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Business Agility at Kingsmen Software

“Looking back on our Wily experience, I’m amazed at what we accomplished during those short two-weeks under Wily’s guidance and facilitation. Rounding out our Kingsmen team perfectly, the Wily team quickly adopted our innovation challenge as their own, and put the design sprint process to work on our behalf. With strategic insight, relentless customer focus and stacks of sticky notes, they put our thought leaders and our bright ideas through the ringer–driving us through the hard work of new product development.

–Ibrahim Nasmyth, Director of Business Advisory Services, Kingsmen Software


The Challenge

Leaders for most organizations are trying to transform the way they do software solution delivery. Unfortunately, they are unable to visualize and understand the way their operating model currently works or develop a practical roadmap for improvement. As a result, they often invest their transformation dollars & energy in the wrong places and struggle to realize sustainable & measurable changes.

The Approach

Wily led a Design Sprint and Iteration Sprint with a multi-disciplinary team from Kingsmen Software's Business Agility Team and its UX Design Team to map the existing challenge, focus on a key area of improvement, and prototype and test
solutions aimed at providing both clarity and utility about Kingsmen's lean agile methodology and approach. Kingsmen and Wily worked together to:

  • Understand the challenge space, target audiences, and the opportunity/value to Kingsmen, as well as existing frameworks, tools, and visuals in Kingsmen's arsenal.

  • Map out key parts of the challenge and ask critical questions of additional Kingsmen experts.

  • Select an area of the challenge and key questions we wanted to answer.

  • Identify solutions to analogous challenges to inspire new ideas for Kingsmen's product.

  • Develop solution sketches for communicating the lean agile methodology and framework to experts and non-experts alike.

  • Vote on solution sketches to help the Decider make an informed decision about what to prototype and test with customers.

  • Work with Kingsmen's Agility Team and UX Team to develop two digital prototypes.

  • Interview 10 Kingsmen existing and prospective clients to gather feedback.

  • Organize and synthesize customer feedback, and hold two Sprint retrospectives to develop next steps.

  • Summarize key findings and next steps in a PDF Executive Summary Report


“Being ‘The Decider’ was tough work. Ideas would be coming at you rapidly and you had to make quick judgement calls to keep things moving. Our time was well-spent. Several ideas emerged that weren’t on our radar which resulted in some significant directional changes for our product. We also managed to have a little fun at the same time. High five!!”

—Kelley Horton, Chief Agility Officer, Kingsmen Software


The Outcome

The outcome of the Design Sprint was two prototypes, organized customer feedback, evidence for validating our key Sprint questions, and a set of prioritized next steps, which has given the Kingsmen team what it needs to move forward with confidence.

We are currently working with Kingsmen to schedule an additional Design Sprint and Iteration Sprint for a different Kingsmen challenge.

Learn more about Kingsmen Business Agility here.



Improving Customer Retention at AvidXchange

"Eric came to AvidXchange to run a Design Sprint on a thorny, time-sensitive operational problem. Our group had reservations on how much progress we could make on such a complicated issue in so little time, but the Design Sprint allowed everyone in the group to share their best ideas, understand why we made the decisions we made, and make tremendous progress towards mapping our plan of attack. Eric's upbeat tempo kept our group engaged and moving forward. Going through the Design Sprint saved our groups weeks’ worth of meeting time. We walked away excited and aligned on what we needed to do to be successful moving forward. The session was a great experience for our whole team."

—Austin Shrum, Sr. Business Planning Manager, AvidXchange


The Challenge

Work with a cross-functional team to clarify the challenge of improving customer retention and develop solutions for attacking the challenge that can be prototyped and tested with their target customers.

The Approach

Wily led a Design Sprint with a multi-disciplinary team from AvidXchange to map the existing challenge, focus on a key area of improvement, and develop solution sketches aimed at improving customer (buyer) retention. AvidXchange and Wily worked together throughout the Sprint to:

  • Download and share existing retention data.

  • Map out key parts of the challenge and ask critical questions.

  • Select an area of the challenge and one key question we wanted to answer.

  • Find solution to analogous challenges to inspire new ideas for AvidXchange.

  • Develop solution sketches for tackling the customer retention challenge.

  • Vote on solution sketches to help the Decider make an informed decision about what to prototype and test with customers.

The Outcome

The outcome of the Design Sprint was greater clarity of their retention challenge, team alignment on what part of the challenge to focus on, and well-developed solutions for tackling the challenge at hand.

We are currently working with AvidXchange to explore ways to storyboard, rapidly prototype, and test their top solution(s) with target customers.



Improving Equity with the Knight Foundation + the City of Charlotte

"Exceptional work yesterday, Eric. I was impressed. Thank you for starting us on this bold, exciting journey! We should find more ways to utilize your skillsets. I spoke to a couple of the attendees who really enjoyed your approach. That’s a delicate subject and l totally enjoyed the process."

—Taiwo Jaiyeoba, Director of Planning, City of Charlotte


The Challenge

Work with community leaders to figure out the best way to reach and engage under represented populations across Charlotte in shaping the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which will guide growth and investment in the City of Charlotte for decades to come.

The Approach

Working closely with the City of Charlotte and with support from the Knight Foundation, Wily designed and facilitated a Strategy Sprint—a fast paced, hands on, structured workshop using human-centered design and behavior change tools.  We led community stakeholders who defined equity, identified what was already working, and created personas to build empathy for under represented groups. Then we drafted and refined strategies using Jonathan Haidt's behavior change framework to motivate under represented groups to share their needs and desires for their community, and make it easy for them to do so. Below is a sample of the community stakeholders who participated in the Strategy Sprint:

  • The Knight Foundation

  • University of North Carolina

  • Lawana Mayfield, City Council

  • Neighborhood representatives

  • Charlotte Center City Partners

  • United Way Central Carolinas

  • Developer representatives

  • The City of Charlotte

  • Mecklenburg County

  • Sustain Charlotte

  • YMCA Charlotte

The Outcome

The outcome was a set of prioritized and refined strategies for how to engage under represented populations across Charlotte in the shaping of the future 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The strategies included activities and events that are already working, and ways to build on these successes by motivating and making it easy for members of the community to get involved.

The City is working with community stakeholders to develop a set of actions for moving this work forward as part of the public engagement being carried out for the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.



Building Strategy at the Hurt Hub for Innovation + Entrepreneurship

The Challenge

Refine the vision and create an actionable growth strategy for The Hurt Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Davidson College.

The Approach

In collaboration with Davidson College, Wily designed and led a Strategy Sprint to engage The Hurt Hub’s Advisory Board in the ownership and development of three key strategic priorities: vision, messaging and metrics. We led the Advisory Board and staff through mapping their existing landscape and developing personas to ensure everyone was focused on the key stakeholders The Hurt Hub is designed to serve: students, faculty, and business partners. Next we gathered and shared outside inspiration before generating ideas and prototypes for each of the three strategic priorities.

The Outcome

The outcome was a set of prototypes that mapped to each strategic priority, including a magazine cover for the vision, an elevator pitch for the messaging, and a spreadsheet dashboard for the metrics. Wily is currently helping ensure the Advisory Board has the tools and clear next steps it needs to take ownership of these priorities moving forward.

We are currently working with Hurt Hub staff to define next steps and build on the momentum and progress generated during the Strategy Sprint.


“Wily's skilled designers helped us create and deliver a valuable experience that gave the North End community the tools they needed to bring about the community they want.”

—Kim Graham, Sr. Vice President, The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership


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