Case Study: Design Sprint with Aker BioMarine

Fleet Allocation and Scheduling (FAS)  is our scheduling solution to improve your schedule quality and planning process. It gives you a complete overview of your fleet, allows for efficient allocation of voyages to vessels, and facilitates the comparison of scenarios, enabling you to make fast and informed decisions.

At a time when in-person events are not possible, Dataloy held a 4-day Digital Design Sprint with Aker BioMarine. We tried to replicate experiences that were as human and engaging as an in-person event, with all the interaction, efficiency (and safety) the virtual world offers. 

The objective of this sprint was to gather requirements, ideas and develop a prototype to replace “Stripeliste” Aker BioMarine’s current planning tool.

The Challenge

The logistics behind the management of fishing, transport in time and space, and service processes is a new business area for us. 

The challenge is to create a tool to optimise coordination between fishing vessels and transport vessels. The solution needs to handle transshipments of krill products, fuel, and spare parts as well the transport of crew to and from the fishing vessels. Additionally, close integration with planned and actual production data is important.

  1. Allow for close integration between FAS and production data
  2. Discover and implement custom new features to solve coordination between fishing vessels and its transportation 
The Sprint Team

Participants from Aker BioMarine 

  1. Dag O. Ottosen, Fleet Production Manager
  2. Frank Grebstad, SVP Vessel Operations
  3. Shuang Wang, Manager of Digitalization & Improvements


Participants from Dataloy Systems

  1. Julie Schasler, FAS Product Owner
  2. Whitney Anderson, User Interface Lead
  3. Lars Erik Kleiven, Front-End Developer and former Ship Operator 
Day 1 Understand the problem, map it out.

We started where all projects should — to understand the problem and performing research.

The day focused on understanding the nature of the business, user roles and Aker BioMarine´s business needs. To deepen our understanding, we had expert interviews and conducted the “how might we” questions exercise with the team members. The goal of this exercise was to write down all the insights and problems that experts shared.


  1. Øyvind Våge, Vice President Production, Aker BioMarine 
  2. Ole Thoresen, Director Digitalization & Improvements, Aker BioMarine 
  3. Stine Schult Nore, Director Global Warehouse and US Logistics, Aker BioMarine 
  4. Erik F. Loy, Dataloy VMS Product Owner, Dataloy Systems

Towards the end of the day, we had determined our:

Long-term Goal: 

  1. In 2 years users will have a scheduling system that balances automation and decision making
  2. In 2 years, we have a fully automated planning tool which can take care of all variables

Sprint Questions:

  1. Can we allow enough flexibility and control over the variables for them to be easy to use, and reliable?
  2. Can we maintain a good balance between automation and decision making?
  3. Can we meet all stakeholders needs at the same time, without making compromises that will reduce the usability for other stakeholders?
Day 2: Decide and Storyboard

We brainstormed features for the product roadmap and defined the user flow.

After identifying major features, the information architecture was mapped to show the hierarchy of major and minor features under the user flow. This gave us a birds-eye view of which features were seen as most important (Must Have) at different stages of the journey.  

This process enabled us to identify the best ideas and decide what should be prototyped.

Day 3 Prototyping, getting to the nasty details of making ideas become praxis

Day 3 started with building prototypes based on the user flow (the flow contains all possible user flows from multiple starting points). The new ideas translated to new interfaces that match into existing applications.

Key considerations while building the prototype were

  1. How to ensure that the information architecture of the digital interfaces is consistent, clear and customer-centric?
  2. What business logic and functions are required, and how do they interact internally and externally?
  3. What are the solution capabilities required to fulfil future business objectives?
Day 4: The moment of truth - Validating the idea and User Testing

The goal of the 4th day was to conduct the user testing of the prototype, identify pain points that could be improved in future iterations. and decide on the next steps about FAS implementation.

We tested two scenarios: 

Scenario 1:

Imagine you are before the beginning of the season. You have created some catch journeys already. Now you want to create one more.

Scenario 2:

Imagine you came to the office today. Overnight, one of the fishing vessels has updated the expected date they reach their capacity limit. This results in a loss of production days with the current transhipment schedule. Your task is to fix the issue.

However, with discussion and work upfront, everyone was aligned and the prototype build was a success. The design sprint team received really good ratings for the prototype.

The Outcome: Design Sprint Learnings

Julie Schasler

Dataloy FAS Product Owner

Hans Comet

Design Sprint Facilitator

This design sprint was an exceptional experience. It was really great that Aker Biomarine dedicated so much time. Having three customer sprint participants made sure we were staying on track the whole time and never lost sight of the user’s needs. Hans also did a super job in facilitating that so many first-time design sprinters knew what to do when and how.
I am proud of the amount and breadth of ideas we gathered. That our final prototype received an exceptionally good rating of the testers is very rewarding. The design sprint will definitely have a very positive impact on the further development of FAS.

Last week, I facilitated a remote design sprint in which Dataloy and Aker BioMarine participated together. We spent some amazing days together and here are some of our learnings.

Aker BioMarine provided experts for the interviews and users for the test. Also three users from Aker BioMarine joined the entire design sprint.

After the four days they said: “Interesting process to see going from brainstorming to having a tangible product that we get feedback on” as well as “Great result although we had limited days and limited resources”.

Dataloy provided strong product, IT, shipping and design knowledge and skills.

I learned a lot about facilitating remote design sprints. The storyboard session was maybe the hardest, translating new ideas to new interfaces that match into existing applications.

However, with discussion and work upfront, everyone was aligned and the prototype build was a success. The design sprint team received really good ratings for the prototype. What a great jump start for the development!