From problem solving to piloting at Decathlon in 5 days

A 45 minute Case Study by:

Phillippa Rose

Current Works Ltd

Lara Salinas

University of the Arts, London

Francisco Jiminez

Decathlon Lakeside

Theme: Design in practice: case studies, tools & techniques

About this Case Study

Earlier this year, London College of Communication (LCC) MA Service Experience Design and Innovation students worked with Decathlon's biggest UK store on a 5-day service design sprint and devised solutions to improve employee experience.

The sprint took place in May 2017 and one of the prototypes developed has since been piloted in-store with a view to a national rollout. Insights and evaluation from this case study will be shared from Decathlon's point of view and by LCC.

The students were supported by a course tutor, Lara Salinas, and service design practitioner Phillippa Rose, to undergo an intense but rigorous design process to uncover latent needs, reframe problems and co-create prototypes onsite with Decathlon staff input throughout.

Both organisations and individual staff and students were on a steep learning curve as this was a new approach for all involved. The design sprint model envisioned to facilitate partnerships between design education and enterprise while improving the learning experience of postgraduate students was tested for the first time.

Following an initial briefing session, Phillippa Rose led an initial 3-day design sprint with 4 teams of 5 students, culminating in 4 solutions being rapidly prototyped and presented at the end of day 3. One prototype was selected by Decathlon for further iteration and implementation. The chosen team presented again on day 5.

The outputs are significant for Decathlon, with a solution that was implemented with immediate effect following the initial sprint. The design intervention was at a crucial time for the organisation as Decathlon is undergoing exponential growth in the UK.

The students were designing to accommodate multiple agendas and responding to multiple constraints, presenting innovation challenges and opportunities in equal measure. Impact measurement was a key priority in setting the brief and assessing proposed solutions - personal stories of highs and lows will be shared alongside robust evaluation findings and implications for other business considering this type of rapid design sprint.

About the Speakers

Phillippa Rose

Phillippa Rose is a service design practitioner and facilitator. She works one-to-one and with groups on research, problem solving and strategic visioning to help organisations to become more agile and innovate through becoming genuinely user-centred. Clients have ranged from high street brands and tech start-ups through to various government departments.

Phillippa is an accredited LEGO Serious Play facilitator and enjoys teaching on MA Service Experience Design and Innovation and the BA Design Management and Cultures courses at the University of the Arts, London. She regularly speaks and writes about service design and innovation, including contributing to the This is Service Design Doing book.


Lara Salinas

Lara is a lecturer in the Design School at London College of Communication and teaches the MA Service Experience Design and Innovation course.

She is a practitioner and researcher with an interdisciplinary background in digital culture. Her undergraduate and postgraduate studies were in art and technology, specialising in web-based art and creative uses of locative media. She completed her AHRC-funded practice-led PhD at Lancaster University, where she examined the production of physical-digital hybrid spaces through the design of new products, experiences and services, in collaborative action research projects with pioneering companies, local authorities and academic thinkers.

Lara’s research interests include design for service innovation, democracy and empowerment, in particular through design for physical-digital hybrid experiences and services. Her most recent work at the Public Collaboration Lab (SRvD, Central Saint Martins) involved the investigation of the potential of design education in supporting innovation practices within local government through collaborative design practice.


Francisco Jiminez

My name is Francisco Jimenez. I've got a degree as physical education teacher. I've been working 9 years for decathlon, 8 of them as fitness sport advisor in Malaga, Spain. Currently, I'm Fitness Department manager at Decathlon Lakeside - the UK's largest store. I work with KPIs including margin, stock rotation, productivity, forecast turnover and hours or average basket. I have responsibility for those KPIs following my commercial policy which was completed in early 2017. I have also been leading on implementation of the decascore pilot project with UAL.


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