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  What is a Design Sprint?

Design Sprints are a fast-paced way to inject Design Thinking into any stage of the product development cycle.

That’s a lot of words. It’s technically correct, but it’s still a difficult definition to grasp as it introduces yet another term to the discussion: Design Thinking. Here is Google Ventures’ definition: “A sprint is a ‘greatest hits’ of business strategy, innovation, behavioral science, design, and more packaged into a step-by-step process that any team can use.”

Now it got puffier, but it’s still blurry, right? This definition presents a lot of technical terms and jargon as well.

What is a Design Sprint then?

Let me ask you something. Think of a challenge the business you are in may be facing. If you can’t think of a real one, just play along and pretend you have one. Now, what if you could work together with customers, employees, and partners to fix, improve, or even completely transform that situation? What if I told you all of this, from discovery to solution, could be accomplished very cheaply in a timeline as short as a week? That’s the power of Design Sprints.

A Design Sprint allows a product development team to map users and stakeholders’ needs and work with them to create and test solutions with real users in only a couple of days. Now I sound a lot like those “as seen on TV” ads. But wait, there’s more! All of this can be done with an extremely low, near zero budget.

Photo: dSprintSchool core team sprinting in London with an enterprise client.

Photo: dSprintSchool training the mentor's retreat in Silicon Valley, CA.

All of this make Design Sprints a low cost / high added value “gig” no product developer can afford to be unfamiliar with.

Next, we will dive into some of the reasons why you should use this approach in your day-to-day product development activities.