Last month we welcomed the brilliant Jake Knapp to London to lead his Design Sprint Workshop. It’s amazing to see how far sprints have come since Jake, John and Braden popularised them in 2010.

James Box
James Box
one week ago

I met folks running dedicated design sprint departments. I met a manager whose team have facilitated over fifty sprints in the last year alone. I even met people who are using sprints to prototype organisational change. This is inspiring stuff, and a valuable reminder of how versatile this format this can be.

The big takeaways for me were around facilitation. Jake reminded us that the barrier to a great product is not always the design or technology. Often it’s the organisation’s habits and culture which stand in the way of cross–functional collaboration. To tackle this, Jake focuses on designing the group’s time, as opposed to the product itself. Do this right and we give the permission and structure from which great things emerge.

My colleague Jon shared his reflections with me.

I found the day super insightful. Mainly because Jake is a modest and humble guy who, though he wrote the book on design sprints, is still aware they're not perfect nor infallible. He's always listening to feedback on the process and adapting accordingly, hence the workshop's main focuses on what he's been told are the most difficult bits: Mapping (Day 1/Monday) and Deciding (Day 3/Wednesday). Jake's focus on these was really helpful and facilitated, and the day rounded out with his summarising of his 150+ sprint experiences to help with Days 4 & 5 (prototyping and testing). High fives all around.

Jon Aizlewood
High fives all round!

Attendee Charles Reynolds-Talbot published his own take on the day’s events.

Jake keeps your attention in the palm of his hand throughout and as a result delivers an incredibly refreshing learning experience. Even the icebreaker was genius. I won’t spoil it, you’ll just have to attend one the workshops!

Charles Reynolds-Talbot

And, I’m pleased to say, Jake enjoyed himself too.

From the moment I walked into the room at the corner of the Tate, I knew it was going to be a pretty special day—and it was. Thank you all for joining me and giving so much energy to the workshop. I had an awesome time!

Jake Knapp

We’re so pleased that the event was a success and are planning on repeating the workshop in 2018. To register your interest, please email our Events Manager Alis.

Jake’s workshop is part of the Clearleft Presents series, a new programme of workshops led by some of the biggest and brightest names in tech industry.


Next up, the indomitable Mike Monteiro will lead ‘Design is a Job’, a practical and inspiring one day workshop on how to thrive making a living as a designer. The event takes place on Monday 13 November 2017 in London. Find out more and book your ticket here.