The fundamental flaw of Design Thinking and how to fix it
Design Thinking is incredibly hard to scale. Especially across vertical process-oriented organisations. So what can you do about it?
First things first, Design Thinking is great. Actually I’d say it’s amazing. We use it all the time, internally and together with our client and our clients clients.
Over and over when compared to normal process oriented workflows, Design Thinking WOWs people and it delivers amazing results. Fast.
But Design Thinking has a fundamental flaw: it’s incredibly hard to scale. Especially across vertical process oriented organisations. Design Thinking relies on analog and emphatic sessions, such as physical workshops, emphatic observations and interviews. Preferably with real customers. Normally this workflow includes few participants. Those who were not taking part had a hard time to act on all the small data that was gathered. Simply put, you have to physically participate or you’ll end up being an observer.
Sure, there are tools such as digital Post-its, virtual whiteboards and digital journeys. But they get very fragmented, very quickly. You see the details but often miss the big picture. I think a lot of you recognise this frustration; how do you handle a complex multilayered master journey on a 13-inch screen. Or worse, present someone’s brown paper journey to your managers when you’ve got their attention for 5 minutes.
We lost count of the cases where Design Thinking teams have captured incredible insights but struggle to share them company-wide. Small data, that tells you the ‘why’ Behind your problems, struggles to become an inclusive intelligence source helping the entire businesses to make the right strategic decisions.
After a few years of analog workflows and non scalable tooling we thought there must be a better way to work with and scale Design Thinking.
This was the birth of TheyDo a platform that transforms the analog Design Thinking workflow into a digital collaboration platform.
TheyDo’s focus is to give everyone across the entire organisation instant access to information how their business is performing according to their customers. And more importantly what they as a customer-centric team can do about it.
Within an hour, small data that was hard to share becomes gathered and structured so anyone can access and use it in their daily work.
We believe it is possible for everyone in your organisation to apply Design Thinking on any problem, at any time, regardless if you work locally or scattered around the globe, together or asynchronous.
Bol.com, the leading online retailer in the Netherlands set out to fundamentally change the way they combine Big and Small Data with TheyDo playing a critical role.
Yesterday I listened to Marc Andreessen’s essay on “It’s time to build” and it struck me that he is a great design thinker at heart.
It’s important to understand who your customers are, and why they do what they do. With Personas, you create visual profiles of the most important customer types. This way, your team will share a common language about who your customers are.