Design Sprint

We’ve found that magic happens when we use big whiteboards to solve problems. As humans, our short-term memory is not all that good, but our spatial memory is awesome. A sprint room, plastered with notes, diagrams, printouts, and more, takes advantage of that spatial memory. The room itself becomes a sort of shared brain for the team.
— Jake Knapp, Google Ventures

What's it all about?

In its purest form, a design sprint is a framework for building new digital products and services. You could think of it as a cookbook for design.  Jake Knapp and the team at Google Ventures first coined the phrase ‘design sprint’ and have published a book on the subject.

Moving away from purely digital products, you can use a design sprint to make progress on any type of business challenge. At Naked Ambition our Design Sprints are multi-day collaborative design sessions where teams assemble and work on understanding and solving a business challenge using design thinking. They are flexible and since most of our client teams haven’t worked in this way before we focus on building a team’s capabilities as they make progress on their challenge.

The Naked Ambition Difference

We believe in capability uplift in everything we do. Throughout the design sprint participants will be provided with workshop sessions in which Naked Ambition will teach and demonstrate tools and methods that they will then take and put into practice individually and with their teams.  Coaching sessions are provided across the learning program and are designed to provide guidance on achieving goals, to provide additional guidance on the effective use of methods and tools and importantly to reflect on the learning journey.

How does it happen?

A team sponsor is identified and this is usually a senior decision maker who can provide guidance on their progress throughout the sprint. Ahead of running a design sprint, we work closely with the sponsor to identify suitable challenge(s) for a design sprint. We also consider who needs to be involved in the sprint. A design sprint is a collaborative effort so we need more than 2 people and ideally about 4 people to be involved in the core team. This doesn’t include any other stakeholders or mentors from across the organisation who may advise the team during the sprint.

We agree the days that the sprint will take place over. We are used to working with teams who have high intensity roles within your organisation. As a result, we can schedule the sprint to be flexible in order to get maximum participation from the teams. 

A design sprint time boxes a challenge into a high energy campaign. Teams are empowered to go and gain a deeper understanding of the challenge and actually come up with solutions in the time provided. On recent sprints we have built in sessions to cost out the next phase and build proto-marketing campaigns to complement the solutions being built by the team.

What happens after a sprint?

This is a frequently asked question and one that has a few possible answers. The sprint itself will lead to a deeper understanding of the challenge and will test a number of solutions. The team may need to iterate or pivot and select another idea depending on the outcomes and feedback from the sprint.

Typical outcomes

We successfully ran a sprint recently where the team played back their learnings to the executive team. During this playback, the team asked the executive for funding to build and test a beta product. This typically involves building a delivery focussed agile team to work on a number of further product sprints.


Innovation in Action

Good design doesn’t happen automatically. There is no innovative default future. Great products and services don’t fall out of the sky. Innovation takes a lot more than giving somebody a job title and responsibilities. Using Design Thinking as the framework and Design Sprints as the vehicle, your teamd can release their inner creative in a way that maximizes the chances of being more innovative.


This is for you if:

  • You need to bring fresh ways to solve business challenges in house.
  • You have been given the title of innovation but are not sure where to start.
  • You are struggling to get an idea out of your head and into the world.
  • You know you need to know more about your user to move forwards but are not sure how.
  • You are looking to experiment with design sprints as a way to innovate in your organisation.


You will learn how to:

  • Apply a Design Thinking framework to complex challenges.
  • Develop a research plan you can take back to your organisation.
  • Create a deeper understanding of your user through empathetic research.
  • Identify insights through the synthesis of research findings.
  • Reframe a challenge based on your research.
  • Ideate innovative solutions using insights and brainstorming techniques.
  • Bring ideas to life using rapid prototyping tools.
  • Work out a testing plan to learn from your prototype.
  • Craft and communicate an engaging design story.

Happy Design Sprint Stories  

It allowed us to work collaboratively on a challenge with team members from outside of our departments, which was great. We shared stories and listened to each other's ideas.

- Anonymous, Design Sprint participant

The design sprint was great as a way to bring ideas to life, working through many ideas even if they all didn't work. It was a safe environment to try something.

- Anonymous, Design Sprint participant