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Why Taking a Breather Could Save Your AI Project

How can you make sure that your AI project brings you measurable value? Design and customer understanding is an often neglected but crucial part of a sustainable, ethical and profitable AI project. Read our take on how to succeed. 

We wish it wasn’t true, but we’ve all seen it happen. A business faces a digitalization challenge that needs to be solved. Figuring out the solution takes years due to differences of opinion between different departments. Someone wants to utilize AI, another wants to focus on analytics and the next one slams the “I know better” card to the table. “Something AI” is built, only to find out that the finished solution is not being used or it just causes additional problems. 


Why is this? In many cases, people involved have made the humane error to want to fix a problem fast and with low risk or out of one’s own excitement. This often leads to a very expensive investment with no return for the investment. The thing that was forgotten in the process was pressing the pause button and involving a designer to look at the big picture of a problem and gather needed understanding to finding the successful solutions.

Close the “gap” 

From our point of view, deciding that an AI project is needed is the wrong starting point for an AI project to begin with. This in general applies to all digitalization. What we mean by this is, that a project should never begin without exploring other options for a solution first and defining: What are we doing? Why are we doing it? To whom are we doing it? How can we validate that the direction we’re heading at is correct? 

Before jumping forward into implementation, there should be a moment of silence. Pausing, thinking and planning, before doing. This is the phase where a gap of truth and assumption is closed, and a hypothesis is validated. This pause can lead to a valuable solution, serving its need and bringing tangible business value.  

Or, the not so exciting option, this pause brings you to a whole new problem to solve. Even though this is not a promise of an exciting innovation, it is a promise of low-risk innovation. You won’t be investing into something unsustainable that you, or the world around you doesn’t need. This “pause” can be known as AI Design Sprint™.


An AI Design Sprint™ is your go-to risk minimizer

Different stakeholders often think differently and might not speak the same language, without common understanding about the problem at hand. This is why it is vital to take a breather and bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to create a mutual path forward.  

An AI Design Sprint™ is a structured process used to solve problems and generate innovative solutions through design, prototyping and testing ideas with users. It’s a process that brings together all the relevant stakeholders to tackle a challenge in a collaborative, focused and rapid manner. It’s highly effective for quickly validating ideas and solving complex problems, allowing teams to move from an idea directly to user feedback. 

The AI Design Sprint™ is a huge risk reducer – bad innovation is always an unsustainable investment that ends up being several times more expensive than a validated, useful innovation. In addition, good innovation saves your time and resources and brings profit to your investment, where bad innovation only consumes or harms your business.  

When it comes to expensive AI projects, an AI Design Sprint™ could save you from a huge investment on a doomed project when you identify your projects value and possibilities early on. Important aspects to acknowledge are, for example, what problem is worth solving, what are the requirements of the project and is the needed data available.  

If your business is considering an AI venture, we would highly recommend you turn to a digitalization partner that considers design, strategy and tech as a whole entity, creating your business sustainable value. We promise you, that we find AI projects only as solutions on real problems and based on research, not because they are trendy. Regularly listening to and understanding the customer is often the key to any business success, and that's what us and the AI Design Sprint™ is all about.

Interested in AI Design Sprint™? 

Enriching your current content of hypothesis and validation requires you to know the environment and the customer – our designers can help with exactly this.   

So, if you hope to find the best AI or non-AI solutions for your organisation, executed with expertise, good ethics and quality, we are your partner. What's more, working with us is easy, fast and cost-effective when the information you need moves within one organisation, and you don't have to worry about multiple partners at different stages of your solution’s lifecycle. We always deliver solutions in an agile and scalable way, with a large pool of talent in our teams to respond quickly to your needs.   

If you're considering an AI Design Sprint™, feel free to contact us and ask more. We’re happy to offer more information. 

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Minna Lumiluoto (Lead Service Designer) is in charge of design offering and competence at Knowit Solutions. Minna’s passion is to improve the efficiency of society and create practical and ethical digital solutions for all. 


Mikko Kursula (Lead Data Scientist) is in charge of the AI-focused offering at Knowit Solutions. Mikko's mission is to break the mystery around AI and make smart AI solutions that deliver business benefits, improve efficiency and make everyday work easier.