Incorrect Identification of problemOne of thefundamental steps of Design Thinking process is ‘defining the problem’. Companiesoften fail to effectively implement Design Thinking approach in theirorganization as they fail to correctly identify the problem. In order to solvethis challenge, companies need to have un-siloed conversation within theorganization and with their customers and other stakeholders. They need toengage in conversation with not only one but multiple people.
They need to putthemselves in their customer’s and other stakeholder’s shoes and think fromtheir perspectives about what the problem could be. 2. Embracing the feedback loopDesign Thinkingis not a onetime process. It is a process of iteration of previous experimentsor assumptions in order to get the best possible solution for a problem. It isunlikely to arrive at the best solution in the very first attempt.
DesignThinking process, hence, need to have a constant loop of feedback and testingto arrive at the best possible solution. Companies often lack the enthusiasm tobuild this feedback system as it becomes iterative and time consuming.Organizations need to find new ways and angles to test their assumptions. Byembracing a feedback system, it not only helps in creating a safe space toinnovate but also it prevents companies from making the same mistakes again,which becomes more time consuming. Companies must also be open about embracingfailures. Executives must set examples by talking about test failures and embracingthe feedback loop. 3.
Building a Design CultureDesign Thinkingis a psychological mindset rather than a tool or process that can be used orfollowed to give a desired result. Hence, to inbuilt Design Thinking process inan organization, it requires personal fortitude, conscious effort, deliberatereflection, and humility to shift employee’s generally task-orientedperspective of work and develop a mindset of openness, curiosity, creativity,and a willingness to admit failure and the acknowledgement that one may notknow everything. Employees also need to have an unbiased minded and not imposetheir judgement on the problem or the solution.
Overcoming cognitive biases anddeveloping cognitive flexibility is an interesting challenge to successfullyimplement Design Thinking in an organization. Imbibing a design culture iscritical to the success of Design Thinking in an organization. 4. Measure ROI of Design ThinkingThe importanceof Design Thinking ROI measurement is to get an understanding of if the designthinking projects are valuable to the company and have the ability to take thecompany in new directions. Conceptually everyone knows that design thinkingsaves time and money, but actually measuring its impact on productivity, timeand cost is notoriously difficult. How can one measure the money that is notwasted in building a technology that would have failed? Certain companies haveadopted traditional method of measurements of Design Thinking by measuring costsavings from adoption of seamless digital content, systems and infrastructurearrived at through Design Thinking. Another method of measuring ROI is tomeasure team efficiency and satisfaction.
Companies can also similarly developa system for measuring ROI related to Design Thinking activities by measuringCustomer Feedback (net promoter scores, response to specific campaigns, usabilitymetrics, client feedback), Design Thinking Activities (number of projects,people trained, coaches trained), Quick Results (concepts finished, projectslaunched, projects funded, projects in development), Traditional KPIs(Increased Sales, ROI per project, and other financial measures) and Culture(team efficiency, engagement, collaboration, motivation). 5. Access to CustomersFor companieswhich does not have access to customers, implementing Design Thinking will notcreate any value for them. Access to customers is essential for each and every stepof the design thinking process from empathizing and defining problem to testand feedback. Organizations need to closely observe and interview theircustomers and understand who they are, what they want and how they feel.
Accessto customers is essential to get feedback on ideas, concepts and prototype andto continuously course correct and innovate. Organizations need to developdifferent channels through which employees can get access to customers andshould develop regular dialogue with the customers and keep them involved withthe company’s product and solution in order to gain an honest feedback from them.