Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy, Executive Education

  • Trained and facilitated the application of concepts from product strategy & human-centred design in a Strategy Retreat workshop
  • Created user personas and customer profiles
  • Identified needs and pain points of customers
  • Framed customer needs as ‘How might we’ statements
  • Build up reasons to believe the LKYSPP brand

The Challenge

How can the team at LKYSPP EE pioneer new forms of Executive Education leveraging technology instead of merely delivering classroom programmes via video-calls?

The Context

The Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) has established itself as a world-renowned institution that provides training in areas of government and policymaking. Within LKYSPP, the Executive Education team have been delivering exceptionally high touch and personalised training to civil servants from across the region by hosting them on the Singapore campus during their programmes.

The Executive Education team adapted quickly when most air travel halted in 2020 and altered their delivery towards digital delivery. Amidst all these rapid changes, the leadership team saw an opportunity for the team to explore what the future of Executive Education could look like in a post-pandemic world.

What we added

To get these public policy and higher education experts thinking about entirely new possibilities, pluswhat introduced a frame of thinking that they had never experienced before: product management & strategy more commonly found in the technology and startup space.

pluswhat facilitated an in-person workshop for the team, introducing concepts from product strategy to equip the team with new tools for ideation. They learnt techniques and practised using them during the session: the goal was to both facilitate an ideation experience and also ensure they could independently continue similar exercises in the future.

Continue reading for more details (~5 mins)


To kick the Strategy Retreat off, pluswhat got the Executive Education team to identify metaphors to describe their organisation. This gave a vivid and illuminating picture of how individuals saw themselves and the way they worked. This helped us also understand the cultural values and nuances within the LKYSPP Executive Education team.

With such an expansive brief, pluswhat took the opportunity to introduce some innovation approaches we had in our pockets. Our experience in tech gave us insight into leveraging product strategy as a springboard for building new products. Starting with identifying who the potential consumers of LKYSPP Executive Education could be, the team was able to uncover new consumer segments that were not previously considered. This included distinguishing between the individual consumer (e.g. self-enrolled learners) and institutional buyers (e.g. L&D manager purchasing for employees in the org). To bring these segments to life, the team built up consumer personas, making them as relatable and human as possible.

Successful products need to either fulfil consumer needs or alleviate pain-points. So naturally, the next step was to identify what the needs were for these consumers. By tapping into existing consumer feedback and the team’s experiences, the team was able to build a robust picture of needs and pain-points for their identified consumer segments.

To prime the team for ideation, we needed to reframe the needs and pain-points as a springboard for ideation. Borrowing from the world of Human-centred design or Design thinking, we got the teams to write ‘How might we’ statements. On top of having these statements for ideation, the teams also became aware of the various themes that they were curious about solving.

With the ground set for ideation, there was still one last step to do. Having a great idea does not always mean that you should pursue it, it also needs a strong reason(s) to believe that your brand is able to deliver it. The Executive Education team got together to consolidate all the possible reasons consumers believe that LKYSPP can deliver an exceptional educational experience. With their list of reasons to believe, the team could now be convinced of ideas that could work and why consumers might pick them.

After the session, all participants received an Introduction to Product Strategy Fundamentals microcredential. pluswhat also reviewed the workshop outputs, drawing out key observations, trends, and potential ways forward for the leadership team to continue driving new offering innovation.

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