Philipp Thesen: Design Thinking Doing

Design Thinking Doing


“THINKING BEING DOING” was the name of the comprehensive program developed by Deutsche Telekom’s design department under the direction of Philipp Thesen to create a “design momentum” throughout the Group. The design department positioned itself not only as a service provider for product development, but also as an internal think tank for Deutsche Telekom’s digital transformation process. In order to transform Telekom into a truly design-led company, design was understood not only as a discipline of beautiful things, but also as a central strategic asset and anchored in the overall corporate strategy. The methods of design thinking were to make a significant contribution to the change process of the large corporation, which wanted to assume innovation leadership in the digital transformation.

In order to improve the customer experience sustainably together, the principles of design were anchored throughout the entire company. To this end, the designers at Telekom developed a strategic process of design thinking that was made available to all Telekom employees with a complete framework of methods and tools in order to anchor strategic design skills and digital transformation throughout the entire company.

The central tool, which provided all Telekom employees with the tools to understand Telekom’s design philosophy and central methods of design thinking in a clear way and, above all, to apply them to their own tasks in everyday working life, was the Methods Subject. This toolbox was also intended to set standards for daily work in product development. The Method Box offers a selection of the best methods and processes as well as practical tools. Out of more than 200 design thinking methods, 23 were selected as best suited to product development at Deutsche Telekom. Best practice examples from within the Group and insights into the work of other companies served as inspiration.

Since then, the methodology has made it easier for all employees to empathize with different customers and target groups and better understand their intrinsic motives, different needs and specific communication requirements. For example, 16 personas are described in detail – from their daily habits to their bag contents. In addition, practical tips for the independent implementation of customer labs, research methods, ideation, prototyping, validation and the application of design standards are given. The method subject is now used in numerous Telekom departments as an everyday tool and has become the standard in design for their own daily work. The toolbox is available as a book and online.

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