Case Study 2: Biotech Firm



How might we transform our customer and employee experience by transitioning to a cross-functional and customer-centric operating model?



The customer was a highly successful and rapidly growing biotech firm who had gone through a recent reorganisation. Their products were sold at a premium, however, were at risk of commoditisation. To counteract this potential threat, the customer was interested in improving their B2B customer experience, and scaling it across the entire organisation. The customer served a wide range of industries, each with their own unique ways of engaging. In this project we focused on 3 separate industries which gave a good representation of the diversity of the customer engagement models. The 2 core principles for success in this project were Growth (business value) and Simplicity (user value).

Our project team consisted of a strategic designer (me), a solution engineer and an enterprise architect. I acted as project lead.



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The project was broken down into 3 major phases:

  • Define: Engaged executive stakeholders to develop a shared understanding of the business challenge and scope the project.

  • Research: Interviewed and shadowed 30 potential users across the organisation to identify unmet user needs and align leaders around opportunities for innovation.

  • Build: Prototyped and tested the future user experience with 3x design sprints which informed the operating model, enterprise architecture and strategic roadmap.

Some of the key methods we used over the course of the project were…


1. Embedded within customer team


Our team was fully integrated with the customer. An added benefit of this setup was teaching our customers new ways of working:

  • Provided user research and design thinking training, which improved our research capacity and overall team collaboration.

  • Setup a physical “war room” in their offices, as well as modern tools like Quip for digital collaboration.

  • Streamlined handover for executing on solutions and roadmap.


2. Opportunity mapping for prioritisation


After completing our research and running an ideation workshop, we needed to prioritise with leadership what to build and test:

  • Created an opportunity map and concept brief backlog to track and evaluate the potential concepts to build and test.

  • Held a prioritisation workshop with senior leadership to align, decide and plan a series of design sprints.


3. Design sprints

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We ran a series of design sprints to quickly prototype, test and learn more about our concepts:

  • Organised 5 users for testing at the end of each week-long design sprint for rapid feedback.

  • Built out MVPs which informed the operating model, enterprise architecture and overall strategic roadmap.

  • Pitched in-progress learnings and prototypes to senior leaders at the end of each design sprint.



We created an MVP customer-centric operating model canvas [proprietary] along with supporting deliverables showing how to make it happen. The strategic roadmap hypothesised 3 key shifts in the operating model which would lay the foundation for future innovation and growth…

  1. Connect your people - Improve employee productivity & collaboration

  2. Connect your systems - Create an agile & connected platform

  3. Connect your touchpoints - Redefine customer experience with journeys