NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen)

A co-creation approach to vision and strategy for NS service desk.


How can the NS service desk reduce reaction time and complexity in their approach to handling interruptions?

The NS Service Desk system for handling interruptions at train stations posed significant challenges in the complexity of their team’s approach. We noticed a lack of overview in the interruption handling process, causing Service Desk employees to invest excessive time in resolving relatively simple issues. Reinventing the wheel to tackle small problems and loads of exceptions and work arounds were clearly visible. As a result, the core process became unnecessarily complex, leading to a negative impact on the job satisfaction of the NS Service Desk workers.

NS Service Desk’s current operational process
Developing the vision in Sprint 1 by leaving the current process behind

During our 6-month change trajectory at NS: we complete two design sprints first on vision followed by strategic planning with a OGSM model

Number of facilitated collaborative workshops with different stakeholders:


Number of departments involved:


Number of employees positively impacted:



Designing a future vision and strategy for a core process simplification.

Putting our design and change management expertise to work, we took a hands-on, two-sprint approach to shape the future of handling interruptions at NS stations. Collaborating closely with various stakeholders, we kicked off with a system analysis and scenario exploration in Sprint 1 to craft a comprehensive vision. Sprint 2 then saw us pinpoint strategic themes and develop practical strategies with the help of a OGSM model to guide the design collaboration. All of this was done while fine-tuning the vision through creative visualization and collaborative sessions. These engaging processes allowed us to create a clear roadmap for change, ensuring purposeful transformation.

The first draft of the vision for Sprint 1
An example of the co-creation of strategic planning during Sprint 2


A clear path forward for implementing tangible change with the OGSM model

The clear vision and roadmap have paved the way for transformative changes within the NS Service Desk, promoting efficiency, collaboration, and a positive work environment. With the filled in OGSM model cascaded down to each strategic theme the team is ready to start executing their strategy. With a well-defined path ahead, the Service Desk is ready to implement these improvements and achieve their goals, with the support of a newly-hired program manager. The accompanying slide deck offers a comprehensive overview of the process, ensuring a smooth transition and shared understanding as the implementation phase unfolds.

Download the OGSM template here if you are planning to work with one. This is how the OGSM model generally is used to cascade strategy from organisation level to different track strategies.

Ways to cascade an OGSM model by Ink Strategy
  • Vertical cascading is when you subdivide the objective over sub-goals by team, department, country or region. 
  • Horizontal cascading is cascading over time. For example you could make an OGSM model for the medium or long term, and then cascade this into OGSM models for the short term, in annual plans. 
  • Scenario cascading is strategic plans based on different scenarios.

Visualization of NS Service Desk vision and OGSM model
Below, the three OGSM strategies cascade down from the three overarching ambitions
Ink Strategy has had an impressive positive impact on team dynamics in this process.

Are you interested in unlocking your organization’s full potential through visual strategy? Contact us at Ink Strategy today to learn how we can help you visualize your future and achieve your goals.

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