We already talked about how Design Thinking can help your company, business our any other project you are in. We also talked about which are the key factors when applying the methodology and how our products and services should be human-centered designed. Today we want to tell you about how to use Design Thinking as a communication tool within your company, subject mentioned by Tim Brown in his last article for the Harvard Business Review magazine.
In every project, we find that communication is a key factor, either with our clients, in which we can use tools from the storytelling technique, and in the internal communication within our team, company or our boss, with the decision maker, etc. Now we will dig deeper on this last subject, we will talk about the importance of designing a better communication method which will allow better understanding and agility in the decision taking.
In most companies, the traditional communication method with the project responsible, goes like this: First, a brief is created using all the data we can gather from our clients, competitors or any other source available. With that brief in mind the development team or an external consultant, starts working on it and they create a new product which is presented to the decision taker, who decides whether to launch it into the market or not.
In these situations, the usual answers are: This design does not solve the problem I believe is crucial, these are not the possibilities I believe should be considered, that is not one of the things I would studied or simply one, I do not really like it.
Therefore, the rule is that the project is not accepted and the team has to repeat the process all over again, thus wasting much time and money than expected. That is especially usual when we talk about products or services which imply a big change in the company or have a high innovation degree.
Let’s apply Design Thinking to that situation now. One of the key factors for design thinking methodology to properly work is the value of the error in the innovation process, the multiple iteration in the initial stages of the project, where the costs are much fewer either in time and money. Thus, the project will be focused on gaining feedback in each early iteration from the decision-taker.
It would go like this: “We think the problem to be solved is this, what is view?, a bit later in the process, we would go back and ask “these are the possibilities we would like to explore according to the problem definition we agreed on, do you have any comment or any in that respect, are they suitable for the company possibilities? Is there anything we didn’t count with or things that do not match with your view? We would go back to work and later on in the process could be like “We have planned to do these analyses according to the options we agreed are worth exploring, how do you see it, are we missing something? And the same in each part of the process.
Using the mentioned method, the last decision of launching the project into the market or not, will be much simpler, almost a formality. The decision taker already knows the project and have taken part of its creation, it is not anymore a kind leap of faith or a very risky decision.
But we can argue, that level of engagement with the project of the decision-taker (normally in a high level position) is very difficult to achieve, but if we present the methodology from a point of view where the time and resources saved in the process are big, that engagement will be easier, even more when this process is repeated and the results support the final improvement of the products and services.
To sum up, when we face a disruptive project or one with a big uncertainty, the product iterations should be made not only by the development team, instead we should try to involve in the process the responsible for the taking the final decisions.