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Service Design Sprint highlighted the longing for a sense of community

The key partner Coor challenged students with real-life case tasks.

- This was definitely the best course we have been on, said the new Laurea students Riina Siirilä and Samuli Varjus when describing the Service Design Sprint course, which had its final event held at the beginning of October.

The Service Design Sprint is a week-long study unit that is carried out as a workshop. During the study unit, the students get acquainted with real-life case tasks given by a partner company and study them together with a team. Towards the end of the week, they present their solutions to the partner.

Business management student Riina and safety and risk management student Samuli, who took the Design Sprint course for the first time, found the method of study useful:

- The methods used on the course functioned well, and there will certainly be use for them in the future, says Samuli.

- It was easy to keep up with the project despite the hectic schedule.  I believe that, in the future, the course will prove beneficial in situations requiring problem-solving skills, says Riina.

“It gives us insights we would not have come to think of ourselves”

The partner company on the course was Coor, one of the largest real estate service providers in the Nordic countries, with whom Laurea entered into a key partnership in early 2020. The company offers its customers user services, real estate services and strategic consulting.

Joonas Karjalainen, Business Relationship Manager at Coor, was impressed with the students' professional approach in solving the tasks assigned to them:

- No matter how critically you try to look at your own services and solutions, you can still be blind to your own work. When things are examined with a fresh pair of eyes, the outcome can be very fruitful.

This was not the first time the company has offered projects for the students to examine in their study units. Karjalainen feels that the external view offered by the students is valuable to Coor. It was an easy decision to also participate in the following Service Design Sprint:

- It gives us insights we would not have come to think of ourselves.

“Students were given a warm welcome”

The case tasks concerned Coor's My Workplace application and challenges associated with it. Quite appropriately, the tasks were related to the challenges posed by remote work.

The teams considered, for instance, the possibility of adding to the application such properties as renting a workspace, giving feedback, promoting well-being at work and a virtual workspace. However, the element that became emphasised in all solutions was the longing for a sense of community.

- When you work at home, it leaves the work community on the background. And that was a matter that the people we interviewed considered important, Riina and Samuli say.

Working with the customer felt motivating to Riina and Samuli:

- Working with a big business customer motivates you in a completely different way. I appreciate that companies participate on the courses. Coor gave us students a warm welcome, and we felt that their contact person was also genuinely excited about what we were doing, Riina says.

- Coor was very well prepared and presented their activities and needs thoroughly. They do not yet have such functions as these in use, so it was nice to have an opportunity to design them, Samuli adds.

Business Relationship Manager Joonas Karjalainen was also satisfied with the ideas received from the course:

- There were many ideas that we will definitely develop further, and we will consider whether we should address the issues that emerged. I believe that this is rewarding for the students as well, when they know that they are dealing with a real business problem.

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