How Melbourne Water used the Design Sprint method to redesign their performance management process


The Challenge

The people at Melbourne Water felt that their performance management was too structured, it took place at the wrong time of year, and that leaders were not great at having performance, development and career conversations.


The Outcome

Using Design Sprint process, a group of experts came together and redesigned the performance management process which is now focused on having great conversations, flexibility for goal setting and timing of the review.


The Process

We guided the core team from Melbourne Water through the Design Sprint process. This is an industry leading process that takes a collaborative approach to solving big challenges and developing new products and services. It condenses what could be months of work into just four days.


Before the sprint, our facilitators explored the context of the problem through user research and SME interviews. Through this, key opportunities and pain points were prioritised a sprint question was created. During the sprint, the agenda was packed! Some of the activities on each day included –


  • Day 1 – conducted expert interviews, mapped the problem areas and brainstormed potential solutions
  • Day 2 – decided on must have features and created a detailed storyboard of solution
  • Day 3 – identified assumptions made in process and created relevant artefacts to prototype solution
  • Day 4 – presented the prototype to five users from the organisation to get their feedback.


Ultimately, the team walked away with a fully tested and iterated performance management process, a core narrative to share the process internally and artefacts to support the milestone moments. This approach allowed the core team to rapidly align on priorities, test their riskiest assumptions and launch the result back in the business with speed!