A two-day course in design thinking taught me that a team is more than a group of people and that in our aim to reach our goals, failure can be a positive thing.
“There is no universal best DT process model, the choice innovation managers make depends on their disciplinary background and their personal taste.” says Katja Tschimmel in her article about Design Thinking process models and tools (Tschimmel 2012, 11). And this is also what she tells us listeners during our first hours of Design Thinking course (Design Thinking 2017). The decision of choosing of an appropriate Design Thinking model is influenced, among others, the characteristics of the task in question, its context, the composition of the team and its dynamics, the number of designers involved, and the time available for the process (Tschimmel 2012).
By Jeffrey Allen
25 Sep, LONDON – For the past seven years, I’ve designed and managed projects to improve lives in developing countries, focusing on education, health, good governance, human rights, agriculture, employment, the environment… everything that impacts people’s quality of life. It’s a wildly complex field, where managers have to understand business, sociology, communications, technology, innovation, politics, psychology, and more if they’re going to be successful.
I spent the first several years just getting my head around the basics, learning on the job, by trial and error, and by soaking up what I could from those around me. Before starting the job, I had observed international development work – mostly from the outside – for more than six years as a journalist remixing stories published by organizations working in the field. Looking on through my outsider’s lens, I was consistently impressed by the work development practitioners did every day to make lives better and open opportunities for billions of people in difficult circumstances across the globe. Continue reading
The Design Thinking course on September 2nd-3rd 2016 was very illuminating. Doing Design Thinking by following a specific model really shows how much work should be put in design work itself from exploring to implementing. Doing the same thing over and over again with different methods (moodboard, brainwriting etc.) truly opens up new ideas during the process.
We started our service planning from one idea and through all the steps ended up in something different. Continuing the process further and with more time would have, in my opinion, led to another outcome. Doing so much work in such a short time really doesn’t give space for ideas to develop by themselves.
The difference in similarities
During the lessons we learned especially the use of the Evolution 6² model, which has more stages than other models discussed in class and in the paper Design Thinking as an effective Toolkit for Innovation (Tschimmel 2002). Nevertheless, all the models can be, more or less, divided in three main stages: first you have to learn the problem (through observing, exploring, understanding, defying etc.), then you develop an idea/ideas based on your observations (through experiments, ideating, reflecting, elaborating etc.) and finally you’ll find a solution that can be made available to public (through prototyping, testing, implementing etc.).
Brainwrite instead of brainstorm. Why? No need to feel ashamed of saying something idiotic out loud while you can write it on a Post-it anonymously.
Do you use pharmacy services only when you are sick or have a hangover? Traditionally pharmacy has been seen as a place taking care of sick people. Now the focus is turning also towards healthy people who want to take care of their well-being. The focus is on the well-being.
Mr. Mikko Koivisto a leading service designer from Diagonal told about the process how they managed to renew traditional business like pharmacy.
The project consisted of three parts: customer understanding, concept phase and design and implementation. During the customer understanding part many service design methods was used e.g. mystery shopping, interviews, observation, shop-along, customer journey map, personas and benchmarking.
Customers and employees of the pharmacy was involved at the ideation phase that produced new service ideas. The goal of the concept phase was to produce visualisations of the ideas and concepts discovered through research. The ideas were tested at pharmacies. The employees of the pharmacy were educated to a new service concept and they took it as their own. A manual was produced to summarize all the key elements of the new concepts and services. The manual was also a practical tool to communicate the concepts to the other apothecaries of the (YTA) Yhteistyöapteekit pharmacy chain.
At the moment Ympyrätalo pharmacy offers over hundred different kinds of services. An apothecary Tiina Vaitomaa said that the most popular service at the moment is a salt therapy. It is especially common among singers who have to take good care of their voice.
Mrs. Vaitomaa told that the key to success is to do co-operation with other companies because alone it is difficult to succeed. Mrs. Vaitomaa is an exceptional brave and innovative apothecary. She advises to innovate and test new things. One of the most important thing is to find multi-talented and committed employees. In the future consume of the services increases significantly and Ympyrätalon apteekki is already ready for that change.
Text and pictures by Laura Rinta-Jouppi SID student 2014
Some people are just excellent in developing new ideas and turning them into succesful concepts. A pharmacy in Helsinki, Ympyrätalon apteekki, started its services with a totally new concept: The Pharmacy for People. A Finnish service design company, Diagonal, created this concept together with a pharmacy chain of 120 private pharmacies, Yhteistyöapteekit (YTA), and especially with the pharmacy Ympyrätalon apteekki. But all this wouldn’t have happened without the commitment and enthusiasm of one person, the proprietary pharmacist of Ympyrätalon apteekki, Mrs. Tiina Vaitomaa, and the will to be pioneers in new innovative business models by the whole chain. The process has been boundary breaking, and so is Valtomaa. She is willing to try new ideas and test them. The Pharmacy for People has won several rewards in a Finnish design, The Fennia Prize and Kultahuiput.
I got the chance to hear about this excellent concept and its service design process in the Service Design Drinks event on the 2nd of June 2015 in Ympyräntalon apteekki. The event was hosted by Mrs. Tiina Vaitomaa, the Proprietary pharmacist of Ympyrätalon apteekki.
Mr. Mikko Koivisto, the Leading Service Designer in Diagonal started by describing the service design process.
The process consisted of three phases:
1. Understanding the customer and gathering knowledge
2. Concept definition
3. Design and implementation
The first phase was done by interviews, observing, mystery shopping, visiting customers and checking their medicine cabinet, making trend analysis etc. It was done in a very comprehensive way and with a lot of collaboration with the pharmacies. One result from the first phase was that customers desire more services than what is being offered. Another main result was that suppliers had too much power and the pharmacies had become mediators. This resulted in lower contribution margins and revenue. Also more focus on pricing was needed.
A research based series of posts discussing the statement “Futures Research supports the Service Design process in multiple ways and throughout the whole process” by Minna Koskelo (LinkedIn) and Anu K. Nousiainen (Linkedin).
Part #4: We are in the Service Innovation business!
Our three (and a half) previous blog entries have been summarizing the purpose of our study initiated in 2012 and the main findings from the study including the synergies between (Service) Design Thinking and Futures Thinking, and our illustration for Futures Research enhanced Service Design process. After some more investigation (selection of 150 books and articles) and integrating the strategic business thinking into the model with Katri Ojasalo (Linkedin), (our Head of Master’s Degree Programme in Service Innovation and Design here at Laurea University of Applied Sciences) we are proud to announce our forthcoming chapter in an international Handbook of Service Innovation (to be published by Springer in early 2014). Indeed, we have came into a realization:
What we’ve done so far is not only about Futures enhanced Service Design – instead, this is the next chapter in building unique, synergistic and dynamic capabilities for Service Innovation.
Take a novel path to create new business opportunities and new value
It has been clear from the beginning of our study that Design Thinking and Futures Thinking share a strong synergy in their principles and targets. Now it is crystal clear that by combining their unique approaches in innovation process results in bright and viable business opportunities (see process framework A. below). While Futures Thinking concentrates on driving forces in complex evolving systems and alternative contexts, Design Thinking embraces the viewpoint of system constraints and people oriented solutions. Not only this powerful combination gives you options for decision making in strategic and offering creation level but it tackles the two critical challenges in today’s (and tomorrow’s) business: Uncertainty and timing in creating Value Roadmaps in the interconnected and changing world. Here, Futures Thinking helps to make uncertainty easier to approach through providing alternatives for decision making and therefore improving organization’s readiness to act. Design Thinking improves the organization’s agility to seize the change with emphatic, adaptive and deep research approach and through iterative co-designing with customers to provide desirable, feasible and viable options for solutions.