Inspiring Purpose


The Secrets of Skyscanner Success!

By Inspiring Purpose’s Project Manage Julie Thompson. 


On Friday I attended the ‘Secrets of Skyscanner Success Workshops’ in partnership with the SCVO’s Digital Participation Programme, I’d heard Skyscanner were an innovative orgainsation so I was excited to hear about their secrets, and I wasn’t disappointed!

are you too busy to improve2
The event opened with a Keynote from Emma Proud of Mercy Corps. Mercy Corps is an international development organisation that helps people around the world survive and thrive after conflict, crisis and natural disaster and their HQ is in Edinburgh. Emma talked about their use of Adaptive Management; a systematic approach for improving resource management by learning from management outcomes. This was really interesting and gave me a lot to think about; check out #adaptive on twitter for some insight.

There were 10 workshops on offer during the rest of the day; delegates could choose two, and each presenters gave an overview to help us choose. I was furiously writing notes and I’ve picked out some of the details that caught my attention.

Skyscanner’s CEO/Co-founder Gareth Williams introduced his workshop ‘Mindset: Personal perspectives on aiming for ambitious goals’, he would be talking about how to create an environment for growth mindset. He referred to Mindset by Carol Dweck which has incredible synergy with our mission at Inspiring Purpose. In a fixed mindset people believe their basic qualities are simply fixed traits, in a growth mindset people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.

‘Websites and tools to help your work and productivity’; this immediately got my attention and the intro gave loads of tips and tools. Check these out:

‘Introduction to Agile Methodologies’  (

The Agile movement seeks alternatives to traditional project management; I attended this one and this is what I came away thinking about:

  • ▪ Think: what change are you trying to achieve and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?
  • ▪ Get feedback as you go
  • ▪ When launching a new idea, you don’t always have to have something perfect, can you get something going that can start adding value immediately? It’s better to start with something basic than develop something perfect that fails
  • ▪ Multitasking is ineffective; limit the work in progress. So, for example, using the task management tool ‘Trello’ have 3 boards: To Do / Doing / Done, have a maximum of 6 ‘Doing’ tasks at any one time and get the ‘Doing’ over to ‘Done’ as quickly as possible because this is the area where you are investing most of your time
  • ▪ Think: which tasks are your bottlenecks? Visualize where things are getting stuck
  • ▪ Each day needs some slack for things that pop up

Website Usability

What is your website actually for? This needs to be on your home page. What are your 'Red Routes'? (The key user journeys with your website) Keep the traffic flowing through your most important routes.

Continuous Improvement

PDCA (plan–do–check–act or plan–do–check–adjust) is an iterative four-step management method used in business for the control and continual improvement of processes and products.
Mad - Sad - Glad is a popular retrospective technique that encourages team members to think about their emotions.
Toyota Improvement Kata is a structured way to create a culture of continuous learning and improvement at all levels.
Current Reality Tree (Theory of constraints) is a statement of an underlying core problem and the symptoms that arise from it. It maps out a sequence of cause and effect from the core problem to the symptoms. Most of the symptoms will arise from the one core problem or a core conflict. Removing the core problem may well lead to removing each of the symptoms as well.

‘How to get attention in the noise (social media/SEO/content)’.

I attended this workshop delivered by the delightful Nina Neissl, a Content Executive at Skyscanner. I am still processing this and will write another post once I’ve put this learning into action! For now, here’s a snapshot:

Everyone is creating content now! Content is about Storytelling and problem solving and you have to make your content engaging and readable. What questions are people asking in the filed you’re operating in?


I left feeling inspired, invigorated and raring to go; I am going to organise my tasks on Trello, go for it with Social Media and I actually think I might change my square wheels this week, thanks Skyscanner!


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