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Before the design sprint

Prior to beginning a design sprint, the designer must identify a design problem and select stakeholders and collaboration tools. 


Identify the application design problem

Before beginning your sprint, you must identify the problem to solve. Set expectations with your team, and the problem may also shift or grow to encompass other issues before you finish the full journey. It is far easier to understand these gaps if you are already listening to the pain points of your users or the business. This continuous practice of listening to user needs is known as a feedback loop.

Well-identified design problem Poorly identified design problem
Targets a specific audience and describes how they are affected All audiences, no audience, or a vague sense of who the audience is
Does not start with a predefined solution Solution is already mandated; data is just being gathered to force the solution regardless of findings
Examines a business need, a user problem, or a potential strategic direction Is not substantiated by user evidence or business buy-in
Clearly identifies user personas and/or levels of access to business information Does not make distinctions for different types of users or levels of access for business information


Choose your sprint team

Determine your cross-functional team of designers, developers, subject-matter experts (SME), and decision-makers ahead of time, but be wary of making the group too large. If possible, limit the group of stakeholders to 5-15 attendees.

The selected team must discuss and provide a more robust sense of the problem, who is affected, and how.

Image of sprint team

Select collaboration tools

Whether you work in-person or remotely, teams and stakeholders should consider which collaboration tools they need. In-person teams may use something as simple as a whiteboard and camera. Remote teams may need to use digital whiteboard tools and video conferencing. 

Before or during the sprint, build in time to educate your team on how to use each if they are unfamiliar with the chosen resources. 

Once your team is chosen, the tools are prepared, and your team has a good problem to explore, you are now ready to begin the design sprint. 

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