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Who Runs a Design Sprint?

30 September 2020

A design sprint isn’t a solo activity. You need a team of at least 4 (ideally 6 and no more than 8) people from across disciplines. This last part is essential. The goal of a design sprint is to test ideas and having people from across departments makes sure you’re not falling into any unconscious biases.

To facilitate the design sprint, you also need two people to play very specific roles:

The Design Sprint Facilitator

A sprint facilitator is someone who has experience running design sprints. The facilitator is in charge of keeping the sprint on track and making sure everyone is doing the right exercises. They focus on making sure your team works efficiently together and is aligned towards a common goal. The facilitator makes or breaks your design sprint, which is why it’s always a better idea to bring in an experienced one rather than have someone combine roles.

The Decider

This is the person who ultimately has the final say when the team is stuck. When you’re moving quickly, decision deadlock can kill your design sprint. Having a dedicated decider makes sure this won’t happen. You should pick this person on the first day of the design sprint.

Along with the right people in the room, you also need the right supplies. That means lots of whiteboard space, yellow 3×5 sticky notes, markers (black, green, and red), paper and pens for sketching, small and large dot stickers (in different colors), and timers to keep you on track.