The development of user-friendly tools for entrepreneurs requires that you work with a customer based view. Good solutions needs insight to customer needs.
The success of "The digital tool for start-ups" is based on the focus on the customers and users of the service in the develoment of the tool. To achieve that, we used the methodology Design Thinking in the initial workshops with relevant stakeholders, which was future users and customers. Such workshops works best by using external expertese with the competence to implement them.

Design Thinking is a methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It’s extremely useful in tackling complex problems that are unknown, by understanding the human needs, by re-framing the problem in human-centric ways, by creating many ideas in brainstorming sessions, and by adopting a hands-on approach in prototyping and testing.

The steps of this method are:
1. Empathise – Who are the customers? Create a persona with a fictitious life
2. Define – What do the customer need? Pretend to be that person, try to put yourself in his/her shoes
3. Brainstorming – Bring all ideas to the table! All ideas are good ideas! Then choose/vote for the best one in the workshop group
4. Prototyping – Make a prototype of your solution, and present it - Use what you have available - legos, cardboard, crayons
5. Test the solution – Test if this actually work - present to the stakeholders in the workshop, and discuss issues that arises

Summarize the points of importance from the workshop, and bring the points with you in the develoment of your tool/system.

Resources needed

Hiring external expertese to do the workshop: approx. 4000 EUR (Norwegian price level) incl preparations and conclusions after the workshop.
One day labour for the participants and stakeholders.
Preparation for the workshop is done by the external experts and employees at the hiring organisation.

Evidence of success

The points of importance that we got from this workshop, has played a decisive role in the design and implementation of the Digital tool for start-ups. It`s been crutial to get the positive results that we`ve achieved, related to the implementation of our digital tool. This workshop has also been important to engage the stakeholders to contribute in the develoment of our tool, and to get the involved people to "go that extra mile" to achieve good results. It has created positive engagement.

Difficulties encountered

It is difficult to change the mindset in the actual workshop. To pretend to be another person, and relate to his/her needs and challenges is difficult. Also it can be difficult to get the relevant stakeholders to participate in one days work. The solution is to make the workshop relevant.

Potential for learning or transfer

This workshop can be implemented everywhere, by anyone. As long as you have the dedicated resourses available. The methodology is for everyone to use. Such workshop is the perfect "Kick-Off" activity in projects that requires innovation and new develoment.
Main institution
Møre and Romsdal County Council
Start Date
June 2018
End Date
June 2018


Malene Aaram Vike Please login to contact the author.