Une technique qui nous amène sur sur la route de l’innovation

258
Les organisations en TI ont souvent du mal à adopter des pratiques de pensée conceptuelle comme le design thinking, principalement parce qu’elles sont structurées pour résoudre des problèmes et des tâches déjà définis par d’autres, plutôt que pour générer des idées propices à l’innovation. Cet article publié dans «THE ENTERPRISERS PROJET, une communauté de pratique qui réunit des dirigeants de cette industrie, permet de mieux présenter cette technique en 10 points convaincants. J’aime particulièrement celui de démontrer par l’exemple au lieu de «prescrire» une approche.

Rappelons que le design thinking repose sur le principe d’inverser la méthode d’innovation traditionnelle: au lieu de développer un nouveau produit ou service de manière isolée, puis de convaincre ses clients de l’acheter, une entreprise crée des offres basées sur une compréhension approfondie des désirs de ses clients. L’empathie envers les utilisateurs ou les clients est la pierre angulaire sur laquelle repose cette méthode.

How to make the case for design thinking
Need to convince others of the value of design thinking? Use these 10 strategies

You may struggle to persuade the business – or even those in IT – on the value of design thinking. “Usually, both are looking for immediate, tangible results. To them, the idea of exploring a problem can seem vague, because who knows what you’ll uncover or how long it will take when you start to explore,” says Litha Ramirez, executive director of the experience strategy & design group at digital transformation agency SPR. “It is understandable since the pressure to show outcomes quickly in this hyper-competitive market are very real.”

Larger organizations can be particularly hard audiences. “The more ‘stuck in their ways’ an organization is, the more the power-brokers won’t be willing to change,” says Dean Pipes, CIO at TetraVX. “It dooms the cultural and methodological outcomes.”

People may be skeptical of something that seems to them to be a creative or brainstorming exercise only.

Some individuals may not appreciate the value of the empathy-based research methods employed in design thinking. Other people may be skeptical of something that seems to them to be a creative or brainstorming exercise only. “IT organizations, in particular, struggle with adopting design thinking-practices, mainly because they’re often structured to solve problems and tasks already defined by others, as opposed to generating ideas to drive innovation,” says Alessandro Svensson, head of the innovation lab at graph database maker Neo4j.

Some individuals may not appreciate the value of the empathy-based research methods employed in design thinking. Other people may be skeptical of something that seems to them to be a creative or brainstorming exercise only. “IT organizations, in particular, struggle with adopting design thinking-practices, mainly because they’re often structured to solve problems and tasks already defined by others, as opposed to generating ideas to drive innovation,” says Alessandro Svensson, head of the innovation lab at graph database maker Neo4j.

[ Design thinking can be a tough concept to articulate. Read also: How to explain design thinking in plain English. ]

However, design thinking can offer a real and, often, relatively immediate return on investment. Here are 10 ways IT leaders can make the case for adopting a design thinking mindset and methods.

1. Start small with design thinking

It’s ironic that some organizations have made huge bets right out of the gate, when the ethos of design thinking is ‘experiment and test.’

Organizations do not need to make big bets on design thinking to see returns. “It’s ironic, actually, that some organizations have made huge bets right out of the gate, when the ethos of design thinking is ‘experiment and test,’” says Mike Roberto, management professor at Bryant University and author of « Unlocking Creativity: How to Solve Any Problem and Make the Best Decisions by Shifting Creative Mindsets. »

“Moreover, teams do not have to embrace the entire methodology at first. They can start by focusing on certain elements of the process.” They might begin by adopting some field research or end user techniques or embracing a prototyping philosophy. “Pick a relatively manageable problem, assemble a team, and give design thinking a test drive,” advises Roberto. “Strive for a small win. Then share the story of those positive results. Win some allies and, in so doing, build some momentum in the organization around design thinking. Then move on to some more challenging projects.”

2. Manage expectations

Never sell design thinking as a silver bullet. “It is a framework for problem-finding and problem-solving. And as mentioned before, it is a cultural and mental shift, not just procedural,” Ramirez says. “So heralding it as a quick and easy fix for everything will only yield bad results and turn the most supportive individuals in your organization into cynics.”

3. Show, don’t tell

Ramirez facilitates half-day workshops with executive leadership teams to demonstrate design thinking methods and outcomes. “By asking them to use the design thinking framework, we got them thinking and talking about the assumptions and ideas they all carried in their heads about operations and processes in their organization,” Ramirez says. “More importantly, we got them to problem-finding instead of problem-solving, which they had been doing with a technology first approach.”

After such an exercise, a team can turn the ideas into a “lo-fi, prototyped concept” which will be shared with end users before finalizing it for development. “End-to-end, by using a design thinking process, the team will likely spend a quarter of the time designing with better outcomes,” Ramirez says. “This is because they will have tested and validated the problem before incurring the expense of developing a tool.”

4. Do the math on design thinking

One of the biggest benefits of design thinking is that it can save time and money. “One of the core foundations with design thinking is the concept of fast prototyping, which allows you to go from ideation to testing solutions much faster than you normally would,” Svensson says.

Articulate the cost and time savings a design thinking approach would deliver on a typical project. “Deploying a new application that hasn’t been through a design thinking approach is likely to require more deployments to achieve full adoption and achieve the expected benefits,” says Michael Cantor, CIO of Park Place Technologies. “That time can be better spent up front in design thinking, to get the design closer to its desired end state. It will also save time in the organizational change management steps necessary for deployment.”

5. Consider a negative business case

Is revenue at risk? Is employee engagement dangerously low?

Sometimes presenting the case of what is at risk if the organization does not pursue design thinking can be more powerful. Is revenue at risk? Is employee engagement dangerously low? Have current approaches prevented us from keeping up with industry disrupters? “The case for inaction is well written on the walls of dying (or gone) giants,” says Pipes. “It isn’t a fun story to tell, but it is imminent and overdue.

6. Don’t point to design thinking powerhouses

Product design companies are the power users of design thinking. But don’t use them to make your case, warns Roberto. “In many cases, those studios simply look too foreign to many large, complex organizations. They cannot relate to the work and the culture of those firms. It’s too easy for people to say, ‘We’re not like them, and thus, I’m not sure their approach applies here.’”

7. Highlight design thinking’s customer-centric benefits

“Design thinking maps back to addressing customer needs and documenting new capabilities. Another step is highlighting the benefits of including end users through the process,” says Cantor. “Agile and waterfall methods tend to focus on a product owner or a limited set of users. Design thinking is a better way to engage the user community, thus bringing benefits to deployment accuracy and organizational change management.”

8. Bust design thinking myths

“It isn’t helpful to lean into the myths of design thinking: That it is the best tool for every challenge, or that it produces faster results,” says Cantor. “Setting unrealistic expectation about design thinking approaches can doom it to failure before it is even implemented. Instead, IT leaders looking to adopt design thinking need to convey the functional and cultural shifts that will be necessary, and the realistic long-term benefits that will come from this new approach.” (For a review of the most common misunderstandings about design thinking, read 10 design thinking myths debunked.)

9. Market it as an innovation driver

“One pitfall is to position design thinking as a ‘creative workshop,’ which can make it seem simplistic and unstructured, rather than the innovation process that it actually is,” says Svensson. While design thinking fosters creativity, it also requires intentionality, focus, and discipline. “[People] need to understand that design thinking is about much more than a few post-it notes on a whiteboard,” says Roberto. “In fact, empathy-based research and experimentation/prototyping typically play a more significant role in the design thinking process than brainstorming activities.”

10. Make design thinking a means, not an end

“At its foundation, design thinking is a methodology used to solve an immediate challenge or opportunity. Because some IT and business leaders assume that design thinking is the end game, many steer clear as it is misunderstood as a protracted process that takes too much time or is perceived as continual ideation,” says Nick Brigman, vice president of digital strategy at CompuCom. “In most cases, it really becomes the genesis of innovative thinking on the road to digital transformation. Once the IT organization embraces one or two quick wins, it can unlock all sorts of opportunity.”

Source : Stephanie Overby