For customers, travelling with British Airways is a smooth experience. However, behind the scenes, hundreds of operations must work seamlessly to ensure planes depart, fly and arrive at their destinations on time. From snow and ice, to resource shortages and knock-on delays, unforeseen complications can cause major disruptions to any airline.

The challenge


How might we reduce the time it takes staff to make a decision from 15 minutes to five minutes?”


In order to speed-up decision making and minimise customer disruption, our task was to explore and create a one-stop source of information for every department across the Heathrow operation. This was no easy task and a large financial investment for the organisation. It meant consolidating multiple sources data into a digestible format that could provide a high-level view of the airline’s entire operations. It required British Airways to understand how data was being interpreted across their whole organisation, so that a solution could be adaptable and effective for multitudes of people, roles and needs.

The approach

We introduced design thinking methods to demonstrate faster, more collaborative ways to work.

We conducted a short research phase and then moved into rapidly creating value proposition hypotheses.

We developed test assets so we could run experiments with potential users and start to learn what would work best within a short period of time before committing to full technical requirements.

British Airways case study staff picture

The solution

We started by rapidly learning and building up a rich picture of the situation. We listened in on meetings, noted the acronyms, and we collated the latest behavioural research on decision-making processes. We spoke with the people who were struggling with the existing ways of working, in order to understand their needs and pain points. The operational focus helped to shape the direction for our user-driven exploration.

We then worked across five departments and multiple stakeholders, running workshops to identify the requirements of an integrated dashboard to help improve metrics for outcomes depending on quick decision-making. As ideas emerged, we mapped, sketched and designed how this tool could work and the value. We continually prepared and refined prototypes to share with stakeholders, and through testing and learning we found more effective ways to integrated the multiple use cases and needs from across the organisation.

The outcome

As a result of the engagement, we delivered an evidence-based business case for the platform requirements, to display information from across British Airways’s operations. Our early work quickly de-risked future investment by proving early on what the dashboard should and should not do.

Value creation through design thinking

We help leading organisations solve critical business problems effectively, by exploring and de-risking the bold moves necessary for businesses to grow.

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