Innovation Day May 2022: some insight into the way we work

At Sweet Mustard, we regularly organise Innovation Days. Those are days when our team splits up into groups to work on new projects and themes that have been on their minds for a while. They can be innovative ideas, or concepts that already exist but could use some expansion or extra depth. In this article, we outline three inspiring topics: agile trainings and sounding board sessions for clients, and a real discovery bootcamp toolkit!

Agile trainings for customers – Ruben, Dieter & Louis

Ruben: “At Sweet Mustard, we have been providing agile trainings for some time now, both internally and externally. We used to work with a standard, but we’ve noticed that it lacks customisation. We want to make sure that we can support different companies with their own specific needs. That’s why we optimised our agile training. The basic one remains, for customers who are still learning and want to know what typical buzzwords like agile, scrum, etcetera mean. For those who have mastered the basics and wish to go deeper, we’ve polished things up.”

“In fact, we’ve made the training more hands-on because people can understand things more easily this way than when we’d stick with theory. We certainly don’t want clients to feel like they are ‘taking a class’. That’s why the training is deliberately interactive. Frameworks such as Kanban and Scrum are explained and we can clarify nuances and ideologies of concepts such as, say, swarming. Ideally, people have continuous ‘aha’-moments.”

“We already listen to customers as much as possible, of course, and the basic trainings work fine. However, we are now creating tailor-made courses by creating a kind of living toolbox that expands as more trainings are needed. From this kit, you can always pick one that suits all the people involved in a particular project.”

Sounding board sessions for customers – Davy, Lander, Mike & Yannick

Davy: "During the Innovation Day, we looked at the way we could better help companies, and especially their IT team(s), to make sustainable decisions concerning their digital growth. By asking them the right questions, and listening to them carefully, we are convinced that with our practical experience in various domains, we can give them valuable and personal advice. That advice allows them to make well-considered choices and brings them both insights and some peace of mind.”

“We formed our idea by firstly profiling our customers. Using a value proposition canvas and a business model canvas, we thoroughly mapped out their wishes and (a) viable solution(s). This provided us with information that we then ‘pitched’ to our colleagues. Based on their feedback, we came up with concrete actions to test our final concept in the market. We will talk to potential clients and partners to validate whether our idea is relevant or rather wishful thinking.”

Discovery bootcamp toolkit – Charlotte, Jan, Michael & Torn

Charlotte: “Our current discovery bootcamps were set up according to a fixed template. The more bootcamps we planned, though, the more we gained insight into different variables: the client we were working with, their field of expertise or context, the team members who were present during the workshop... Sticking to the same format seemed to slow us down in our thinking, which is the exact opposite of what we wanted to achieve with those workshops.”

That’s why, on the Innovation Day, our team immersed itself in Miro to divide the discovery into different steps in a clear and visual way. For the first time ever, we mapped out the research phase as well: what do we already know about our customer and their sector? Is our client a more formal or rather an imaginative type of person? Based on that information, we now adapt our workshops so we can work on the client’s behalf from the very first step.”

“Once we had gone through all the parts, it became clear that we’d gathered a lot of information and exercises to take with us from now on. The goal is to put together a kind of toolkit which colleagues can use in a ‘plug and play’ kind of way. That’s how, depending on the client, but also depending on their own experiences and the people they’d work with, they can choose which exercises will give the best results. The client gets a more personal approach, and we save time as a team. It gives us more space to think about new techniques too, or even to expand our toolkit. Win-win!”

Inspired by our way of working and/or would you like to meet and work with us? Don’t hesitate to contact us; we can’t wait to get to know you!