The Sprint in short

A Design Sprint is the fastest method (4 to 5 days) for creating new concepts, propositions or solutions for major challenges, and immediately validating them. You do the work in a week which would normally take months. And you ensure that not only time and money are saved, but you are simultaneously creating focus and support within the organization or the team.

The Design Sprint provides answers to crucial business questions because it allows to switch from concept to “prototype” within a week and test it immediately on customers or users. Think of it as a pressure cooker; a process that normally takes weeks or months is now resolved in 4 or 5 days. Welcome to the world of Design Sprint!

A Design Sprint is also a practical way to apply design thinking, lean & agile principles in a team, without the need to have a great deal of pre-existing experience and knowledge; as long as you are open to innovation and want to move forward.

Before you start

Before you start with a Design Sprint, it is important that there is a clear outline of the question that needs to be answered during the Sprint. It provides focus during the Sprint, but moreover, it helps to determine which people should be present at the sessions. It is essential that the Design Sprint Facilitator is actively involved in this preliminary process in order for him/her to ensure the main focus of the team during the Design Sprint.


The Design Sprint was developed at Google Ventures by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky & Braden Kowitz and is also often referred to as the Google Design Sprint. Jake Knapp is a real process “geek”, he is constantly improving processes. By testing and analyzing, he has improved processes at Google Venture step by step. This is the origin of the Design Sprint.

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The basis of a Design Sprint

Whether you do the 5 or 4 day Sprint, the basis is the same:

Design Sprint - Fases


The main question you want answered is determined in the preliminary phase. In the first phase of the Sprint you define the challenge(s) by mapping the process around the question. The ‘area’ around the question is being visualized together with the team and the main lines are being charted. In this way there is a visible representation of the Sprint process for the entire team.


The next step in the Sprint is finding possible solutions for your challenge. You will not get to that solution in one attempt. That is why there are several exercises in this phase that work towards this. Every team member designs his own solution. This way you have a good number of potential solutions at the end of the exercise.


Now that the walls of your meeting room are full of post-its with ideas, it is time to make choices. Which idea has the best chance to succeed? By first voting with the help of stickers and later explaining why a certain choice was made, the final decision maker has all the information to make a well-thought out final choice. This choice will be mapped in more detail by turning it into a “storyboard”.

The storyboard is the starting point for the prototype that will be developed and tested in the following phases. This prototype can be both physical and digital. It should be as realistic as possible and functional at the same time. 


The moment has arrived that we are starting to run the production: in this phase of the Sprint, the prototype is being built. The parts that are designated as the most important come first in the “storyboard”, the rest follows. The aim is to make the prototype as realistic as possible in the time allowed.

It is not necessary for the entire team to be present when the prototype is being built; this depends on the composition of the team, the question and the role of the separate team members. However, it is important that the research questions for the test are developed in order for the person performing the interview, to prepare properly and timely for the next phase.


Judgment Day: The idea is being tested. Today you receive very important feedback.Do we have a Go or a No Go? Or maybe the answer is undetermined and you can sharpen the idea with an iteration Sprint.

Tip: Determine the target group

In the preparation for the Sprint it should already be fairly clear who will be your target test group. The Sprint Facilitator has determined this prior to the Sprint, so you can start looking for suitable candidates fairly early in the process. Sometimes it becomes clear after mapping, that a different approach is required, in this case you will need to adjust your target audience during the process.