Design Thinking Facilitation
Designing and leading co-creation experiences with companies from a variety of industries
At IBM Garage, I work with companies to align on their vision, desired business outcomes, and define a roadmap to deliver a compelling user experience.
I use design thinking practices to facilitate discussions that help clients empathize with real users, define pain points, and ideate on potential solutions. I also coach our clients in Lean methodologies to define MVPs to test our assumptions and deliver incremental value. We use these MVPs as our north star for the build phase of the project.
With the support of a second designer and an architect, I have facilitated 12+ workshops for clients in a variety of industries, ranging from a CRM software company to commercial banks to the federal government.
July 2020 – Present
IBM Garage, remotely delivered sessions for clients around the world
Enterprise Design Thinking, MURAL
I’ve delivered a variety of workshops that range in duration and purpose. Some workshops have been focused, three-hour ideation sessions, while others are comprehensive deep dives over the course of five days.
Regardless of the duration of the workshop, we use the following framework: Understand, Explore, Define. During each phase, we broaden out and diverge in our thinking to generate ideas and consider all possibilities, then converge and align on our priority areas to move forward.
We involve representatives from IT, design, and business in our workshops to get a holistic picture of our client’s business. We seek to fully understand the problem space, and ensure we are solving the right problem. In this phase, I lean heavily on my design skills to help the client create empathy maps and as-is scenarios to empathize with their users and get a clear picture of their pains. I also help the client prioritize which pain points to tackle to deliver the most value to their users.
Once we understand the problem space and have a prioritized list of pain points, I lead the clients through several ideation activities to brainstorm the ideal to-be state and potential solutions. We bring design and technical talent from IBM together with IT and business representatives from our client to generate innovative ideas that we might not otherwise think of independently; this phase demonstrates the power of our diverse teams and bringing the right people to the room.
In this stage, we narrow in on what we want to build to solve our users’ pain points. We identify our riskiest assumptions, and write MVP statements that will help us test those assumptions. We also define goals and non-goals that drive our focus during our build.
Time and time again, these workshops help our clients align a solid vision on what they want to build, why they want to build it, who they are building it for, and how they are going to get there. Design thinking doesn’t always come naturally to everyone, but it is incredibly rewarding bringing people along on the journey and watching as they realize the value of the process.
If you’d like to learn more about my specific projects, I’d love to chat! In the meantime, I’ve collected a few thoughts below:
- Getting a diversity of roles and voices in the room is crucial for success
- Often, the problem clients set out to solve is merely a symptom of a larger problem
- No amount of empathizing can replace speaking to actual users