Building Service Design capabilities at an international bank.

Since 2016, ING has been using their PACE way of working to support, organise and speed up innovation within the company. PACE is an iterative process that brings together Service Design, Lean Startup and Agile Scrum in a five-phase process. This way of working ensures a customer centric innovation drive, empowering high paced research and validation. Given the size of the company, which is operating across different countries, they realised that different teams were using different methodologies, and they wanted to be sure that “everyone speaks the same language”. However, a way of working is nothing without the capabilities necessary to execute. Therefore, experts from ING and Koos created the Service Design Academy. This is a program aiming to boost the Service Design skills of ING employees working hard on delivering excellent customer experience every day.


ING (2 years)


Creating and teaching a new set of methodologies, tools and canvases that ING employees will use across several countries


An NPS for 2019: 61,5% and a facilitator score for 2019: 4,64/5 (n=335)

How we did this

At Koos, we have a strong vision on the way we set up our Service Design training programmes. They say ‘practice what you preach’ for a reason, so we stuck to what we knew best and started with proper user research. We interviewed many Service Design practitioners within the organization from all over the world, giving us a clear view on what aspects of Service Design the Academy should facilitate.

Then, we invited some of those practitioners to co-create the main foundation of the Academy. In a custom workshop, we went all out to create a truly unique experience for the future participants.

Together with the Chief Innovation Office of ING, Koos then developed the extensive programme: multiple days of high energy and quick learning fun. To safeguard a lasting impact, the Academy was set up in three modules: Training, Coaching on the job and Reflection.

Koos knows how to deliver excellent quality every time. All employees are extremely involved, enthusiastic and motivated. I would recommend this cooperation to everyone.

— Ben van Stee, Senior Innovation Consultant at ING


  • Iterated programme of methodologies, tools and canvases tailored to the needs and processes of ING
  • NPS for 2019: 61,5% (n=335)
  • Facilitator score for 2019: 4,64/5 (n=335)
  • 17 cycles facilitated with over 350 graduates

The results

In 2018, ING and Koos organized five cycles of the Service Design Academy in Amsterdam, teaching over a hundred ING enthusiasts the value, process and methods of Service Design. The newly trained Service Designers fulfill many different roles, in offices throughout Europe. We’ve met participants from the Business Banking to the Mortgages tribes, and from Turkey to Germany.

After every cycle, we took time to process all participant feedback and make an extensive iteration of the programme. This eventually resulted in individual Academy cycles scoring an NPS of over 93%.

In 2019 we’ve been scaling up, taking the Service Design Academy across Europe. We facilitated programmes in Belgium, Germany and Turkey. This allowed us to align with local teams, markets and culture, giving participants an even better opportunity to apply their Service Design learning in practice.

In 2020, the journey continues. Now that the Academy is maturing and scaling up, we have to keep looking forward and adapt to the ever changing demands of participants. We’re excited to keep updating the Academy with the latest Service Design tools, and continuously innovating the way we engage with customers and participants alike.

The brainpower behind this project

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