🎤 AMA: How to Learn, Sell and Run Design Sprints

Chuck Rice
May 2 · 4 min read
The room slowly filling up with bright-eyed people with thought-provoking questions.

On Wednesday evening the 1st of May 2019, we put together an event to try and assemble the Manchester Design Sprint community to start creating a dialogue amongst ourselves. I learned a lot speaking to experts in their fields individually and knew that as a city we had come so far since the original Sprint book came out. Suffice to say it was a brilliant night despite football attempting to take the spotlight as usual.

Event link: https://tsf.tech/2TtgvIP


Not sure if it’s worth reading on? See what some of our attendees thought.


For those that didn’t manage to make it but wanted to know more about the experts that generously gave their time to be there, here are all their details again. In order of how Medium imported the images 😂:

Tom Bradley, Design Director at Code Computerlove | Twitter | LinkedIn
Tali Cahani, Senior UX Researcher at Co-op Bank | Twitter | LinkedIn
Nate Langley, Principal Designer at Co-op Digital | Twitter | LinkedIn
Chris Benstead, Digital Director at Degree53 | LinkedIn
David Fairbrother, Head of Design at Reason Digital | Profile | LinkedIn
Charles Rice, Head of Design at thestartupfactory.tech | Twitter | LinkedIn


For the open questions section we had a variety of compelling and thought-provoking questions. Some questions were reasonably straightforward with the collective expertise we had, but others were recurring problems that we had all encountered and didn’t have one bullet-proof answer to share. One thing for certain was that communicating with stakeholders and getting alignment was a strong recurring theme.

Here’s a replay of the questions answered on the night:

  1. Can I replace my design processes with Design sprints?
  2. Whats the 1 quickest way to learn everything you need to know to run your first design sprint, without information overload.
  3. How do you ‘sell’ design sprints to stakeholders or clients?
  4. What problems can occur when looking to implement design sprints into a organisation for the first time?
  5. How do you handle design sprints where stakeholders are dropping in and out of the process?
  6. What are best practices to feed the output from the Design sprint into the development process?
  7. How did you get into carrying out design sprints?
  8. How do I tell a good designer from a bad one? I can run a crazy eights session but it doesn’t mean I understand the process.
  9. User testing with 4–6 users seems small to get useful feedback, have you ever tried a larger sample?
  10. Is there a checklist type of resource, like a printable for the facilitator to use during the sprint. (this one’s free: view the pdf here)
  11. When is it best to avoid using the design thinking or design sprint methodology?
  12. Have you ever tried to validated the ‘stickiness’ of a product as part of a design sprint — and how?
  13. Design thinking is the new cool thing for execs to do. How do we ensure it is seen as an operational process?
  14. Is there anyway to apply the design sprint to personal life?
  15. What is the weirdest design sprint you’ve ever done?
  16. If you could rename the design sprint to something that would resonate with the client and reflect what it does what would you call it?
  17. What pre-research do you do prior to a design sprint?

If you want the answers, you’ll have to reach out to us individually or look out for the next event 😉.


Lastly, here’s a few common resources that people asked for, or mentioned during the night. It’s not exhaustive so if I missed anything please let me know and I’ll add it and credit (!) you.


Thanks again to all the experts, to the Co-op Foundation and The Federation, in partnership with Luminate for the venue, tsf.tech for pizza and beer, and finally all the attendees for making it worthwhile organising this event.

You can engage with me on Twitter (@chuckwired) about anything design, Design Sprints, or tech startup.


The best from Design, Tech and Business for all things Startup. You’ll love it…

Chuck Rice

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A True All-Rounder. Product Designer. People Person. Problem Solver & Ex-Coder. Traveller, Pseudo-CrossFitter and Corgis 🐶.


The best from Design, Tech and Business for all things Startup. You’ll love it…