, challenging and expanding upon a hypothesis – to kickstart a project or generate support for an idea.

Why are they important?

Idea Spikes are important because, now more than ever, digital services companies like Inlight must be lean and fast and find ways to provide immediate value to our clients in a more accessible way.

Lean? We remove the unproductive fluff that often gets stuffed into projects and find the fastest way to generate momentum. You know what I’m talking about – bloated standups, polishing pixels, getting ready for presentations. Nope. Let’s make early progress over perfection.

Fast? We want to strike while the iron is hot. We know that it’s essential to build momentum and deliver results quickly.

Idea Spikes allow Inlight to do all of these things, whilst focusing on what we do best: Understanding the business problems of our clients, rapidly exploring & testing ideas through prototyping, and taking our insights back to the client to help them make the best possible impact for their customers.

What does an Idea Spike look like?

Day One

Rapidly-exploring ideas in an Idea Spike doesn’t mean we walk into those projects blindfolded, we still need to have a fundamental understanding of what our client's mission and vision is.

So on day one we Listen – the first day is focused on becoming subject matter experts through rapid immersion and research. We talk to our clients about their problems they are trying to solve and discuss opportunities that we’re excited by. Then we dive into planning and research to capture any other inputs we need to confidently move forwards.

Come the end of day one, the team has generated a heap of knowledge and alignment, and we’re filled with excitement and energy to get an idea off the ground.

Day Two

Day two is all about Think.

After our learnings from day one (and a good night’s sleep), we’ve aligned on where the greatest challenge or opportunity is - we know where to start!

So we begin by going broad on potential ideas, concepts and approaches - at this point we’re after as many interesting ways we could answer our key question as possible. We’re not constrained by preconceptions at this point, it might be something that’s never been done before, or simply a previously overlooked improvement to an existing experience — all ideas are fair game.

Throughout the afternoon we distill our best ideas into a few key concepts which we will take into the middle of the week – to Make something tangible that we can showcase to the broader stakeholder group alongside our client’s team.

Day 3 & 4 - design & build delivery focus.

Now that we’ve agreed on our areas of exploration, the next two days are all about designing and building.

Our ideas start to become real things — from high-fidelity wireframes and prototypes to fully functioning code, we zero in on the best way to explore and expand on the idea. The whole team pulls together to turn our ideas into a tangible digital reality, in a very short timeframe.

Throughout the process, the doors are open and the team is transparent on progress, meaning a trip to the kitchen by a colleague might result in a drive-by solutioning as an idea outside of the Spike team grabs someone’s attention. Unforeseen value... excellent!

Day 5

Showcase Day!

Day five of an Idea Spike, all our team’s hard work throughout the week culminates in Showcase Day – where we present our findings and ideas back to our clients. This is an exciting opportunity to provide our clients with all learnings from the week and get vital feedback from them.

We’re always striving for working prototypes. There is no better tool in unblocking a business case than a working vision of a future state. We will explore designs and wireframes and talk about technical solutions. We’ll deploy strategy for short term and longer term development and a view on its viability.

Conclusion

There are many moving parts to what makes Inlight good at what we do best. But we always come together to make one cohesive unit, a cross-functional team who are client obsessed, moving forward with the aim of figuring out how we can help you achieve your business goals.

Idea Spikes are all about providing clients with more value and an exceptional experience, over a single or two week period where other businesses will likely still be mired in agreeing their commercials.

Have an idea or a hypothesis that you’d like the team at Inlight to help you validate? Get in touch with us today.

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About the authors
Harley Donaldson
Design Director
Harley Donaldson | Design Director

Harley is an award-winning design director with over 15 years experience. Equal parts visual, UX and product designer, Harley sees no distinction between how something looks, works and the value it brings to people. Harley has a knack for designing beautifully simple interfaces and solving complex user journey problems.

Mark Oliver
CEO
Mark Oliver | CEO

Mark is the Inlight CEO with more than 18 years leading digital product initiatives, experience design and technical delivery across broadcast, sport, media, retail, finance and healthcare. He has a wealth of experience in the growth of high performing multi-functional technology and customer experience teams through strong collaborative cultural foundations.