Laurea UAS took care of Design Sprint and Service Design teaching for Leuven UCLL Banaba Programme

Teksti | Kati Tawast

Leuven UCLL in Belgium has started this Autumn a new BANABA Advanced Business Management programme. “In this one-year programme BANABA Advanced Business Management students will learn how to apply Design Thinking methods to create innovative future-proof solutions for companies and organizations”, explain Leuven teachers Christel Lammens and Tine Osaer.  Laurea University of Applied  Sciences teachers Tarja Chydenius, Päivi Harmoinen, Johanna Lunkka and Kati Tawast took care of Design Sprint and Service Design teaching for Leuven UCLL Banaba programme. The students learned directly from Laurea UAS experts, together with Finnish and international students and in close collaboration with an international company Telia Ltd.

Laurea UAS & Leuven UCLL Design Sprint – International Student Teams developed Service Concepts for Telia Ltd

The world is moving fast and we have to adopt to the changing circumstances faster and faster. This means that also our way of working has to change. Telia Ltd gave to Laurea UAS and Leuven UCLL students a design challenge in which they encouraged the students to rethink the traditional working environments, the ways of working, and the tools used for working. Telia wanted the students to think about what kinds of  service concepts and collaborations would AI, VR, robotics, 5G and fiber connections enable in the future.

Online Pre-Sprint to Gain Customer Empathy

The Laurea UAS and Leuven UCLL student teams worked online  during the pre-sprint to gain customer empathy and reframe the problem. The students concentrated on Forwards customer segment given by Telia Ltd.

The teams interviewed customers and the collected data was analyzed. The gained customer insight was visualized by using personas and customer journey maps.

Design Sprint in Leuven 18.11.-22.11.2019

On Sunday 17 November Laurea students and teachers flew to Leuven. There was a little bit time to get ready for the Sprint itself which started on Monday 18 November.

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Figure 1: The Map and Sketch Day of Design Sprint in Leuven. (Photo Tine Osaer, 2019)

On Monday 18 November the Sprint started and it was so-called Map and Sketch day. The students had the remote Ask the Expert session with Lotta Salminen from Telia Ltd. The objective was to reframe the problem of the user and get inspiration by doing benchmarking of different companies and brands. The teams used Crazy 8 ideation method to get different ideas and train the brains for the iterative service development process.

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Figure 2: Remote Ask the Expert Session with Telia Ltd. (Photo Tine Osaer, 2019)

Tuesday 19 was the second day of the Sprint when the students decided on which idea they want to concentrate and do the storyboard of the chosen solution idea. On Wednesday morning 20 November the teams had a remote mentoring by Lotta Salminen before starting to build the prototype for Thursday’s service solution test.

Thursday, 21 November 2019, was  booked for solution test interviews and analysis. The teams had to do five solution interviews, analyze the feedback and do the necessary modifications to their service solutions.

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Figure 3: Design Sprint Coaches Tarja Chydenius, Päivi Harmoinen, Johanna Lunkka and Kati Tawast together with Lotta Salminen from Telia Ltd at Leuven Limburg Campus. (Photo Tine Osaer, 2019)

On Friday, 22 November 2019, the teams practiced their service concept pitches in the morning. In the afternoon, Lotta Salminen from Telia Ltd. arrived from Finland to Leuven, Belgium to hear team’s pitching presentations and give feedback. It was great to see how excited the teams were about their service concepts. It was really valuable for them to get feedback from their client Telia Ltd.

The Design Sprint  was an agile and concrete way of doing international team work and learning service design in practise. For us coaches in Laurea UAS and Leuven UCLL it was also a great opportunity to co-design and deepen our services to our students.

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Figure 4: Laurea Design Sprint Guide was in intensive usage by the teams during the Sprint.

Laurea Design Sprint is a tested service concept for companies and our partner exchange schools which we offer also in the future and the next Laurea Design Sprint will be organized already in January 2020 in Espoo, Finland.

If you would be interested to have a Design Sprint for your teams, please send  an email to   We would be happy to give you information about different alternatives available and make an offer to you.

  • Tawast, K. 2019.Design Sprint Guide.

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