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The SPRINT 'Design Studio'

In Brief

The SPRINT design studio can be used as part of ongoing SPRINT studies, or separately as a freestanding module. The aim is to generate ideas for discussion, issues for further exploration and experiments needed to facilitate further development of the design outcomes. The general focus of the design studio is upon radical ideas that spring from the reworking of processes, technology and information. This radical perspective will complement the more incremental findings that typically follow a full SPRINT analysis.

Who Will Participate?

The SPRINT design studio is a focused, structured workshop or series of workshops. Four or more of the following should participate:

  • Chief Executive
  • Service Director
  • BPR Project Manager
  • Senior User
  • Lead BPR Consultant (SPRINT study)
  • BPR Consultant

Other persons may attend by invitation, but the design studio should always be focused on a small, creative group of people (<=7).


The following are the outcomes of a design studio:

  • Outline designs for the redesign of organizational structures, processes or technology.
  • Issues associated with the designs that are in need of further investigation.
  • Experiments needed to test the designs or to investigate barriers.

How will it work?

The design studio is structured around six key questions:

  1. What is the scope of your project? i.e. can you enlarge it? Reshape it? Can you map out the supply chain or network? Can you embrace other functions that are just beyond the boundary of the study?
  2. Who are the key stakeholders? Who delivers the process? Who benefits from it?
  3. What's the niche that you will serve? What channels are appropriate?
  4. Thinking about technology and other innovations: How will the process be different? What's the advantage?
  5. Thinking about technology and other innovations: How might the organizational structure change?
  6. Thinking about technology and other innovations: Who gains information? Who gains power? Who loses?

What is the Basis of the Design Studio?

The questions are formulated in response to several theoretical positions:

  • Christensen - new innovations grow from niches. What's the niche and what's the channel for that niche?
  • Hammer - ICT can support radically different processes. So how are your processes different? What are the advantages?
  • Downes and Mui/ Butler - as transaction costs diminish, so does the size of the firm. Organizational structures will splinter and change.
  • Clegg - as information shifts, so does power. Who wins, who loses?

What's the Relationship with the Rest of SPRINT?

The use of the design studio will be optional in each SPRINT study. Its aims within a SPRINT study are as follows:

  1. To increase the attention given to radical ideas in SPRINT projects.
  2. To bring design ideas and issues to the fore much sooner in the lifecycle of a SPRINT study.

Its outputs will feed the normal design processes in Phase 2.

It is envisaged the Design Studio will be used very early on in a SPRINT study (i.e. alongside some of the early Phase One activities). The general aim, however, is to be flexible. The Lead BPR Consultant and senior users may choose to invoke the Design Studio at any stage in the first two phases (e.g. to hasten the design process, to 'unblock' the creative process, to encourage radicalism.)

Related Change Management TopicSee empowerment and involvement

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