Design Research + Strategy

Scaling Design Sprints

How can we spread new ways of working within a mature organization?

// Design Strategy and Facilitation



Kaiser Permanente is a 65+ year old organization, with 230,000 employees. In order to stay competitive in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape, they needed news ways of working -- ways that are cross-functional, iterative and user-centered.

The Experience Design, an internal innovation group, was interested in Design Sprints as way to encapsulate these mindsets, but the classic GV Sprint was developed for a specific (and very different) context.

I was brought on to both lead Design Sprints across various departments and adapt the recipe to work for a large enterprise and employees that haven’t necessarily been exposed to design. Doing so required keeping scale in mind while ensuring integrity and quality

Project: Scaling Design Sprints at Kaiser Permanente

Context: Embedded in the Experience Design team


  • Interviewed external experts and reviewed resources; developed Design Sprint Whitepaper

  • Led 6 Sprints in different departments and contexts, producing new services and products to enhance member experience

  • Established internal reflection process and measurement tools to synthesize what we learned as a team

  • Designed KP-specific 5 Day Sprint agenda and materials and approach, packaged into comprehensive practitioner toolkit

  • Developed internal “Sprint Hub” website to further streamline the process and empower others to run their own Design Sprints

  • Created 5-year budget and financial model to stand up new “Acceleration Services” department



Organization level impact: KP is standing up a $14 M “Acceleration Services” department, in order to run 100+ Design Sprints in 2019

Client level impact: Sprint NPS score was 9.4 (on a 1-10 scale), and garnered highly positive feedback.

“After 3 years pushing for this, your Sprint made us cross the line in less than 6 months!”


“I highly recommend that teams in all areas consider problem-solving a tough issue with a Sprint. It takes you out of the weeds of problem and elevates the thinking to the next level.”