Day 3 of a Design Sprint

Decision Phase

At this stage, you have lots of ideas on paper. You have explored the critical problem, generated multiple solutions, and checked how other companies solve similar issues. It is great to have lots of ideas, but you cannot build and test everything. It wouldn't be beneficial to develop and test everything as you would have too much information to go through. Thus, you have tough decisions to make. Here, the goal is to decide on which solutions you will pursue and the ones you will do away with. Another objective of this stage is to determine how you will fit the answers together and come up with something that can be tested rapidly with users to learn what is working and what is not working.

Prepare the decision phase

In a sprint, preparing the decision phase starts with combating the group effect. Decision making is challenging and working as a group might become a liability as the decision makers tend to behave more democratically than in real life.

To combat this group effect, the facilitator has to draw out the decision maker such that they give a genuine and honest opinion.

Several methods can assist in fostering consensus in the decision making phase. These methods include:

Note and Vote

Here, the team chooses between combating group think or following the leader.

Presenting a solution sketch

In this method, each person shares their concept to the team.

Assumptions and sprint questions

This method involves defining what you need to learn.

Voting and selecting a direction

Here, the team decides what to build for the prototype.

Heatmap voting

This method involves indicating the winning idea visually.

Decision matrix

It assists the team in evaluating the ideas.

People involved in the decision phase

The team involved in this phase includes:

A facilitator

The role of the facilitator is to ensure that the team keeps up the goals of the decision phase.

Decision maker

The decision maker is the product chief who makes the shots and is often the CEO or the product owner or the boss.


The designer makes things look good by visualizing the ideas.

Customer representative

Finally but not least, the customer representative pinpoints the issues that customers have and cuts through the sales and marketing hype you are deciding on.

Nevertheless, the people involved in this phase will depend on the focus of the sprint.