Virtual Sprint Week Diary, Day 1

Monday, November 5:

Robert Skrobe
Dallas Design Sprints
3 min readNov 6, 2018


And we’re off!

We started our kickoff meetings this week with our first few teams (Natural Disaster Front End System, Design the Workday and the Design Sprint Referral Network). Each of them had a pretty good showing, and we finished on time for each one.

What’s really fantastic to see is the willingness everyone has to work together and collaborate on the challenges they’ve chosen. Team B (Disaster Front End), has some amazing professionals (Bill Alexy, Lee Duncan, David Magdaleno, etc.) who were interested in getting down to business right away. Team C (Design Sprint Referral Network) has enormous talent on the roster from the start. Team D (outside of Anna Sorbian getting stuck with a bad connection) showed a lot of promise as well.

There are three more sprint teams to hold kickoffs with. Two tomorrow (Tuesday) and one very late on Thursday (due to time zones).

I felt pretty bad about the Thursday one (Team F). I’ve had to change a scheduling poll twice after Sandra Arps pointed out that I wasn’t offering proper coverage to the greater team out there.

While I’ve been having a great time organizing and arrange six different sprint teams across a whole heap of timezones and schedules (along with preferences on which design challenges folks want to take on), this is the week where things officially start getting traction.

  • Tuesday is the last day for anyone to get involved with the virtual sprint pilot. Folks that haven’t showed up in Slack, or showed signs of engagement, will probably have to be retired.
  • I’ll start making the transition from organizer to project manager, assigning tasks, setting deadlines and working with facilitators from each Sprint Team to get some work done for them (i.e. contact SME’s and getting their information, recording interviews, getting decks together for virtual sprint week, providing on-boarding material for those that want to learn, etc.

If it all goes well, then most (if not all) of the design sprint teams should be ready to rock and roll one week from now. We’ll know when particular professionals will be available, what they’d like to do, and a schedule of events where everyone knows where they need to be on any given day.

I’ll reiterate… I’m looking to get at least one sprint team across the finish line with a testable prototype and 4–5 user interviews in the books. If we accomplish anything beyond that, I’m treating the family to a Saturday sugar fest at Frost Cupcakery in Coppell. :)

I do need to emphasize that I’m coming at this with a sense of realism. I know the following things are going to happen in some capacity:

  • Team members are not going to be happy with how I organize this event.
  • Team members might not get along at all with each other.
  • Meeting everyone’s expectations of what professional success (or a worthwhile investment of time) would mean to them.
  • Other commitments outside of this volunteer effort (family, friends, hobbies, paying job, Netflix binging, etc.) may torpedo the best of intentions.

I know from doing these in the past that you just have to roll with the punches and do what you can. I’m perfectly fine with taking the blame. It’s my fault if things don’t go well.

I’m hoping that writing a diary like this can reinforce what I’ve been attempting to do from the beginning: elevate the professionals and practitioners stations in life through marketing, promotion, and show-n-tell of what they can do (and do well).

Looking forward to Tuesday. Hope you enjoyed the read, and leave comments if you’d like to read more/less of something in particular. :)



Robert Skrobe
Dallas Design Sprints

I run Dallas Design Sprints, The Design Sprint Referral Network and Talent Sprints.