Brainstorming within Design Sprints

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We're in our 6th episode into our series about generating ideas with our team toward action. The first two episodes were all about idea generation. The 3rd through 5th episodes was about using Quality Tools to help us group, explore, prioritize, and decide on an idea.

There's one more method to consider in this series: a design sprint.

A design sprint utilizes all of these things we've been talking about. We talk about the book Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days and how these ideas fit together.

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Reminders when evaluating ideas with a team

We need to Mind our Mindset

Recognize that it's difficult to evaluate ideas from a brainstorming activity into actions for next steps.

We're handling ideas systematically with our team to get the maximum benefit from our creative phase.

We want to control our itch for a quick decision on the best idea - to do so would ruin our efforts toward creativity and innovative ideas.


We aren't looking to eliminate ideas. We're looking to develop them to the best solution we think there could be.


Yes, we approach activities with the  spirit of developing creative ideas.
We say things like, “That’s a great idea, what can we do to make it work?" or "What is it about this idea we can use?” 

No, we don't want to just eliminate ideas. We try to avoid first jumping to say things like, "That’s a great idea, but here’s why it won’t work.” 

Discussing Ideas

We’d like consensus on a clear option, which is that place where everyone supports the decision, even if it wasn’t their first choice. 

We discuss to clarify ideas. If it’s not clear, then let’s make sure that everyone understands the information about some ideas.

We don’t need to pressure anyone to change votes, but we do need to ensure we’re all voting on the same idea, or the same understanding of an idea. 

This episode is exploring a Design Sprint, a method to develop a design concept with a team in 5 working days. We build upon what we've already covered, plus some big takeaways about brainstorming from the book, "Sprint".

  • Give individuals a four-step idea-generating process
  • Use iterations of voting to pick stand-out ideas
  • Help the team decide what to prototype and test in the last 2 days of the sprint

Dianna talked about this book:

Knapp, Jake, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz. Sprint: Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days. Simon & Schuster, 2016.

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Virtual Sprints

Need to develop ideas with a team remotely? The Design Sprint experts weigh-in through this article:

Knapp, Jake, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz. "The Remote Design Sprint Guide." Sprint. Accessed 25 Jan 2023.