Design Sprints Are Snake Oil
Erika Hall


Thanks for writing this article! I’m very glad we can talk about design methods and I welcome the critique. Bring it on! 😀

Even though Sprints may be getting a lot of hype, I don’t want to suggest that they’re a panacea, or that Sprints are the right way to work for every team.

In fact, if you’re a pro at design methods, know how to iterate fast, know how to facilitate a workshop, and know how to learn from customers, then you probably don’t need anything in Sprint. Instead of following a rigid process, you’ll pick better methods at each step and get an even better result.

My goal with Sprints has never been to say: This is the best way to do things. But instead, I want to find ways to teach design to those less familiar with these methods.

I hope that a Sprint is a recipe that teams can follow to have some early success with design methods from end-to-end. And just like a cupcake recipe won’t make you a world-class pastry chef, Sprints won’t make your team an instant design powerhouse.

But hopefully if you try this cupcake recipe, you might find out that baking isn’t as hard as you thought, and realize that home-baked cupcakes are pretty darn tasty. And I think that experience might just open the door to all sorts of other learning, experimentation, and growth.

That’s my hope anyway. Which reminds me, I need to go find a cupcake. Thanks! 🍰

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