IT Brief New Zealand logo
Technology news for New Zealand's largest enterprises
Story image

Making design thinking an ‘always-on activity’

Wed 12 Apr 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Design sprint experiences can often feel more like a marathon for participants learning to work in a new way. By thinking of a sprint as a ‘design learning cycle’, it can be seen as a more fluid and iterative process that becomes ‘business as usual’…

Design Thinking can help business leaders address their organisation’s most important challenges and deliver the ultimate prize – creating customer utility.

To achieve the re-imagining of existing products or services and the invention of new ones, a design sprint shouldn’t be a one-off experience engineered to confirm an existing assumption or develop a new fail-safe initiative.

While no process offers a silver bullet for companies wanting to eliminate risk, by treating design sprints as a continuous design learning cycle, Design Thinking can become a routine mechanism that works directly with your customer to solve their most pressing needs.

The true purpose of a design learning cycle is to move with speed so that each stage of a Design Thinking process fail-safes the last. For example, your ability toup a human-centred problem is dependent upon the quality of your research.

Your ability to ideate is dependent upon the quality of problem framing. Participants should be prompted to iteratively move through a design learning cycle at an almost unreasonable pace. Put simply, many smaller design cycles (iterations) are safer to apply than long-drawn-out projects.

Pace brings other benefits too. Shorter and faster learning cycles reduce risk within your business. Effectively, you are committing fewer resources towards exposing a flawed concept or strategy.

Smaller, routine cycles also create a safer landing pad for teams to fail or for them to learn to recognise and acknowledge when they are failing. A smaller, scaled cycle will reduce anxiety within the team and help them take the necessary bold steps towards realising an innovative idea.

With routine application, the effectiveness of design learning cycles will accelerate dramatically. Each cycle usually provides a diversity of lessons learned for the wider business and, over time, familiar patterns will begin to consistently emerge regardless of the starting design challenge and context.

Companies should take serious notice of such themes and patterns. They could be indicative of a serious issue in need of attention.

What else might prevent your forays into Design Thinking from stalling at the first hurdle?

First, always begin with research where you seek to understand the genuine needs and problems experienced by your customer. Don’t believe ‘we already have all of the answers in the room’. You don’t.

Avoiding meeting with your customers at the start of a sprint process might initially feel like the path of least resistance, but that will give you an output of least surprise. Sprinting without research will lead to incremental step-change at best and likely just resurface familiar ideas already available to your business.

Also, consider investing time in designing the right challenge for your design thinkers. An overly tactical focus or working on routine ‘hygiene’ projects with too narrow a field of focus tend to exhaust themselves quickly in a design learning cycle.

A challenge which is too wide open might be devoid of the requisite constraint to focus your designers towards delivering a useful outcome. An appropriately scaled challenge will instead allow teams to negotiate their way ‘to the puck’ and be directed by real customer need.

When operated as a continuous routine process with your customers, design learning cycles will help inform your fundamental business strategy. Take time to scale challenges the right way and be prepared to operate cycles at an almost unreasonable pace.

With the right formula in place, you will soon discover how design learning cycles can help you get it right by rapidly getting it wrong.

Simon Holbrook is Principal Consultant of Assurity Consulting’s new Design Thinking team. Simon and Olivia Wilson will be hosting a live ‘How can Design Thinking help you?’ Q&A session on Assurity Consulting’s Facebook page to introduce people to the power of Design Thinking. Tune in on Friday 21 April at midday. You can submit your questions before the event via this link. We’ll aim to answer as many questions as possible in the 20-minute Livestream. Please ‘like’ Assurity Consulting’s Facebook page for all the latest event notifications. 

Article by Simon Holbrook, Principal Consultant, Design Thinking, Assurity Consulting

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Managed service provider
Barracuda MSP Day 2022 highlights MSP opportunities
Barracuda Networks has released a report showing global services-related MSP revenue is set to increase by more than a third in 2022 compared to 2021.
Story image
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Story image
Aligned Data Centers increases sustainability-linked loan
Aligned Data Centers has increased its sustainability-linked loan from $375 million to $1.75 billion to speed up the next phase of its strategic growth.
Story image
GapMaps Live to improve brand decisions on physical locations
GapMaps has released its latest service GapMaps Live, giving more insights and features to help brands make better decisions about physical locations.
Story image
Vodafone NZ buys remaining stake in retail joint venture
Vodafone New Zealand has purchased the remaining 50% stake in the specialist joint venture (JV) with private equity company Millennium Corp.
Story image
New Relic enters multi-year partnership with Microsoft Azure
New Relic has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft to help enterprises accelerate cloud migration and multi-cloud initiatives. 
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Frost & Sullivan recognises Genesys as leader in new reports
Frost & Sullivan has recognised Genesys as a leader in the cloud contact centre market for its robust cloud and digital capabilities.
Story image
SPS network now available to CrescoData eCommerce customers
CrescoData, a Pitney Bowes Company and PaaS business in the commerce space, says its customers can now connect to the SPS Commerce Retail Network.
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Digital Signage
MAXHUB's Digital Signage range to bolster boardroom productivity
The new MAXHUB Digital Signage technology is purpose-built to make every kind of team meeting more effective.
Story image
APAC organisations fail to disclose ransomware breaches
85% of organisations in APAC were breached by ransomware at least once in the past five years, but only 28% publicly disclosed the incident.
Story image
Let’s clear the cloud visibility haze with app awareness
Increasingly, organisations are heading for the cloud, initiating new born-in-the-cloud architectures and migrating existing applications via ‘lift and shift’ or refactoring.
Story image
Data backup plans inadequate, data still at risk - study
The Apricorn 2022 Global IT Security Survey revealed that while the majority organisations have data backup plans in place, data for many are at risk.
Story image
Trojan cyber attacks hitting SMBs harder than ever - Kaspersky
In 2022 the number of Trojan-PSW detections increased by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2021 to reach 4,003,323.
Story image
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
New vulnerabilities found in Nuspire’s Q1 2022 Threat Report
“Threat actors are quickly adjusting their tactics and these exploits tend to get industry attention, but the threat posed by older and attacks still persists."
Story image
Digital Marketing
Getty Images delves into the world of NFTs with Candy Digital
Getty Images and Candy Digital, the next-generation digital collectible company, have announced a new multi-year partnership agreement.
Story image
Customer experience
Gartner recognises Okta for abilities in Access Management
Okta has announced it has been recognised as a Customers' Choice for the fourth time in a row in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report.
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Supply chain
Jetstack promotes better security with supply chain toolkit
The web-based resource is designed to help organisations evaluate and plan the crucial steps they need to establish effective software supply chain security.
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Fastly acquires Glitch, enables faster developer innovation
"This acquisition brings together two of the worlds best ecosystems for application development into a single, seamless developer experience."
Story image
New Relic
New Relic launches vulnerability management platform
New Relic has introduced New Relic Vulnerability Management to help organisations find and address security risks faster and with greater precision.
Story image
Cyber attacks
Devastating cyber attacks expected to hit energy sector
Energy executives anticipate life, property, and environment-compromising cyber attacks on the sector within the next two years.
Story image
Data Center
Preventing downtime costs and damage with Distributed Infrastructure Management
Distributed Infrastructure Management (DIM) can often be a lifeline for many enterprises that work with highly critical ICT infrastructure and power sources.
Story image
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Pluralsight and Ingram Micro Cloud team up on cloud initiative
Pluralsight has teamed with Ingram Micro Cloud to build upon cloud competence and maturity internally, and externally support partners’ capabilities.
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
Alteryx releases updates, empowers data insights for enterprise
Alteryx has released new advancements designed to aid enterprises with cloud analytics, democratise insights and ensure data governance.
Story image
Manhattan Associates
Shortening the click-to-customer cycle through smart technologies
Speed of delivery without accuracy is a dealbreaker for consumers. How can retailers operating in an omnichannel environment overcome the challenge of click-to-customer cycle times.
Story image
Multi Cloud
Red Hat updates dev tools, empowers use of hybrid and multicloud
Red Hat has unveiled updates across its portfolio of developer tools, designed to help organisations build and deliver applications faster.
Story image
Equinix announces milestones on sustainability commitments
Equinix has released its 2021 Sustainability Report which outlines progress, innovation and accomplishments on key ESG commitments.
Story image
Digital Transformation
The Huawei APAC conference kicks off with digital transformation
More than 1500 people from across APAC have gathered for the Huawei APAC Digital Innovation Congress to explore the future of digital innovation.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Vectra AI
Vectra’s inaugural Partner of the Year Awards revealed
APAC companies Baidam, Firmus, ShellSoft and Macnica have been recognised in Vectra AI's inaugural Partner of the Year Awards.
Story image
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Rubrik Security Cloud marks 'next frontier' in cybersecurity
"The next frontier in cybersecurity pairs the investments in infrastructure security with data security giving companies security from the point of data."
Story image
Qualys updates Cloud Platform solution with rapid remediation
The new update is designed to enable organisations to fix asset misconfigurations, patch OS and third-party applications, and deploy custom software.