In-person training + remote innovation projects

How Capgemini empowers newly-trained design thinkers to make a global impact with Sprintbase

First, the training

Capgemini is a global leader in consulting, technology services and digital transformation. Since 2017, we have been working in partnership with the Møller Institute, Churchill College, University of Cambridge, to provide large numbers of Capgemini’s people with a strong grounding in the fundamentals of design thinking. Staring with an immersive simulation, “ExperienceInnovation”, and then applying what they’ve learned to tackle a real challenge using Sprintbase, participants leave these trainings ready to put design thinking to work with their clients and teams.

In order to demonstrate an immediate impact from these training sessions, a set of real business challenges that participants could choose to tackle following the training were nominated by the firm’s senior leadership.

The Bangalore-UK Better Code Challenge

In 2018, a sprint team took up the challenge of improving the way European and Bangalore-based offshore development functions worked together in order to yield better code, products and end-user results.

The team was comprised of 8 people based in India (5) and throughout Europe (3), and lasted for five weeks. From this team, only one person had been trained, with the others being completely new to design thinking.

The team leader (the one person who attended the initial 2-day training in Cambridge) served as the team leader and worked with one of our coaches to guide this international team through a complete innovation process.

Both front line developers and customers were involved during the field research and insights phase, and team members worked together to generate ideas engaging colleagues from outside of the team to contribute and provide feedback. The team identified the root causes behind this cross-border collaboration challenge and developed a set of prototype solutions to address them which are being implemented today.

A few big lessons: The power of going remote

Besides collecting a wealth of data about the challenge and generating multiple solutions that are having a real impact, this team also learned a lot about the power of remote collaboration with a diverse, globally distributed team.

The right voices get heard: The Bangalore based development team made a huge contribution to the success of this sprint, both in terms of the field research they were able to provide being on the ground in India, and the ideas they generated for solutions. This team would likely not have been assembled if it would have required flying everyone to a central location for a traditional in-person, multi-day sprint.

Introverts unleashed: Stereotypes about analytical ‘developer types’ not being very creative were proven wrong. Not everyone thrives in an in-person workshop setting where time pressure is high and often the loudest voices prevail. By giving people time and space to reflect, the team was able to produce extraordinary original and wildly creative ideas and prototypes.

Big results for a newly trained design thinker: One of the biggest barriers to scaling innovation has traditionally been the need to have dedicated experts leading projects. This team was able to use Sprintbase to successfully navigate a complete design process from start to finish with light remote coaching and only the leader having experienced a 2-day training before the sprint.

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