Design Sprints with BP Retail Innovation Team

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BP: A Vision for the Future.

BP engage in the exploration, production and development of oil, natural gas and liquefied natural gas, as well as refining, transportation and marketing of petroleum and lubricant products. The company sells a wide range of products and services to retail and commercial customers across industries including, maritime, aviation, racing and transport.


After attending a Naked Ambition ‘Design Thinking Bootcamp’, Mark Augello, from the Retail Offer Development team along with his Team Leader Jon Doran, were inspired to expand the design thinking capabilities and be more intentional in their innovation process as a team. 

Mark was appointed as Project Sponsor for a unique ‘Design the Future’ workshop series, led by Naked Ambition and Business Models Inc (BMInc). Mark’s mission for this experience was to build enduring design thinking capability within his team, whilst making progress on a number of key business challenges.



After being engaged by BP, our first challenge was to design the journey. This took shape in the form of a 3-day workshop series, and a half day of field research. Teams were strategically configured to include a mix of skillsets to complement a specific challenge they would each be assigned to work on.


What We Did.

Working in close collaboration with our Project Sponsor, Mark, Naked Ambition and BMInc shaped three challenges across three different ‘Horizons’. The Horizons were scoped as:

  • The near future
  • 2 – 5 years ahead
  • 5 years and beyond

Once the Horizons were established, a cross-functional team from across the business was assembled, including the core Retail team, Digital, Marketing, and representatives from BP’s internal innovation team.


Over the course of three full-day workshops the BP Team:  

  • Day 1: Learned the fundamentals of design thinking, unpacked their challenges and created a design research plan
  • In between Day one and two teams carried out customer research
  • Day 2: Teams bought insights back in to the room and analysed them, redefined their challenge and began to develop their solutions
  • Day 3: On the final day teams built an early prototype of their solution in a rapid design session, before creating a test plan and finally trialling their solutions on ‘live’ customers in the workshop.

By testing their ideas early on real customers, the teams were able to put their concepts in front of customers and see quickly what worked and what didn’t. By getting customers to interact with the prototypes and give feedback they could see directly where their assumptions were confirmed as correct or where they need to iterate on an idea. The teams really embraced the ‘idea as an experiment’ philosophy.


The results and where to from here:  

By using design thinking as a concrete process to support innovation and creativity, we successfully positioned the BP team to continue their work as a test-bed for everything retail. All teams made significant progress on their challenge areas, with two of the four now progressing to the implementation within their applicable teams. 

The BP Australia team are fully equipped to practice insights-driven experimentation and to continue working in a more customer focused way with renewed direction. They are purpose driven and can act as change-agents for design thinking across the business.

If you want to explore how to build enduring design thinking capability in your team, get in touch.