Beyond the Book: Sprint Lab for different content formats

Launched in October 2019, the Sprint Lab is our container for experimentation and innovation. Anything that is not an onsite Book Sprint aiming to produce a book from zero as final result, but that still relies on collaborative-knowledge production and a short timeframe fits here. That includes new facilitation methodologies, new content types, formats, and more.

It started when organisations began to approach us with requests for facilitation that was somewhat outside of the typical Book Sprint methodology. After years facilitating and producing books collaboratively, it was nothing but a matter of plan and trial to witness that the method could consistently also work for other content formats too.

people at a brainstorm session

USAID – Power Africa authors at a brainstorm session during an update Book Sprint


We design Sprints together with clients or establish a process for them according to the needs. So far, experiments in the Sprint Lab have included: Virtual Book Sprint, Workflow Sprints, Book update Sprint,Open textbook (OER) Sprint,Online-Course Sprint,Curriculum Sprint,Conference proceedings Sprint,Sprinting with pre-written content.

Since April 2020 we have been offering Virtual Book Sprints, which is undoubtedly our most impactful method experiment and innovation. It all started by the remoteness imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and by now we can easily say it’s a format that is here to stay, regardless of people being able to gather onsite again – and we definitely hope that will happen soon. We produced 9 Virtual Book Sprints since then and are getting ready for some more in the coming months.

Workflow Sprints are also showing increased demand lately. It’s a tailored design methodology for helping organisations understand and optimise their workflows before making technology, logistics, personnel and processes decisions that will impact deliverables and “how things are done”, so to speak. We’ve facilitated 4 Workflow Sprints until now and they have been quite different from each other in most senses, which only makes the experience more enriching and resourceful for our team and our clients.

people at Zoom conference raising glasses to toast the completion of the Book Sprint

GIZ team celebrating the conclusion of a successful virtual Book Sprint!

We remain open to diverse knowledge collaboration approaches, and gladly take these opportunities to learn and develop the scope of our method along with the people we facilitate and produce content with.

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