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chapter 5


your own

design sprint

Here we’ll look at some practical steps to use for your own design sprint. Such as: defining the challenge, performing user research, being committed, involving leadership and many more.

  • How to set up and run your own design sprint within a news and media organization.



Now that you’ve been able to rethink what it means to be a cross-functional news and media organization, discovered the design mindset, and have a clearer understanding of how to create a future vision, it’s time to look at some practical steps you can begin applying today. Use the guide below to begin implementing a design sprint to address your challenge.

Invest time to define the right challenge to work on

Challenge/Problem definition


Pre-define the challenge. Before starting, it’s good practice to set the challenge (the How Might We tool can help with this). Tailor your challenge according to the geographical region, taking into account social and cultural aspects.

Define the problem in advance. Hold a brainstorming session to establish what the most important or urgent problem is.

User Research


Prepare a set of questions to use for field research in advance and print them in a document. Make sure you get outside the building and actually talk to people!





Block five full days of the calendar for the entire sprint. The quality of work depends on the team’s commitment.

Involvement of leadership

Involve leadership. Not all leaders may be able to attend the sprint all week, but its fundamental for the project’s success to have them on board. Early leadership participation and endorsement will make for buy-in further along the process.


You’ll need five to seven participants. They must have commitment and key skills to be able to work on the project from end-to-end (including implementation of the MVP).

Balanced team

Push for balance. Research shows that more balanced teams produce better outcomes, so make sure the team has a well-balanced composition across culture, mindset, gender, and other representation.


Pick a facilitator to manage time, conversations, and the overall sprint process. Look for someone who’s confident leading a meeting, working with people and synthesizing discussions on the fly.


Book a room with lots of whiteboards, flip charts, and empty walls. It will make the whole process of producing and organizing ideas easier. Book a fixed room for the entire week and try to avoid fancy venues — an isolated room in a coworking space would work perfectly. Try to avoid people coming in and out. Make sure the environment is informal and comfortable (it helps with the outcome).

Identify a product owner

Someone has to own the results of the design sprint. This person needs to ensure that the next steps of the process happen, from getting additional resources or ensuring further development and implementation of the prototype.

This is just the beginning

The design sprint is just the first step on your journey towards developing new solutions for your challenges. That’s why it’s important to plan the next steps in advance.

Get some rest

Sprints are called sprints for a reason: they are intense activities that require a high-level of commitment, so make sure the team gets some downtime after they’ve finished. They will need to recharge before taking the next steps.

Sprint Checklist, by Google
A basic DIY guide, including daily checklists and other resources.
Design Thinking Toolkit, by Echos
Design the most amazing innovation journey for yourself, your organization and the society around you.

Here are our resources to help you run your own design sprint:

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