Design Sprint: A time-constrained process

Shruti Dwivedi
3 min readMay 11, 2020

“A Design Sprint is a time-constrained process that uses design thinking to reduce the risk when bringing a new product, service or a feature to the market.”

Design Sprint: human-centred process

There is a lot there, so let’s take a moment to unpack what all that means. What it means is that involves stretching your understanding of a problem, thinking about it from a different perspective and brainstorming solutions. Ultimately, picking one idea, building a prototype, and testing it with real users.

If you haven’t heard of design thinking before: it’s a human-centred iterative approach to solve problems. Human-centred means that there is a focus on deeply understanding users and their needs, and going through a process of re-defining process, creating solutions and testing them with the real users.

There are a few advantages of having design sprints, let’s walk through some of them quickly to get a better understanding:

  • The Design Sprint process is highly customizable and can be adapted to the specifics of each challenge. Most design sprint takes five days to complete. Although it’s possible a design sprint in a shorter amount of time depending on the scope of the problem, someone from product, design and engineering should always be involved during the design sprint.
  • Design sprints are highly collaborative, so adding team members to help create buy-in as well as a sense of ownership as everyone comes together as a team to solve a problem.
  • It helps to explore without building anything: This is one of the essential benefits of design sprints, it allows you to take about a week with the team investigating a problem, finding a solution and validating.

There are several scenarios you get after completing the design sprint:

  • If everything goes smoothly, the team will have clarity around precisely what needs to be built, but in the worst-case scenario, the team fails early and learns that the solution isn’t buyable.
  • If the team haven’t gone through the design sprint though, they just started building the product they might have spent months or even longer before they can get feedback that their product is not going to be successful.
  • In some cases, you will conclude that there is some value, but you need to spend more time developing the idea, potentially in another design sprint.
  • In other cases, again, you might realize that there is some value, but it’s not the right time to pursue the idea.

Since this design sprint is a vast topic, I am going to divide them into several blogs to make it easier to follow and be focused throughout:

  • Phases of a design sprint
  • Design sprint outcomes
  • Who should participate?
  • Is the problem-right”?
  • Planning a design sprint
  • Problem statement Example: grocery store chain
  • A quick note on “Icebreakers.”
  • Working with designers — Product Manager.

During this walkthrough regarding design-sprint, we will work with an example sprint. As we go-through exercises will imagine that we are a grocery store chain, it’s concerned about increased competition from online shopping and delivery services.

Design Sprint: Example

Thanks for reading! Let’s e-meet in next blog to understand design spent better.

Further reading:



Shruti Dwivedi

Data Product Manager. Building products that are capable of solving the customer’s problem. Customer obsession & ownership are the two principles that I believe