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Handout - Design Thinking

Handout - Design Thinking

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Published by Jan Schmiedgen
Very short and simplified presentation hand-out that introduced design thinking to (my fellow) students at ZU (business school) in 2009.
Very short and simplified presentation hand-out that introduced design thinking to (my fellow) students at ZU (business school) in 2009.

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Published by: Jan Schmiedgen on Apr 23, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Friedrichshafen, November 14, 2009
 Jan Schmiedgen
Semester / M.A.-CME)
Handout Design Thinking – A »new« (Innovation) Management Approach?
Course: Critical Reflection of Management Theories 
The Process
design thinking process does not exist. Moreover different process models of the same basicapproach are to be found, which are more or less varied in their granulation. Basically all of them consist of at least four steps: develop
and then proceed to the
of thesolutions you came up with. In this paper the »d.school« standard process from »Hasso-Plattner-Institut,Potsdam« (Plattner, Meinel, & Weinberg, 2009) exemplifies in short, how a typical design process normally is executed. I have chosen this book and process, as you probably will come across it in the near future (inGermany). However I do
recommend the book. The (mostly) English literature mentioned in thecourse and during the presentation is more solid and well founded.
Handout »Design Thinking« | Course: Management Theories- 2 -Figure 1: A typical »Design Thinking« Process (Plattner et al., 2009)
The maybe most typical characteristic of all design processes is its non-linear and iterative character. In thefollowing I'll give just a very brief description of the process without details. Therefore it
does not lay claimto completeness.
The first step serves to carve out the problem, make sure that everybody (especially in a diverse team)understood it »right« and then goes further in trying to formulate a useful and »right« research question,that enables the team to select the appropriate methods for the next step. This step already is importantbecause usually the first differences between the team members emerge (different mindsets etc.), which canbe a good starting point for later insight generation, problem reframing and the therewith connectedlearning processes (Beckman & Barry, 2007).Further on in this step measurements for success should be developed (if possible) and priorities regardingthe project goals must be set. In addition the team should become aware of available project-time.
To develop a truly deep understanding of the formulated problem good designers embrace the use of methods that overcome the limitations of traditional market research (e.g. contextual inquiry focuses on the‚what’, ethnographical methods focus on the ‚why’
richer and »valid« data), by getting into allstakeholders natural life world. This often yields insights that focus groups, interviews and the like cannot.Insights that uncover meaning, culture, context and practices. Mostly these methods are »borrowed« fromethnography, anthropology and sociology and then adapted to the particular problem. Very often the initialproblem formulation is reframed in several iterations during this process.
Methods used
Rapid Ethnography; Visual anthropology; Video ethnography; Non-participant & direct observation; Participantobservation; Formal ethnographic interviews; Intercepts; Informant diaries; Virtual ethnography (netnography);Story listening and many more …
Handout »Design Thinking« | Course: Management Theories- 3 -
Exemplary outcomes
Video- and Photo material; Sketches; Diaries; Day in life Timelines; Era analyses etc.
either made by the researchers or the users themselves
Point of View
Having collected all knowledge gained so far, the innovation (or strategy, or whatever
) team has todevelop a common position. This is the point where the problem reframing concerning the initial questionusually ends and where results are prepared in a way that everyone – even persons outside of the team – candevelop a shared understanding.
Exemplary outcomes
Persona descriptions; mood-o-grams; customer journey analysis;...
The ideation starts, when everyone agrees on the common point of view, has reconsidered its own basicassumptions and in a way has become free of his predetermined predispositions towards the problem andthe therefore deducted questions. In short, when every team member is able to see the problem throughusers/customers eyes.The ideation phase maybe nearly as free-form as the observation stage, but it finally adds the critical elementof synthesis to the process. It starts with the generation of countless ideas. Here apriori the rule of »quantity prior to quality« applies but in the latter process the ideas are whittled down to a few core [ones]. Thosethen start to take form in a process known as »low-res prototyping« (the transition to the »regular«prototyping is fluid). Often this part of the process is distinguished from traditional marketing-departmentbrainstorming and R&D prototyping by 
requiring consumers to be part of the process 
Methods used
 All kinds of creative techniques
usually brainstorming / 
heavy visualization
Exemplary outcomes
Large amount of (temporary imperfect) ideas and artefacts
first low-res-prototypes

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