Project Team Leader

Design Thinking – Professional Track

Leading comprehensive innovation- and transformation projects means operating in dynamic complexity. This program focuses on Design Thinking as the agile strategy to effectively manage the natural unknowns of change processes.  

You will experience the fundamental Design Thinking principles, apply tools and methods with the strongest impact on an innovative culture, and train your skills as Design Thinking team leader in your company project. Upon successful completion of this workshop, you will receive certification as a Strategic Design Thinking Project Team Leader. 


  • Development and growth of your skills as team leader in innovation- and transformation projects  
  • Application confidence of Design Thinking methods, mindset, and principles to develop your own lighthouse project with an implementation roadmap as a replicable blueprint  
  • Knowledge and application of effective methods and principles to manage team dynamics 
  • Development of your project- “big picture” for use as a buy-in for all project stakeholders 

Key Facts


For detailed information please refer to the Syllabus


Decision makers and team leaders who need a strategy and toolbox to guide change processes and close the gaps that are hindering agile workflows. General knowledge of agile innovation approaches or advanced Design Thinking experience are equally welcome, since the program focuses on real-life project work in diverse teams.

We also offer this workshop exclusively for companies – please feel free to bring your own project or challenge! 

Workshop language

Course languageEnglish, teamwork language can be switched to German in teams consisting of only German members. 


Potsdam / Online


10,000 EUR (plus VAT) 

The Professional Track can also be booked as a company-exclusive Strategic Design Thinking bootcamp with a minimum of 20 participants.

Covid Note

The first module will take place online during high incidence of infection. For the virtual space we rely on interactive work sessions with individual live team coaching. Our online workshops are also designed for an experiential learning, which ensures the anchoring and transfer of the knowledge. No prior technical know-how is required.

More information

The Professional Track is an intensive three-part Design Thinking program with 10 days of presence on the HPI campus. The time span of three months allows the necessary time investment to be integrated into the working schedule. During the course, one module takes place once per month. Participants continue to work on their company project in their organization between each module. A time investment of 20% of regular working time is recommended for an optimal retention rate. Experienced Design Thinking coaches support off-campus time with open remote coaching sessions, which ensure direct application and successful transfer of learnings. 

Can be combined with:

We tailored the Professional Track Program to help build bridges over the three main gaps that block successful transformation and adaptivity: 1st the Relationship Gap between user and organizations, as well as that between the departments, 2nd the Action Gap between “knowing” and “doing,” and 3rd the Integration Gap between new solutions and existing systems. Accordingly, the curriculum is crafted in three main modules. Each module focuses on the principles and methods of Strategic Design Thinking that have turned out to be the best levers for overcoming these hurdles and driving innovation and transformation.  


  • You get a HPI Certificate as Strategic Design Thinking Project Teamleader” that documents your skills to lead teams in any Design Thinking project.  
  • You immediately multiply your Design Thinking knowledge, and your company project team benefits from your learnings.  
  • Your company project serves as your blueprint for replication on any change- and transformation project in your specific context.  
  • You can create a real lighthouse project for the change-goals of your organization.  
  • You can rely on the comprehensive training material, which includes templates, input slides, method cards and literature, to sustainably integrate your new learnings into your daily work 
  • You become a member of the active executive alumni circle with access to research findings and exclusive alumni conferences.  
  • All HPI Academy programs are constantly updated according to the newest insights of our HPI Design Thinking Research Program

Module 1: Day 1 – Quick Starter into Strategic Design Thinking

  • Introduction to Strategic Design Thinking 
  • Teambuilding & Team Dynamic Awareness 
  • Design Thinking Fast Forward with a Business-Relevant Challenge 
  • Reflection Potential & Transfer to Organizational Reality 

Start: 2:00 pm, end: 6:00 pm

Module 1: Day 1 – Set Up Human Centered Collaboration – Experience

  • Introduction: Setting Up Human-Centered Collaboration 
  • Input & Team Exercise: Diversity for High Performance Creativity 
  • Input & Team Exercise: Space as Behavior Nudge 
  • Input & Team Exercise: Empathy as Game Changer in Innovation 

Start: 9:00 pm, end: 6:00 pm 

Module 1: Day 2 – Set Up Human Centered Collaboration – Apply

  • Introduction to Design Thinking as a Working Process 
  • Input & Work Session: Understand 
  • Input & Work SessionObserve / Interviews  
  • Input & Work Session: Unpacking  
  • Team Presentations: User Findings 
  • Transfer Reflection 

Start: 9:00 pm, end: 6:00 pm; Happy Hour 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm 

Module 1: Day 3 – Set Up Human Centered Collaboration – Transfer

  • Introduction to Design Thinking in the Organizational Context 
  • Input & Company-Project Work: Motivation 
  • Input & Company-Project WorkFraming the Challenge  
  • Praxis Input: Hacking Design Thinking for Customized Success 
  • Input & Company-Project Work: Design Team Kickoff  
  • Input & Company-Project Work: Plan Research  
  • Wrap-Up and Transfer Reflection  

Start: 9:00 pm, end: 5:00 pm 

Module 2: Day 1 – Run Innovation Processes – Experience

  • Introduction: Run Innovation Processes 
  • Input & Team Exercise: Synthesis Input & Team Exercise: Prototyping Input & Team Exercise: Iteration  

Module 2: Day 2 – Run Innovation Processes – Apply

  • Introduction to Design Thinking in Innovation Processes 
  • Input & Work SessionSynthesis & Point of View  
  • Input & Work SessionIdeation  
  • Input & Work SessionPrototyping & Testing  
  • Team Presentations: Solution Concepts  
  • Transfer Reflection 

Start: 9:00 pm, end: 6 pm; Happy Hour: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm 

Module 2: Day 3 – Run Innovation Processes – Transfer

  • Introduction to Design Thinking Innovation in the Organizational Context 
  • Input & Company-Project Work: Unpacking User Findings  
  • Input & Company-Project WorkSynthesis 
  • PRAXIS INPUT: Hacking Design Thinking for Customized Success 
  • Input & Company-Project Work: Design Team Sessions Synthesis, Ideation, Prototype & Testing  
  • Input & Company-Project WorkProject Playbook 
  • Wrap-Up and Transfer Reflection 

Start: 9:00 pm, end: 5:00 pm 

Module 3: Day 1 – Sustain Strategy Implementation – Experience

  • Introduction: Sustain Strategy Implementation 
  • Input & Team Exercise: Systems Thinking for Managing Complexity 
  • Input & Team ExerciseAnalogizing for Identity Creation 
  • Input & Team ExerciseStorytelling to Involve the Collective Mind 

Start: 9:00 pm, end: 6:00 pm

Module 3: Day 2 – Sustain Strategy Implementation – Apply

  • Introduction to Design Thinking as a Strategy for Implementing the Design Thinking Mindset 
  • Input & Work Session: Project Match  
  • Input & Work Session: Concept Blueprint  
  • Input & Work Session: Innovation Story  
  • Team Presentations 
  • Transfer Reflection 

Start: 9:00 pm, end: 6:00 pm; Happy Hour: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm 

Module 3: Day 3 – Sustain Strategy Implementation – Transfer

  • Introduction to IMPLEMENTATION of Innovation & Transformation Projects 
  • Input & Company-Project WorkInnovation & Transformation Story  
  • Input & Company-Project Work3-Level Implementation Strategy 
  • Sharing: Implementation Strategies  
  • Practice Training: Leadership Action for Scaling  
  • Reflection & Closing Ceremony 

Start: 9:00 pm, end: 5:00 pm 

Your coaches

Annie Kerguenne

Annie Kerguenne

Director Transformation Strategies and Design Thinking Master Coach

Learn more

Participant testimonials

The love and passion that all the employees and coaches put into the Professional Track, transports a lot. You don’t find that anywhere else in Germany.

Anne Hoffmann

Agile Coach Digitalization

Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Participant testimonies

I learned how to effectively manage international teams with creativity. It´s not just about using Design Thinking tools to drive the project flow, but about translating the principles behind them to set up your very own strategy for leading teams to innovative results.

Puneet Gupta

SAP India

Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Participant testimonies

Going back to my company after the first module, all of the sudden, I got the feedback that our meetings were better and that we were getting faster. This was something I was really astonished about, because the impact was so huge and so immediate.

Dr. Erik Reuther

Clariant AG

Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Todd Pope, B. Braun

Rated 5 out of 5 stars.