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About us
Symbol image: strategy - path in the fog

(Digital) strategy as a design process

One hundred threads started, a tangle of fragmented initiatives and scattered knowledge – this is the situation many mid-sized companies find themselves in. The big challenge is to crystallize challenges, learnings and best practices across departments, develop a common thread for the digital strategy and anchor it accordingly in the organization. This is what we did for our client.


Over the past few years, one of our German SME clients has invested extensively in digital initiatives and explored new IoT and related service opportunities (through acquisitions and in-house development). A lot of valuable experience has been gained, and a first phase of digital transformation has been initiated. But how does this first phase become the starting point for a target-oriented strategy?

To synthesize the experiences and learnings, the team turned to us. Continuing all pilot projects unevaluated would be expensive and time-consuming. In the long run, this would lead to an incoherent organization that would be difficult to steer.

Synthesis and assessment of the measures

The next phase

To capture the potential for the company in the future in a consistent and – despite the inherent complexity – manageable manner, the organization must also be designed accordingly. Only those with the overview can look the challenges of the coming years in the eye and still master complex challenges of their own such as hybrid product architecture.

Our approach

From exploration to synthesis to embedding in the organization:

  1. Stakeholder research & problem framing
  2. Design a strategic action framework
  3. Develop a design compass
  4. Organizational embedding & prototypical implementation

The four steps outlined

  1. Stakeholder research & problem framing: An essential part of the project is the immersion into the context. In the research phase, we openly and impartially take diverse experiences, values, needs, challenges, and opinions from all relevant departments and immerse ourselves in the company context using proven methods. We process the qualitative data from the research phase in a structured manner and use the insights as a starting point to sharpen the challenge and goal.
  2. Conceptualize strategic action framework: The next important step is to condense the knowledge what has been tested and forecasted and the shared vision of the organization into a rough strategic framework. After all, the digital field offers many opportunities for new products and services. An excellent strategic framework acts as a filter in the broad spectrum to efficiently probe the opportunity space for the organization.
  3. Develop a design compass: The design compass ultimately provides a coherent look and feel and ensures the scalability of innovation within the strategic framework. With our help, the team establishes design principles for digital as well as hybrid products and services as binding guardrails and defines reusable technical and visual elements.
  4. Organizational embedding & prototypical implementation: Experience shows that targeted digital and hybrid products and services gain momentum relatively slowly in a classic organizational structure of an industrial company. Lighthouse projects are a good tool to embed digital initiatives in the organization and can show which environment and approach innovation needs to succeed. We draw from 20 years of experience to cultivate initial innovation seedlings into transformative projects in close cooperation with our customers.

What our client has achieved through our collaboration

Through our collaboration, our client was able to establish strategy as a collaborative design process. Together, we were able to elevate the organization's challenges to a neutral, objective level (topic: product architecture). A pragmatic digital maturity model emerged as an orientation and initial classification. From this, we developed the digital strategy, which defines the framework for action and creates an authentic digital identity.

We then created a design compass to guide the implementation of future applications in the right direction. Using lighthouse projects, we showed how the digital strategy we developed can be put into practice.

What challenges do you face on the path to digitization?

Let's talk – we'll be happy to pick you up where you are right now.