Product management glosary

Design sprint

Product Management Glossary: Design Sprint

What is Design Sprint?

A design sprint is a time-constrained, five-phase process that helps teams solve complex problems and validate new ideas through rapid prototyping and user testing. Developed by Google Ventures, the design sprint methodology is widely used by startups, product teams, and innovation-driven organizations to quickly test and iterate on their ideas, minimizing the risk of failure and saving time and resources.

Phases of a Design Sprint

The design sprint process consists of five distinct phases, each with a specific goal and set of activities. These phases are:

  1. Understand: In this phase, the team gathers information about the problem they are trying to solve, the target users, and the business goals. They also define the scope of the sprint and identify the key questions they want to answer.
  2. Diverge: During the diverge phase, the team generates a wide range of possible solutions to the problem. They use various brainstorming techniques, such as sketching, mind mapping, and storyboarding, to encourage creativity and explore different ideas.
  3. Converge: In the converge phase, the team narrows down the list of potential solutions to a few that they believe have the highest potential for success. They then create a storyboard, which is a visual representation of the chosen solution and how it will work from the user's perspective.
  4. Prototype: The team creates a low-fidelity prototype of the chosen solution, which can be a simple mockup, a clickable wireframe, or a more detailed interactive prototype. The goal is to create something tangible that can be tested with real users, without investing too much time and resources.
  5. Test: In the final phase, the team tests the prototype with real users to gather feedback and validate their assumptions. They observe how users interact with the prototype, ask questions, and collect data to determine if the solution is viable and if it meets the users' needs and expectations.

Benefits of Design Sprints

Design sprints offer several benefits for product teams and organizations, including:

  • Speed: By compressing the product development process into a short, focused sprint, teams can quickly test and validate their ideas, reducing the risk of investing time and resources in a solution that may not work.
  • Collaboration: Design sprints bring together cross-functional teams, including designers, developers, product managers, and stakeholders, fostering collaboration and ensuring that everyone is aligned on the goals and objectives of the project.
  • User-centricity: The design sprint process puts the user at the center of the decision-making process, ensuring that the final solution is tailored to their needs and expectations.
  • Learning: Design sprints provide a structured framework for learning and iterating on ideas, helping teams to continuously improve their products and processes.


In conclusion, a design sprint is a powerful tool for product teams looking to quickly test and validate their ideas, minimize risk, and create user-centric solutions. By following the five-phase process, teams can rapidly prototype and test their ideas, gather valuable user feedback, and iterate on their solutions, ultimately leading to better products and more successful outcomes.