What is Design thinking and how design thinking courses/training helps in Management/MBA Education?

Posted by: Mr. Vignes Darasan | Digital Future Blogs

Stuck or Struggling in innovating new products, here comes a systematic innovation practice “Design thinking” which helps anyone to create/innovate successful products or service.

Today’s world is evolving everyday with new technologies where there is a huge competition between businesses. To embrace these challenges and compete with the upcoming technologies, digital age managers must be equipped with creative and critical thinking skills.

Design Thinking is a study which helps managers to think systematically with creative and critical thinking skills. The major process in Design Thinking is that, it is applied to identify real-world problems and solve it by designing innovative solutions.

In other words, “design thinking can be defined as a rapid prototyping of a business model from the user problem statement to create possible solutions that can be tested if it will work or not.

Proven examples are the companies like apple, Microsoft and Google used Design thinking to create successful innovative products

> To learn more about Design Thinking, check RVSIMSR TECH MBA programme

Design Thinking demands “Your ideas should pass REAL-WIN-WORTH framework to create a successful innovation”

What is Real Win Worth Framework in Design Thinking?

a. Real

Observe real-world and identify the real problems facing by the people

Eg: “Airbnb” found a problem that is real

  • people are struggling find a place to stay while travelling
  • They feel hotels are expensive

b. Win

Analyse and find whether the problem can be addressed by a feasible solution

Eg: “Airbnb” found a feasible solution

  • Creating and managing a platform where tenants and customers interact that is technically achievable with current tools and technologies
  • No much competition

c. Worth

Do some basic financial analysis to find the viability of the product

i.e (will this innovation make some money and can be converted in a profitable business)

Eg: “Airbnb” found the business is viable

  • creates profits by earning commissions for each booking

If the idea passed REAL-WIN-WORTH framework, congrats you are a Design Thinker!

> check-out RVSIMSR’s Approach to Design Thinking

Design Thinker’s 8 systematic steps for a successful product innovation

1. Identifying Customer needs

Customer needs can be identified by Empathized Interviews and Observations from different type of users. Needs that are unknown to the customers are latent needs, this has to be identified through observations

For Example:

If a team is planning to design a new pen.

Customer need statement can be “A pen has to write smoothly”

2. Product specifications

Product Specifications must be extracted from customer need statements.

From the previous example:

A pen will be smooth in writing, only if benchmarks certain specifications like tip diameter, ink flow rate, etc with the competitors

Similarly, All the required product specifications are taken from the customer needs statements

3. Brainstorming and concept Development

Brainstorming is searching solutions for the needs, it can be done in two-ways

External: Extracting ideas from the existing solutions and online research

Internal: Creating ideas individually and brainstorm as a group where the ideas are refined and consolidated.

4. Product Architecture

Product Architecture is one of the key step in design thinking which has to be considered.

From the Example Pen Design:

If the pen is designed with modular architecture, then the refill can be replaced. It can also be designed using integral architecture where it can be used only once (sketch pens)

5. Environmental Design

Materials used to design a pen must be considered as it impacts the environment. Material lifecycle from production to distribution to usage till disposal has to be incorporated in the design document.

6. Prototype and Testing

Create different types of Prototype to study the physical and analytical properties of the product which helps the design thinking team to make better decisions.

7. Financial Analysis

A quick financial projection of investments, costs, projected revenues and profits will provide the approximation viability of the business.

8. Product Development

Finally, one has to decide the feasible product development process according to the type of the product which is planning to be development. There are lot of development processes can be followed. The most popular ones are listed below

  • a. Agile and Scum
  • b. Spiral
  • c. Staged

A digital age manager, techno managers, business development manager or an mba graduate should be able to solve the business problem by following the above mentioned design thinking framework. Finally, if the design thinking framework shows a positive sign, then the real project can be started, if it shows negative signs, it means the project is not desirable, feasible and viable, so the project plan can be dropped.

> Are you a Design Thinker Check out with RVSIMSR’s Approach to Design Thinking

Career Opportunities in Design Thinking in India/Worldwide

Each and every company has developing in-house design thinking team, Accenture has a Design Thinking firm called “Altitude” develop medical, industrial and consumer products completely using Design Thinking Approach by exploring the market and create user-centred products. One of their products is walkers for old-age people which was a huge success.

> check-out RVSIMSR’s Approach to Design Thinking

Similarly, all the big companies are keep on innovating new products and services to embrace the competition. They are looking for Skilful Design Thinkers for their challenging environment. The key advantage is that Design Thinking is multi-disciplinary that we can use this across all the industries.

Some of the areas where design thinking shines

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