Agile work on agile furniture


Sedus shows how it’s done:

Learning, Living, and Passing on User-Centeredness 

In 2018, Sedus, one of the leading European manufacturers of office solutions, actively approached the HPI Academy. The company expressed the wish to think and work in a way that was more innovative and customer-centered.To this end, a group of Sedus employees was trained in Design Thinking. In a further step, Sedus asked its colleagues at the HPI Academy to test various pieces of furniture from its se:lab product line. Together with the HPI Academy, Sedus laid the foundation for an even more cooperative, agile, and creative way of working. Through the cooperation with the HPI Academy, Sedus’ already user-centered way of workings reached new heights. 

Starting point:

The shared journey began in 2018 when the HPI Academy first trained Sedus executives in Design Thinking. The managers learned a new “mindset for innovation” and began to integrate it into the company. Excited by the possibilities that the method offers, Sedus decided to support the training of two more employees in the “HPI Certification program for Design Thinking Coaches” at the HPI Academy. Since that time, the newly certified Design Thinking coaches have acted as company-internal ambassadors for the agile method. 

Aha moments: 

Avoiding potentially bad investments through testing 

Michael Fehsenfeld, head of the Competence Center Market, sums up the product journey: “Much of the furniture in the product development of the “se:lab” project at that time had its origin in the context of agile working methods. Since we laid the foundations for ourselves at the HPI Academy, it made sense to have the prototypes tested there and to get feedback on what was created. Thanks to this way of working and the methods employed at the HPI Academy, valuable feedback on properties and functions were able to flow directly into product development. The whole process was concrete, user-oriented, and practical. “ 


A new mindset for successful product development 

The targeted training of employees established Design Thinking as a long-term method in the company. Moreover, the changed mindset has had positive effects on product development as a whole.


Our collaboration with Sedus shows how the Design Thinking mindset for innovation  can establish itself in an organization and from there change the approach and working method of projects. 

The training of two employees as Design Thinking coaches laid the foundation for a sustainable integration of the mindset throughout the entire company. The ambassadors of Design Thinking sharpen the long-term focus of management, and this carries through to the entire company. By involving actual users in the area of product development, the team gets a stronger assurance and knowledge of how their products are used in daily life and which assumptions can actually meet with success in the end.