Make innovation a repeatable part of your business

How can you make innovation part of your everyday product lifecycle? It can be intimidating to open the door to new ideas or explore a technology you haven’t used before. On the other hand, it is more important than ever to do so to stay competitive and differentiate amongst your competitors. Using our experience helping clients build new products and explore their own ideas, the Innovation Challenge will help you make innovation actionable with concrete steps.

Collage of three photos: the first is of three thoughtbot team members in front of sketches pinned up on a whiteboard; the second shows two laptops with post-it notes spread around the table; the third is of a designer focused on sketching on a piece of paper

What to expect

Innovation Challenge Overview

At thoughtbot we strongly believe in using user-first design as a guiding principle in business strategy and the evolution of the right product. For a team to be successful in achieving innovation, they should have the framework to collect lots of ideas, explore those solutions through rapid prototyping and end up with an actionable, feasible approach with clear next steps.

Using design exercises as a springboard, your team will work through a problem or explore an opportunity and in parallel, be better equipped to use the Innovation Challenge framework moving forward.

A path forward

Why it Works

It’s powerful to bring in lots of perspectives and our design exercises allow everyone to be heard but also guarantees a path forward. Being able to embrace ideas from upper management or explore what feels like a complex problem doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Having a repeatable process for working through ideas makes sure decisions and progress are made.

Using a repeatable framework also minimizes time spent and maximizes the overall investment. Not only are you getting to a decision faster, but also landing on a solution as a team that finds the right balance of creativity, customer impact, and engineering feasibility.


  • Embrace new ideas and creative thinking
  • Quickly validate with customers and identify the right next step
  • Save time and money by efficiently making decisions as a group

Tools in our tool box

Relevant resources and thought leadership

Lightning Design Jam

Watch thoughtbot Design Director Jaclyn Perrone facilitate a live, unscripted Lightning Design Jam with the product team at HBR

Watch the workshop recording

Product Design Sprint Guide

One of our most frequently used tools. So helpful we decided to build a guide.

PDS Guide

Impact/Effort Matrix

Coming out of a PDS, how to break it down into a prioritized feature list.

Read the full blog post

Let's talk!

How can we help get your team to the next level?