Sprint 3


This sprint’s primary objective is driving more validated learning about the customer and the operating environment- all of which should be organized around the venture’s key assumption set. Secondarily, this sprint is about starting to translate your validated learning into product designs that are actionable for an implementation team.


This sprint builds on well-articulated (and ideally validated) personas & problem scenarios, a full set of articulated assumptions, a working version of the business model canvas, and as much validated learning as possible (with more to come- that’s what we’re focused on in this sprint).


If the team has a mentor, they should submit this material to them minimum 3 business days before the sprint end and panel (or mentor) review so their mentor has adequate time to review the details.

The following table breaks these down into roughly time-boxed tasks. The next section on learning materials describes supplemental material you may find helpful.

Minimum Items


Approx. Time*


Results from Assumption, MVP and/or Prototype Testing Highly variable You’ve got your full assumption set, experimental design, and a concept for your MVP. In this sprint, your job is to drive to some solid experimental results to validate or invalidate those assumptions (if you haven’t already).Typical results might include:
* Finding that subjects in your target segment consistently mention your target problem scenario or rank it near the top from a set of choices.
* Running a Google AdWords campaign and finding a proposition or proposition with especially high click-through rates.
* Finding high levels of engagement with a particular landing page/site design. This might include low bounce rates and (better) high conversion rates to a sign-up list (if germane).
User Stories 240 min. How is your MVP going to address your user personas’ problem scenarios? Start with epic stories and then drill down to individual stories and test cases. If you get a cool idea for a story that doesn’t feel like it should be in your MVP: a) that’s OK, write it down but b) make sure it’s in a separate section and c) make sure you don’t spend too much time on it (and convince yourself it’s a must have if it’s not pivotal to proving out your key assumptions!).Click here for the USER STORIES TEMPLATE.
Prototyping 240 min. Now that you have your user stories, try sketching a prototype. Remember, this is almost definitely not a specific prescription for what you’re going to build. It should look rough, it should look like a sketch or 3rd grade art project. That’s fine. The purposes of this are to a) help you think through the product implementation at a high level b) describe it to others for purposes of feedback and subsequent collaboration.Balsamiq (available for Mac and on Google App’s) is a great tool that I particularly like, though there are many that will do, including a good old fashioned paper and pencil. This tutorial describes the process: PROTOTYPING TUTORIAL.
Revisions: Personas, Problem Scenarios, Assumptions, Stories, Prototypes…. Highly variable Unless you’re in the .05% of startup founders that get their product design and business model exactly right in the first couple of weeks, you should be revising your foundation items based on the validated learning you’ve acquired. Your mentor and/or mentor panel will be asking you:What have you learned?
How did you learn it?
How has your point of view changed?

* These durations will vary based on your experience, type of venture, stage of development, just to name a few of the biggest factors. If you’re within 3x of the approximation for something less than an hour or 2x for something over an hour, don’t sweat. However, if you’re substantially over that then: a) make sure you’re using the templates and have looked at all the resources and/or b) seek out some coaching from your mentor(s).

At General Review

The teams should distill their material in the time-boxed format in the prescribed format: Sprint 3 Presentation **add link. This presentation will answer at a minimum:

What have you learned?
How did you learn it?
How has your point of view changed?


The slides and screencast below present a case study-driven view of design thinking and Lean Startup.


Learning Materials and Templates

Make sure you’ve read and absorbed Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 8 of ‘Starting a Tech Business’. These will help you with your customer discovery and validation work and initial product design.


Be sure all teams post their standup for sprint 3.