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Design Thinking Boot Camp (2 day workshop)

Design thinking is an over-used phrase and has accumulated quite a bit of misinformation in recent years. However, the original concepts behind design thinking are immensely valuable in today’s organizations as we seek solutions to complex problems. Arising from early visual design and ideation practices, design thinking has evolved over time into both a philosophy for solving complex problems as well as a concrete methodology for designing and building solutions. This design thinking course teaches you both.

During this fast-paced workshop, you will experience a hands-on journey through the design thinking process. Led by an expert with deep experience leading teams who design and build solutions in real-world environments, you and your peers will collaborate to define problems and solve them using design thinking techniques. You will learn a straightforward process for problem definition, ideation, teaming, testing solutions and applying the process of solution building in your own organizational environment.

In this Design Thinking Course, You Will Learn:

  • The components of design thinking

  • How to define users and customers

  • Distinguishing symptoms, problems, and root causes

  • How to have repeatable “a-ha” moments

  • How to define a future state for solution paths

  • How to prototype rapidly

  • Agile practices for iteration

  • Keep human qualities at the center of the design

  • Apply design thinking to non-traditional roles

Course Outline

Introduction: What do we mean by design…and what are we thinking?

  • Design thinking overview

  • How structure and process apply to creativity

  • The need to solve problems

  • Types of problems, types of solutions

  • Components of design thinking

  • Human centrism: The importance of your users, customers, & consumers


Exercise: Who has the problem? Defining the user or customer


Step 1: Framing problems

  • What’s the problem, really?

  • Discovering problems

  • Technology problems and products

  • OODA loops and backlogs

  • Distinguishing symptoms, problems, and root causes

  • Refining problem definition

  • Repeatably finding “a-ha” moments


Exercise: Select a problem candidate

Exercise: Root cause analysis for isolating and defining a specific problem


Step 2: Divergent ideation

  • What is divergent thinking?

  • Generating raw material

  • Iterating on divergence

  • Your north star: Human-centric solutions

  • Using divergence to refine the problem space


Group exercise: Rapid ideation


Step 3: Convergent ideation

  • What is convergent thinking?

  • Refinement and synthesis

  • Defining a future state for solution paths

  • Selecting solution candidates


Exercise: Revisiting your user persona and choosing the solution

Step 4: Testing Solution candidates

  • Agility: an overview

  • Advice on prototyping

  • How to prototype rapidly

  • Collecting data

  • Variables

  • Rapid testing

  • Iterating on tests


Exercise: Modeling a testing cycle and group critique


Step 5: Iterating on solutions

  • The feedback cycle

  • Agile practices for iteration

  • Measuring value

  • OODA loops again

  • Evolving solutions


Exercise: Walking through the iteration


Teaming for design and solution building

  • Applying design thinking in the typical enterprise

  • Product, service, system, or solution?

  • Teams in the problem space

  • Design collaboration

  • Prioritizing the design portfolio


Obstacles to design thinking in organizations

  • Cultural obstacles

  • Overcoming silos

  • Defining value correctly

  • Keeping human qualities at the center of the design

  • Applying design thinking to non-traditional roles

  • Engineering hurdles

  • The challenge of scale


Exercise: Preparing for scalability challenges and transitioning from discovery to delivery

Class conclusion: Charting your course

  • Expert Q&A

  • Discussion: Is your solution useful?

  • Your action items when the class is over

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