What's involved in selling the concept of design thinking in your company? Learn a technique for identifying the correct stakeholders, getting them on your side, and convincing them to participate in your user-centered design process.
- Starting a design thinking process in your organization isn't necessarily easy. One of the biggest issues is gonna be the people you work with. People are used to doing things the way they've always done them. They don't like trying new things. Lots of the people you work with probably report into different areas of the organization, different silos, to use organization speak, and so they have no real incentive to listen to you when you say you want to try something different. The sad thing is the way they create products now could be horribly inefficient, and it probably leaves them with no real verification they're on the right path till after they've launched the product.
But it's the process they know, and that means they'll stick to it. You're about to ask these people to do probably the scariest thing they've had to do at work in several years. You're gonna ask them to stop doing their regular day job for a whole week, or even two weeks, and sit in a room with a bunch of other people without a clear idea of what the outcome will be. You're gonna have to help them get over that fear by replacing it with a sense of hopeful anticipation. I have a simple strategy to help you out.
Now, overall, the design thinking process is intended to reduce the number of meetings you need to hold, because you bring everyone together in the same room and reach a common understanding. But when you're initially selling the idea, you'll be doing quite a lot of evangelism. In other words, you'll be in a lot of meetings. I'm not talking about meetings where you ask for permission to run the design thinking session. Instead, I'm talking about meetings where you sell the idea of design thinking to the people who you want to attend the actual session.
First, identify the influential people in each of the groups you work with who are flexible and open to trying out new ideas. Now, meet with these people one at a time and face-to-face. Tell them what you're trying to achieve. Tell them why you need their involvement. Ask them what they dislike most about the current way the products are developed. The idea is to find the one thing you can use to sell them on design thinking. Then, they'll be on your side and will help get their department on board.
Legal, marketing, and operations tend to complain about being brought on board too late. Developers complain that they don't get to see the big picture for the project, things like business justifications or customer needs. Planners tend to be upset about time delays caused by poor initial estimates. Help them see how the one week of their time replaces endless meetings in the future and leaves everyone in the room on the same page. Having everyone in from the beginning lets ops, legal, and marketing flag any issues and start planning much further in advance.
Developers can see the business or regulatory reasons why things might have to be built a certain way, so they can think about the technological requirements more clearly. This also leads to better time estimates for each area of the work, so planning gets off to a better start, too. What you're doing in these meetings is selling the idea of design thinking. You're picking up on the thing that hurts each individual the most and showing how design thinking can help with that. As you get more people on board, you can mention that in each of your subsequent meetings.
The very fact that other groups have agreed to take part will make it easier for you to convince people to participate.
In this course, Chris Nodder explains where design thinking fits into product development and what it can help you achieve. He describes each step in the process, from identifying the problem you want to solve and brainstorming solutions, to prototyping, development, and release. Learn about the pros and cons of this approach and how to overcome challenges such as organization inertia and silos. Done right, design thinking can start your organization moving toward broader user-centered design techniques such as information architecture, content testing, usability testing, and marketing research.
- Agile, lean, and design thinking
- Preparing to sell design thinking to your organization
- Finding the real problem
- Correcting course
- Offshoring and outsourcing
- Getting past organizational inertia and silos
- Tracking your success