Sprint books by Jake Knapp

All successful Design Sprints have one thing in common: solid planning. Design Sprints are fun and exciting, so it’s easy to get intoxicated by this excitement and jump in too quickly. I’m consistently hearing from teams that have tried Design Sprints and admitted that things could have gone more smoothly. I’m sharing the resources and tools that I use with my clients in an effort to ensure more successful Design Sprints.

Sprint Planner

The Google Ventures(GV) team put together this awesome Sprint planner to help you answer the important questions. If you are unsure why they are asking some of these questions, I suggest that you dust off the Sprint book and re-read that section.

Download the GV Sprint Planner here.

The Book

Now that you have the basics out of the way, it’s important to ensure that the team knows what they are about to embark on. I encourage my clients to buy the book for the entire team. Reading the book is the best way for team members to full get up to speed on the process.

Buy the book here.

Sprint Intro Video

If having the entire team read the book is not an option or if they need some convincing, the 90 Second Intro video by GV is great. They do a fantastic job of distilling down the process such that folks can quickly grasp how the process works at a high level and the types of outcomes that might be possible.

Sprint Team Email Template

I use the following email template to invite the Sprint attendees. This is when I share the 90 Second Intro and start to set expectations. Typically this email is followed up with in-person conversations, planning meetings, and an official kick-off the week prior to a Sprint.

We are conducting a “Google Ventures Design Sprint” to get clarity around {{YOUR PROBLEM HERE}}. The workshop will run from 10am-5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am–5pm on Friday. The process is both collaborative and participatory, so come prepared to engage and contribute. Please send me confirmation that you’ll be able to attend (accepting the calendar invite is sufficient) and if you have any questions feel free to reach out as well.

In the meantime, here are a few resources that may provide more perspective:

A 90-Second Intro Video explaining the process

A story I wrote about Twyla’s journey into Design Sprints

The official website for the Sprint book


Don’t forget to order all the recommended supplies. You can check out my Sprint Supplies post where you’ll find a detailed overview of all supplies and saved Amazon lists so you can quickly purchase all the necessary items.

Design Sprint supplies

Facilitator Checklists

Jake and the GV team put together a checklist pdf, that is a really handy reference when facilitating a Sprint. They’ve organized the document by Day and provide all relevant details and timings. I personally like the Key Ideas and Facilitator notes that they provide after each daily checklist. Don’t forget to write the checklist/schedule on the whiteboard at the beginning of each day.

Start our Design Thinking Foundations course today!

Learn and practice Design Thinking to help your team solve problems and seize opportunities.

Monday Morning Slide Deck

The Monday Morning Slide Deck is another handy way to set expectations and remind all Sprinters what they are about to do for the next 5 days. I like to use this during kick-off sessions a week prior to the Sprint as well. This is a great time to answer any last-minute questions and ensure the team is all set for the big week! Sometimes I’ll return to the deck at the beginning of each day as well if I feel that the team needs a bit of grounding.

Prototyping Tools

These are the usual prototyping suspects: Marvel, InVision, Keynote, and Keynotopi. If you want to use a different tool, then knock yourself out! In fact, please email me and tell me how well it worked. I’m always interested in non-standard Sprints, in fact, I’m actively looking for new ways to apply Sprint and that typically requires new prototyping techniques.


Day 5 is always the most exciting day for me and aside from storyboarding, it is the subject that the book spends the least amount of time on. There are several crucial elements you need to consider, for example, you need to identify who will recruit your users and get them started recruiting Tuesday morning. Here are five tools, provided by GV, to help you better understand how to recruit and prepare for you interviews.

  1. The Five-Act Interview: Michael Margolis, GV Research Partner, demonstrates how to conduct a customer interview.
  2. GV Research Sprint Guide: Instructions for running your own customer test.
  3. Customer Screening Worksheet: Fill this out to start creating your recruiting screener survey.
  4. Example Customer Screener: Sample of the form you’ll create to screen potential customer participants for Friday’s test.
  5. Example Craigslist Ad: We often use Craigslist to recruit customers. Here’s a sample ad you can post on Craigslist in your city.


I hope these tools and resources help you stay organized and align your Design Sprints for success. If you have other tools or ideas to share please let me know and I’ll update this list. Happy Sprinting!

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