Partner introductions continue!

We are happy to announce the remaining partners for the Digital Wellbeing Sprint 2021! Which partner would be the perfect match for you? 👀 👀 👀

Seniors in Shape project

The Seniors in Shape project aims to maintain the physical functioning of senior citizens. The goal of this publicly funded project is to unify and develop the welfare and sports services in different areas of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area to better meet the needs and expectations of senior citizens.  The project is run by 3UAS (Metropolia, Laurea and Haaga-Helia).

Digitalization affects the senior population as well. It is important that services take into account the needs and wants of elderly people as users as well. With this partner, the students will get an opportunity to develop the usability of the Helsinki Service Map user interface.

“We expect to have a draft of the Service map UI with better usability and visually improved design for senior users. The proposals will be taken into account this year when an update of Service map is run. Better usability is essential in finding the sport and wellbeing activities – so important after this long period of staying indoors” the Seniors in Shape team says.

Would you like to improve your skills in UI and usability and make an impact on the Service Map of our capital? Join Seniors in Shape in DWS2021!

Hivpoint, The Finnish HIV Foundation

Hivpoint is joining this year’s Digital Wellbeing Sprint! They wanted to try new ways of approaching challenges and the Digital Wellbeing Sprint felt like a good way to do that.

Hivpoint is a non-profit organisation founded in 1986 that promotes health, wellbeing and equality for people affected by HIV. Their focus is not only on people living with HIV but also their families and loved ones, as well as any other people that are concerned or have questions about HIV. Hivpoint raises awareness about prevention of HIV infection, provides testing services, as well as counselling and other support services related to HIV and sexual health.

Students will be offered the opportunity to work with an interesting challenge that can have a great impact on peoples’ lives. Would you like to be part of a project that helps people take care of their sexual health? Join Hivpoint at Digital Wellbeing Sprint 2021!

What does Hivpoint expect from the sprint? “We expect inspiration and ideas outside the box – something to help us go further with the project.” – says the Hivpoint team.


Coach4Pro Oy is a Finnish software company that is providing a service digitalisation solution for health, wellness and sport coaching companies. Coach4Pro is a flexible software platform that allows service providers to improve efficiency and scale their business while managing the service quality.

With Coach4Pro, a company can plan and create their service, and follow clients’ progress regardless of time and place. The company has been developing the customer onboarding process systematically for one year now and introduced major changes in April.  

Are you ready to take up a challenge of improving customer experience at a SaaS? Here is one of many reasons for you to join Coach4Pro:

“Selling software as service (SaaS) is one of the key trends. Coach4Pro platform is in core of the service digitalisation trend of preventive health industry. These two issues invite students to a unique pressing challenge” – says the Coach4Pro team.


Hublet is a Finnish innovation that enables digital services in different segment areas such as libraries, hospitals, senior homes, restaurants and science centres. Hublet Solution contains a user- friendly cloud-based Hublet Manager – management software, Hublet Tablets and Hublet Smart Docking Station. Hublet is a customized learning tool, communication device and entertainment center in the same package; an innovative, shared tablet solution that ensures easy, private and safe access to the digital world.

The company is in the process of developing a totally new digital solution for the healthcare sector. Would you like to take part of that development and challenge your thinking on how digital devices can be used in the future to provide better healthcare services? Join Hublet at Digital Wellbeing Sprint!

“We have been part of the digital wellbeing sprints for two years now and have been very pleased with ideas and work that the students have been able to provide”, the Hublet team concludes.

Now that all the partners have been introduced, you can expect to see the actual challenges soon too! Stay tuned….


First partner announcement!

While preparations for Digital Wellbeing Sprint are in full speed, it’s time to announce our first partners!

In this blog we are happy to introduce you to three companies making the world a safer and healthier place, please welcome Emooter, ViaEsca and AddSecure.


A lot of people struggle with stress, high workload, or even burnout. They might have a hard time finding meaning or motivation in their work. Emooter is an app for improving mental wellbeing at work. Emooter is a science-based and scalable virtual guide that helps people, teams, and companies improve and sustain their mental well-being at work.

In a nutshell, Emooter:

  • helps employees take better care of their wellbeing so that they can enjoy their work, sustain good health, and become more engaged and successful.
  • helps the team leaders to stay better aware of their team’s wellbeing
  • enables taking action before problems get out of hand
  • is designed to be preventive and proactive, engaging on a personal level

“Success in business, work, and life is built on great wellbeing. Take better care of mental wellbeing and engagement at work with Emooter.” – says Dani Pärnänen from Emooter.

Emooter has great experiences from working with students and student groups in multiple short projects. That is why they want you to join their challenge in DWS 2021!

“We want to work with students on this project to get some fresh and out-of-the-box thinking and nudge our ideas forward. The format of the sprint is very efficient for this purpose. We also believe that the students from diverse backgrounds bring a lot to the table. The ideas and concepts developed during this sprint are very likely to be implemented in one way or another and could benefit a lot of people around the world.” – Dani Pärnänen from Emooter concludes.


ViaEsca is a Finnish start-up operating in the field of health, food and wellness. Their mission is to help people change their eating habits for the better and live a healthier lifestyle. ViaEsca has created a training program aiming at changing eating habits permanently and helping people find a long-lasting balance between the consumption of calories and eating healthy food in an easy and motivating way.

Do you want to have an impact in peoples’ lives? Join ViaEsca at DWS!

“If You are looking for a challenge that has a huge impact on people’s lives and to the environment this is it. Changing the way and what people eat is one of the biggest challenges of the world. We can’t change the whole world but we can help the people who are looking for a permanent change to their eating habits.” – says Tuomas Teinilä from ViaEsca.


AddSecure is a leading European provider of premium IoT solutions with a focus on secure data and critical communications. In Finland, the company has been providing security telephone services for more than 25 years to about 200 municipal customers. AddSecure operates with three main principles at heart:

  • A safer everyday life at home now and in the future
  • Continuously evolving human-centric technology
  • Working together towards safer and smarter world

Are you looking for a challenge to contribute to secure data and communications?  Join AddSecure at Digital Wellbeing Sprint!

“We want to learn new things together. It is important for us to hear students’ innovative thoughts and ideas from which we hope together we will learn and develop a better future.” – Santtu Ahonen from AddSecure concludes.

We are looking forward to working with all of you during the sprint!

Stay tuned for more partner announcements soon!

Last chance to enrol in Digital Wellbeing Sprint. Join by 28.3. Yleinen

Best about DWS: “It’s interesting to be a part…

Would you like to challenge yourself with real clients and get credits for it? The Digital Wellbeing Sprint (DWS) is an intensive course for both bachelor and master level students in the 3AMK Universities of Applied Sciences Haaga-Helia, Laurea and Metropolia.  During the Sprint you will innovate future services for healthcare and wellbeing service providers coming from public and private sectors. You have one week left to enrol (until 28.3!) – click here to reserve your spot!

Last year’s participants tell that the best thing in the Digital Wellbeing Sprint was meeting new people and learning to use new digital tools.

“I liked the overall idea of the Sprint. I could see the difference in how in the first day we didn’t even know what to do with the project and the last day we were presenting a very functional prototype!”

“DWS was very well organized, and the teachers and tutors were very helpful and nice, which made this course enjoyable and interesting. I also liked our group`s challenge and it was nice to work with our company representative and get good feedback from him.”

According to students, the course was intensive but very interesting, and time flied.

“If you want to challenge yourself and witness a project from scratch in just one week, the Digital Wellbeing Sprint is your best choice.”

Come along and you will network and gain useful experience.  All you need is an innovative attitude and curious mind. The sprint includes 7 intensive working days. During this time students will ideate in multidisciplinary teams and hear lectures from professionals. Students will also have a chance to test their ideas with real users.

Last year’s students described the sprint as a fun, exciting week where they learnt a lot:

“At the beginning, you may feel it’s challenging.  At the end, you will only feel the excitement and hard to say goodbye.”

“DWS offers you an unforgettable experience. You get to go outside your comfort zone and bring out your ideas. And the best part is, there is no bad ideas! You will experience a rollercoaster ride during one week and your mood will swing from time to time. But still, the experience is worth it and it something everyone should try out!”

Digital Wellbeing Sprint will be conducted online/hybrid on 21 May – 28 May 2021. Please notice that in case the situation enables, there will also be some physical meetings. Be prepared that the sprint days are intensive, long and full of hard work.  On the other hand, the experience will be fun and teach you hands on skills for your future career. Enrol today and we will see you at the Sprint, welcome!

More information:

3AMK Wiki page


Enrol in the Digital Wellbeing Sprint today!

During Digital Wellbeing Sprint you will learn to use the Google Ventures 5 Day Design Sprint to address a specific challenge from a partner organization. The intensive week will provide you with hands on skills that you will be able to use in your career and studies in the future. Enrolment starts today – reserve your spot now!

The Digital Wellbeing Sprint is an intensive course for both bachelor and master level students in the 3AMK Universities of Applied Sciences: Haaga-Helia, Laurea and Metropolia. The intensive course is organized online on 21 May – 28 May 2021.

All student teams will be paired up with an organization working within health or wellbeing. The participating partner organizations and their challenges will be announced before the sprint and you will be able to choose which challenge you want to work on during the sprint.

During the sprint your team will examine the organization’s sprint challenge, prototype a solution and test it with possible users. You will also hear inspirational speakers from the field, speaking about the possibilities of digital health and wellbeing in the future.

The Digital Wellbeing Sprint consists of assignments before and after the sprint and of working in teams for the full, intensive days during the sprint.

This year the course will be organized online, the course language is English and you will get 5 ECTS for completion of the course.

Last year’s students described the sprint as a fun, exciting week where they learnt a lot. So sign up and come experience the excitement yourself this year! Enrolment is active 15 March – 28 March 2021, sign up now by clicking this link!

For more information, read our blogposts from previous years and check the 3AMK Wiki.

Partners wanted for the Digital Wellbeing Sprint 2021 Yleinen

Become a partner organization for Digital Wellbeing Sprint 2021

Do you need fresh and ”out of the box” thinking related to digital services for health and wellbeing?

Digital Wellbeing Sprint (DWS) is an intensive course organized by Laurea, Haaga-Helia and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (also called as 3UAS) and it is based on open innovation and co-creation methods. Due to Covid-19, the sprint will be organized virtually this year also.

The project includes seven intensive working days when students in multidisciplinary teams create future digital services for the health and wellbeing sectors. Teams generate ideas and test user friendly digital solutions for partner organizations. Now is your chance to become a partner organization for this year’s Digital Wellbeing Sprint!

Participation in the sprint is free of charge for partner organizations. To make sure that the ideas are usable in your work, you get to direct the students in the right direction by attending the sprint on a few key dates.

Read more about the sprint and what is required from you in this short presentation!

For more details contact: Michelle Sahal Estimé, Project Manager digitalwellbeingsprint(at)

Tutor application for DWS 2021 open! DWS

Join us as a tutor in the DWS 2021!

Do you want to help create digital services of the future for the health and wellbeing sector? We are looking for Master students (University of Applied Sciences) to tutor and facilitate this year’s Digital Wellbeing Sprint. The DWS is being organized 21-28 May 2021, mostly virtually but Covid-19 permitting also partly face to face in Helsinki.

Your tasks as a tutor will include:

Participating in the 3UAS Digital Wellbeing Sprint intensive course as a tutor. During the DWS, multidisciplinary teams of students from 3UAS (Haaga-Helia, Laurea and Metropolia) create development ideas for healthcare and wellbeing service providers from the public and private sectors. Your task as a tutor is to support the development process and the students´ work. You can choose your own perspective as a utor: supporting the service design process, external communication, improving the group dynamics etc. As a tutor you will participate in shaping and designing the sprint before the course, facilitate the groupwork during the sprint and support in the evaluation of students after the sprint.

Read some of the experiences from last year’s tutors here: Salla, Cecylia, Hanna and Michelle.

What we offer tutors:

  • Experience in organizing a Google Ventures Design Sprint
  • An exciting and fun course, where you will develop hands on service design skills
  • 5 ECTS credits
  • The possibility to network with professionals in the health and wellbeing sectors
  • One of the tutors will be offered the part time position of project manager for the DWS 2022 next year.

We expect that you are capable to collaborate with different people and that you have some experience in development work. We appreciate a positive attitude, innovative and curious mind-set and willingness to learn new skills and develop the sprint with other tutors.

Apply to be a tutor at the Digital Wellbeing Sprint by 27 January 2021 through this link!

More information: Päivi Mantere, 046 856 7465 or project manager Michelle Sahal Estimé


”Virtual Sprint was a new experience”

I enrolled the DWS sprint at the beginning of this year. At this point, the Corona pandemic took place in China, and the sprint was supposed to be organised live. A little later, the pandemic started, and I thought that the sprint probably will be cancelled. The idea that the sprint could be organized virtually didn’t even cross my mind, even though most courses were organized virtually. At the end of march I found out that the sprint will be organized this year 100% online. I must at admit at that point I was a little skeptical. For me the sprint has represented intensive live work at the classroom. I didn’t have any experience in organizing any virtual event. I decided to continue at this process, because I believed that it could be a really good experience for me. And I was right.

Then in April we started planning a sprint with other tutors. At this point our team had got smaller than originally. We were supposed to be 12 tutors, but at the end there were only six of us. It meant that there would be a lot of work to do. At early meetings we decided to be working in pairs. We divided days so that each pair would be running and organising three days, as this sprint would be six days. We started working with two pairs. Hanna and Pirjo would join to help us later, as they were mainly focusing on writing blogs at the event.

Sprint program and methods were based on Jake Knapp’s book “Sprint, how to solve and test new ideas in just five days”. For me this book was not familiar, but it seemed to give clear and good instructions, so I agreed using that for the program. Sprint needs to be well organized with clear structure in it. It could have been extremely hard if we had designed a program without the help of book.

We decided to use Mural as a digital tool for sprint. I had used Mural only few times, so I didn’t have any expertise on that. I pointed out that Mural could be difficult to use for someone, but we left the option that all the exercises could be done without it, for example drawing. Our digital platform was the Zoom which was familiar for everyone.

Planning was quite an intensive work and we did work hard for the program. We did very detailed program and timetable as well. The instruction was very clear, and I think that it needs to be so, that all the participants will know what to do. I think that the sprint should be that kind of event, where you can be able to participate easily for the first time. I think teamwork with other tutors went well: everyone could tell their views openly and freely. It was a really nice atmosphere to work in.

When the sprint started, it seemed like time has started to fly. Everything was happening fast. It was exciting and inspiring. I was nervous when I needed to give instructions for students, but it went okay. The evaluating and observing teams was the most difficult part. We divided that every tutor evaluates and observes few groups. Doing this virtually is hard. Basically, it means that we went between breakout rooms and asked if they needed help, or just silently observed their work. Using Mural did cause problems during the first days, but we managed to solve the issues.

How did this sprint go overall? I think this sprint was a success. Groups did amazing job in such a short time period. That’s the secret of successful sprint, it creates a creative circumstance where the magic happens, meaning people can find and use their creativity in a next. Although for participants it requires a lot of positive and curious mind and attitude. People are often very motivated to participate sprints and it’s important that participants are selected based on their motivation. The team that behind the scenes needed lot of problem-solving skills to able to make changes on short notice. Finding good companies that are willing to participate as partners and give challenges is one important thing as well. Good communication skills are definitely one requirement for organization team. In this case, I think we really managed as teams as everyone worked their best and we managed to create a very positive working atmosphere between us. I really enjoyed this project.

What to improve for next time? I need to improve my technical skills when it comes to using digital tools. I need to practice more that I can perhaps then give advice for using these tools. I think my communication skills are good, but I need to improve English, because sometimes it’s hard for me to find the right words, and some sentences might have a different meaning if using wrong words.


Multiple remote Design Sprints – the agile way of…

Multiple remote Design Sprints – the agile way of solving challenges in times of pandemics (12 steps for designers)

Design Sprint Methodology was invented by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz to solve challenges and test new ideas in companies in just a few days. When the first Sprint book was published in 2016, the authors were not sure if the methodology would work remotely. A few years later, the remote version of Sprint was created. It seems like an ideal solution in times of pandemics for companies that operate fully remotely, but does it really work? Does it work for multiple sprints happening simultaneously and teams of people who have just met? 

Spoiler alert, we confirm Design Sprints can be done successfully remotely. What is more, it can be done on a large scale – you can successfully run 8 sprints simultaneously. In our case, it was 8 teams solving challenges provided by 6 companies from the health and wellbeing sector. Finally, design sprints, though designed for solving challenges by a team already familiar with the company and challenge, can also work for strangers new to the problem collaborating together. 

To make it happen however, the process requires some modifications.  Let me share some useful tips which may help you in organising your remote Design Sprint(s). I will try not to repeat key learnings and practices already listed by my colleague, Salla Kuuluvainen , which couldn’t have been better written and I highly recommend reading Key learnings from designing a remote multi sprint event. I will rather elaborate on some of them and add some more practical takeaways for those who consider organising multiple remote sprints. 

12 steps worth considering while designing multiple remote design sprints:

1.Give more time

The original Sprint is 5 days long. There is also the modification by A&J Smart, approved by Sprint authors, which lasts 4 days only. If you run 8 sprints simultaneously, participants are new to the challenge, and team building is required, even 5 days are not enough. You need more time at the beginning of the Sprint. This is why we split the first day program into two. Finally, we also added a Pitch day when teams presented their solutions to companies.

The original program of Sprint modified for the Digital Wellbeing Sprint needs. Original image from Mural Design Sprint template by Steph Cruchon (Design Sprint Ltd), Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Jackie Colburn.

The original program of Sprint modified for the Digital Wellbeing Sprint needs. Original image from Mural Design Sprint template by Steph Cruchon (Design Sprint Ltd), Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky, and Jackie Colburn.

2. Have the right amount of remote design sprint team members.

It is said that the optimal amount of Design Sprint participants is up to 7 people. In terms of the online version of a Sprint, with team members who do not know each other and are unfamiliar with the company and the challenge, it is better to have teams of less than 7 members. We had a chance to observe the dynamic of 8 groups consisting of 4 to 6 participants and among them the most developed prototypes had groups consisting of 5 participants. It might have been due to each team’s challenge area of focus. Nevertheless, the online group dynamic is definitely different than offline. Particularly, if you need to include team building in the Sprint process, I would recommend having 5 members per team.

3. Have the right challenge – one per Sprint

The challenge at Design Sprint needs to be well-defined. Unlike other design processes, in the Google Design Sprint process there is no time to do research on the problem and empathise with users, so teams need to rely on company representative knowledge. This is why the company representative needs to be present, especially in the moments where the role of the Decider is crucial (defining a long-term goal and sprint questions, adjusting a map, picking a target, selecting a solution to prototype).

We noticed that teams who had company representatives involved throughout the process were able to produce results which were much more appreciated and valued by the companies. Not to mention that the companies also benefited from fruitful discussions and ideas which weren’t picked to prototype. 

4. Ignite the additional power of  innovation “stealing” and individual ideation

What I personally appreciate from The Design sprint methodology is the included time for finding inspiration, the so-called Lightning demo. When you look at all great innovation, you will notice that it is based on existing ideas. We equipped participants with an additional source of inspiration by providing keynote speakers from IBM, Sitra, Helsinki Business Hub or Proimpro.

Additionally, the Sprint authors understood the power of individual ideation instead of popular group brainstorming sessions. Group brainstorming sessions are proven to be less effective in terms of the amount and quality of ideas compared to individuals working alone according to research done by Yale University in 1958. This is why the Design Sprint authors introduced “brainwriting and drawing” (sketching) in their Sprint Methodology. Through this process you can be sure of the quality of ideas but you need some quantity as well.

Examples of Design Sprint ideas on Mural (Art museum)
Examples of Design Sprint ideas on Mural (Art museum)

If you have less than seven team members, which is recommended in terms of online Sprints, you will have less inspiring examples in the Lightning Demo part. In addition, you will have less examples in ideation later unless you increase the requested number of ideas per person in the instructions. I would highly recommend you do it.  

5. Instead of storyboards ask for user flows (if relevant)

Storyboards are usually associated with a comic story with heroes which is great for visualising an offline service or a customer journey. However, storyboards in the design sprint are a map and guideline for your prototype. If your prototype is supposed to be online e.g. a website or an app, which is more likely in the virtual sprint, it may be useful to simply call it a user flow from the user experience field. Otherwise it may be confusing. 

6. Have a tangible prototype which can be tested online

One of the Sprint Days is entirely dedicated to prototyping. It seems too short, but it is enough to develop a working facade of your solution to test it with users. This amount of time prevents you from spending hours on polishing the wrong solution. Instead, you will have a low fidelity prototype which enables you to collect better feedback. People are more willing to share their real thoughts once you show them the functional draft instead of a high quality version. There is one more rule you need to follow when doing the Design Sprint online. You need to have this prototype adjusted to online testing. It needs to be understandable and interactive online and you need to take this into account while developing it.

A woman carrying a phone and sitting in front of her laptop

7. The core of Sprint is testing with real users. 

The first challenge to solve here is to find the right testers. It may be tricky especially if you don’t know who your users are. You can start recruiting during a Sprint once you specify your target. However, whenever possible I would recommend asking companies to engage in providing testers. They are the ones who know their clients  best and they will be more willing to believe in results provided. It is proven that 4 testers allow you to have 85% of problems identified. However, having the 5th tester enables you to really spot those patterns (Nielsen et al., 1993).

For testing, you will need to use some online communication tool which enables a tester to share its screen and have the camera switched on at the same time for example: Zoom, Teams, Skype. It is better to use a different communication tool for testing than the one you use for the whole Sprint. A good practice for interview observers is to have the camera switched off in contrast to the interviewee and interviewer. 

Other than above, the rules of interviewing are the same as offline.

8. Have one common tool for communication

We used Zoom and Mural as well as Onedrive and Moodle for communication with teams. Salla tackled it in her article. We also allowed teams to self-organise regarding their communication giving them a choice to use any tool including Basecamp, a tool recommended by the Design Sprint authors. No team picked Basecamp but it turned out that having one common place where tutors can add materials and where teams can share their results could be very helpful. Basecamp could easily replace Onedrive, Moodle and any other tool used for internal team material sharing and discussions. If I were to run 8 sprints once again, I would definitely use Basecamp for all Design Sprint communication, especially knowing how intuitive it is.

Digital Wellbeing Sprint on Basecamp
Digital Wellbeing Sprint on Basecamp

9. Use diverse online energisers

Using the chat feature is a great way to energise your Sprint participants, but don’t overuse it. The core of energisers is diversity and novelty for your participants. Use breakout rooms when it requires one-on-one or small team interactions. The order in which your neighbours appear on your Zoom screen is exactly the same as everyone else sees it, so you may easily invent some interactions based on this. 

Design Sprint community
Group photo with our Sprint community

10. Tandem virtual facilitation work

It is always good to facilitate Sprints in a 2 person team as the second facilitator who is not giving instructions can easily spot group needs and be able to immediately jump in if any technological issue appears, for example, being on mute. The second facilitator can also follow the questions on chat and react to them while you are showing the Mural boards. This is why in the Digital Wellbeing Sprint tutors were divided into 2 person teams.

11.Overcoming a groan zone during the Design Sprint

If you don’t always  have a Decider  in the room, who helps at Design sprints to minimize the risk of experiencing a groan zone, you are more likely to encounter it. For those who do not have a clue what a groan zone is, it is a common moment in the design process where you feel overwhelmed and confused and are not sure how to proceed. 

If this happens, make everyone speak and share their concerns and ideas for a solution and clarify the purpose. You can name it and say that it is typical. Aim to find a way for a team compromise. Have your cameras switched on whenever possible, so that others know that you are present and listening to them.

12. Have a backup plan

If it is an event for 40 people you need to be prepared for any emergency from technical problems such as a slow Sprint Mural board template, explained in Salla’s article, to anything else that may arise. Use your imagination by asking yourself “what if” questions and prepare for it in advance. The more you have rethought, the better your Sprints will be. The rest is having a great team to enjoy your Sprint roller coaster ride.

Last but not least – have fun with the right team

We had the right team to take and really enjoy these multiple remote design sprint roller coaster rides and I would like to thank Salla Kuuluvainen, Heini Heinonen, Michelle Sahal Estime, Hanna Lumenkoski, Henriikka Tikka, Pirjo Valpas and Teemu Ruohonen, Päivi Mantere and Merja Lahdenperä without whom this couldn’t be successful. I have learned a lot from this program co-designing and facilitation experience. Thank you!

If you are interested in how remote sprints work in comparison to offline sprints, we have some interesting data to share.

The Digital Wellbeing Sprint has been organised by 3AMK – Haaga-Helia, Laurea and Metropolia Universities of Applied Sciences for the first time fully remotely this year due to the pandemic. Only two out of 40 participants strongly thought that the offline environment is much more suitable for a Sprint. It is most probably related to the participant’s experience with Mural as a similar amount didn’t enjoy working on Mural due to its slowness. The Mural team promised to make some improvements in the near future, so this may no longer be an issue. Despite the issues with Mural, 7 groups delivered solutions which were highly appreciated by companies who claimed to implement them in the nearest future.  

Stay tuned for upcoming events.

About the author:

Cecylia Kundera is a digital project leader and a service designer helping companies to design and deliver real value. She is especially fond of implementing a foresight approach and holistic mindset in design, because the Earth is not only for human beings. 

Ready to get in touch with you if you have any questions.


Digital Wellbeing Sprint 2020 – my key takeaways

This writing is to reflect on the learnings that I received when participating the Digital Wellbeing sprint organized by Haaga-Helia, Laurea and Metropolia universities of applied sciences. We had 8 sprint teams with 6 challenges from companies. My role as a tutor in the sprint was leaning towards writing blogs and articles. On top of this, I participated into 2 days as a facilitator. 

Sprint process

In the sprint, we used the Google sprint methodology created by Jake Knapp to give the overall structure for the sprint. My awesome colleagues in the sprint made a great work by putting all the pieces and tools together to finally give the form and shape to the sprint days. This was a heavy duty. Already in the first day, I realized that getting a group to innovate in an online setting is more demanding that in face to face meeting. I also wrote some thoughts on this to my previous blog, which you can read here.

The process of the sprint is straight forward and fast. Best ideas need to be selected and decisions on directions need to be made. Decision making is an important aspect of a sprint. Tasks are completed in a short time span and steps are following each other. From the end results and also feedback from our students, I could also see that the groups that were able to do decisions had the biggest rewards. This required the role of the decider to be clear. In most of the groups we happily saw that our commissioning companies were present and willing to help and offer those golden decisions along the way to keep the sprint moving smoothly.

On top of the sprint process, there was a clear emphasis to bring in good inspirational speakers to bring additional content and understanding from the health and wellbeing area. These were very successful and were well received by students. In the sprint, also communication was emphasized, and I wrote 2 blogs and 2 articles to LinkedIn. Additionally, a communications trainee wrote reflections about the sprint, and a tutor colleague made blog writings. For the future, it is important to have the writings to make this great project known and appealing to future students and tutors.

Tuula Tiihonen from Sitra gave the group an inspirational speech during the sprint

Business meets service design

Already in my previous writing, I took up the delicious crossroads of service design and business. Service designers are helping and consulting organizations and companies in innovating and improving services. On top of this, I feel that it would be important for companies to also have design thinking embedded in their organization. In the most cases, this would mean, having customer in the centre of their thinking. In companies, service operations should be seen from the perspective of the customer and the company. Embedding this dual thinking to companies would make a big difference in customer centricity and customer service in general. In my blog writing about Päivä Salo, ICT and marketing director of Pohjola Hospital, this view was taken up. Pohjola Hospital uses service designers in their projects but are also driving the customer centricity in their day to day work. This makes all the difference and has made Pohjola Hospital thrive. Read the blog from here.

Virtual facilitation

I have some experience in facilitating. When studying the area, I came across a list of to 10 skills that we need in the future to do our jobs. This list (below) is full of people and collaboration skills, and this is why I want to learn all that I can to be able to be a good facilitator. This is also a topic, like design thinking discussed in the previous paragraph, that should be on the list of all companies and organizations.

Top 10 skills in 2020. Source: Future of Jobs Report, World Economic Forum

During our sprint, yet I was present only for 2 days, I did feel moments of pondering. What do say to the group, where to guide the group and most of all, what are the right questions to ask the group to make them find the right path. These were times I would pop into our Zoom tutor -room and ask my colleagues for advice. To be able to practise the skills needed in the future was a great learning opportunity for me.

Thoughts about the sprint

Like all other group works, this also pulled the team together and made everybody feel to have a collective goal. Our tutor group consisted of 6 tutors and was very professional. This all created the tutor group and sense that they can focus on what they do best. The experience was a great learning opportunity for me in facilitating, design sprint and also writing.

I would like to thank the great tutor group Cecylia Kundera, Salla Kuuluvainen, Henriikka Tikka, Michelle Sahal Estime and Pirjo Valpas.  Also the teachers  Teemu Ruohonen, Päivi Mantere and Merja Lahdenperä who made this possible. Our project manager Heini Heinonen was excellent in her role and kept it all together

Writer of the blog is Hanna Lumenkoski, an MBA student in Haaga-Helia. She is a facilitator in the Digital Wellbeing Sprint 2020 and holds a position in marketing in the sector of information management solutions. She is also immensly interested in improving customer experience and success of businesses through design thinking.