Starting with the end in mind
Inspired by the London Institute of Technology and Innovation (LOTI), the DDP has chosen an outcomes-based methodology for the programme. This method has been chosen for several reasons:
- Outcomes give meaning to problems and solutions. By identifying problems and solutions in the context of an outcome it avoids the tendency to select those that, although important, do not necessarily lead to the desired outcomes being realised.
- It avoids the simple “copy and paste” of best practice solutions that may be inappropriate in a different organisational context. Instead, best practices are seen as possible ideas and inspiration for specific outcomes that could be enabled. The programme should aim to create solutions that are tailored to the organisation’s unique structure and challenges.
- Outcomes provide an anchor when change inevitably occurs and new information is learnt. Aligning a trial and error process towards project outcomes leads to continual improvement and refinement of problems and solutions rather than endless trial and error. This mindset permits experimentation and learning from mistakes to hone solutions: a process analogous to agile development in product design.
The ‘Double Diamond’ design framework, developed by the British Design Council, structures how these outcomes can be achieved. The basic philosophy of the framework is to encourage divergent and convergent thinking throughout the problem definition and solution phases of the project lifecycle.
Problem definition involves first an information-gathering discovery phase to gain background and better understanding of the challenges faced within the organisation’s context, before condensing this information to define specific problems to be solved. Following this, solutions are arrived at by exploring and developing several options which are then concentrated down to leave those most appropriate for achieving the project outcomes.
Figure 4: The British Design Council’s Double Diamond design framework combined with LOTI’s outcome-based methodology.