Digital product Studio
Case studies

Sport Wales

Design sprint to validate an investment model for funding sport in Wales

The challenge?

Solve the problem of creating a new, robust investment model after months of deliberating


Design Sprint

So what?

A validated conceptual investment model validated by key beneficiaries with happy board members and a clear path towards delivery within a limited timeframe

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Solution sketch presentations

Time to evolve

Sport Wales are the public body responsible for the distribution of funds to grass root and professional sporting organisations in Wales. It had become clear that their current investment model needed revisiting to better deal with the complexities of the world they operated in. With so many. With so many types of beneficiaries set to either benefit or lose out of a significant change, the team found themselves in a loop unable to see a clear path forward.

So they turned to the Design Sprint process to help get them unstuck. Excited by a new way of working, and in need of making quick progress after months not making any significant headway, Sport Wales gathered a team of key people together to explore a new approach to their investment model.

Over four consecutive days we facilitated and guided them through defining, sketching and testing what that model might actually be.

Day 1 - Defining & Sketching

The team were well prepared pre-sprint with a deep understanding of the problem space and lots of insight around the challenge they faced. By lunch they had defined their biggest challenge and created a goal for the Sprint. From that point on the process of sketching the solution had a clear focus, and by the end of the day the team had sketched out a plethora of ideas ready for day two.

Day 2: Deciding & Storyboarding

Coming in to the room on day two after an intense first day of exploring the problem and sketching solutions always carries both anticipation and uncertainty over what direction things will take next. As soon as all the solutions were revealed it was clear that there was plenty of synergy in the room with enough diversity in the interpretation of the brief in the solutions. Relating back to the Sprint goal, the prototype was set to be a conversation or ‘pitch’ to their partners to present the foundational principles of a new investment model.

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Voting and storyboarding

Day 3: Prototyping

Given that the solution was not an interface or even a customer experience it was key to shape a prototype that would effectively facilitate a productive conversation and elicit useful feedback from their Partners. There was a constant temptation to get into much more detail and cover all eventual scenarios, but a constant reminder of the Sprint goal kept the prototype and room focused on answering the most important questions.

Day 4: Testing

A lot of excitement in the room on day four as the week’s labour would be presented and tested with in-person feedback from five people/organisations that this new model would directly affect. We set up the interview room and everyone else in the Sprint gathered in another room to watch via video feed collecting, noting and documenting the important points and insights onto the feedback matrix.

After distilling the themes from the interviews, the room was full of confidence, with plenty of new questions, but a clear path ahead. Being able to answer the Sprint goal by hearing directly from the mouths of five partners that the solution would work finished the week with a true sense of excitement, confidence and optimism for the coming weeks.

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User testing


The Design Sprint allowed Sport Wales to consolidate months of thinking and planning into an actionable plan. The condensed process allowed their core team to gather without distraction and with a level of focus and activity that facilitated decisive, democratised decision making.

With a new model prototyped and validated, and equipped with new insight from the process they can move forward with confidence into their brave new world.