Greenhouse -

Service & Policy Design Training

United Kingdom (21-23 Oct 2019)


This course is given in three days:

21-23 Oct 2019

Each day: TBA

Other editions of this course:



PDR / Cardiff Metropolitan University

Excelsior Rd


CF14 3AX

United Kingdom



Earlybird price:


Until Aug 2019

Normal price:


Course language:


Short description of the event

A unique programme upskilling you with service and policy design tools applied to real challenges


Who is this course for?

The course is aimed at in-house innovation labs, business improvement and performance teams in both private and public sectors, including staff in the following roles; commissioning, innovation, audit, business improvement, performance management, information technology, operations and public policy.

What to expect?

Greenhouse will equip you with the confidence to apply design approaches to developing services and policies in your organisation. Greenhouse combines a live project, set and assessed by a public body, with training in design tools and techniques. This approach ensures that the training is applied within a real-life context, providing a far richer learning experience for participants.


Day 1 -  Briefing
  • Introduction: Overview of the course, provision of course materials and instruction for the next 3 days.

  • Case study: Design in the public sector: Making the case for design in the public sector, a presentation and group discussion.

  • Introduction to user-centred design. Overview of the method and Greenhouse tools.

  • Live project briefing: Problem definition – Client presentation describing the live challenge for the course and discussion.

  • Networking dinner

Day 2: Insights and Ideas
  • User research methods: Introduction to rapid ethnographic research methods and tools, including; contextual interviews, experience mapping and observation.

  • User research planning: A framework for planning user research.

  • User research in action

  • Working lunch - Making sense of your research, synthesising your insights from the user research.

  • Personas and User Journey Maps: Turning your user research into effective representation of your users and their service journeys.

  • Theming: Identifying thematic challenges and opportunities.

  • Ideation and speculative thinking: Techniques for generating new ideas.

  • Networking dinner

Day 3: Testing and Design
  • Democratic selection of the most promising ideas.

  • Storyboarding: Using storyboarding to bring you vision and ideas to life.

  • Validating ideas: Paper and low fidelity prototyping

  • Lunch

  • Planning your pitch: Working with a PDR designer to craft your service design pitch.

  • Client presentation: Presentation of proposed prototyping project back to client.

  • Summary of Greenhouse: Group discussion and sharing of key learning points.



Greenhouse is a unique training programme created by PDR to upskill people passionate about innovation in service and policy design methodologies and tools. It has been developed based on years of research and experience of delivering design-driven innovation projects in the public sector. Our approach to designing services and policies is focused on the user-centred perspective, allowing you to really understand what is happening in your services and how your users experience them. Through systemic, iterative collaboration with your users, you will be able to address the challenges quicker on the policy level and create services that are better, simpler, more integrated and connected to the values and needs of the user. Greenhouse offers not only 2.5 days of intensive hands-on learning, but also excellent social and networking opportunities. It is delivered by facilitators who literally practice what they preach, working with public sector clients at local, national and European levels.

Learning objectives

What you will learn:


  • The fundamentals of service and policy design.

  • How to address the problems on a policy level and use design to formulate public policy.

  • Methods for understanding public challenges from a user’s perspective.

  • Tools for engaging front-line staff in design and innovation projects.

  • Ways to co-own public decisions and co-create public services with citizens.

  • Processes that will help you design within tight boundaries.

  • New ideas for stretching your approach to continuous improvement.

  • Understanding of how to manage design and innovation within public services.

  • Techniques for designing and iterating on live projects.

  • Introduction to speculative methods to expand the realms of what is possible.

  • How you can design more effective touchpoints for your service.


Course prerequisites

  • Passion for improvement;

  • Willingness to challenge your assumptions;

  • For beginners & intermediate users of design approaches.


Cardiff, United Kingdom 

PDR/Cardiff Metropolitan University

Excelsior Rd


CF14 3AX

United Kingdom



Dr. Anna Whicher

PDR / Cardiff Metropolitan University

This is just one of a range of courses offered by the SDN Academy

Interested in what else we offer?