For project success, who needs to be human centred design savvy?

capability transformation Mar 13, 2018
We live in an era where our largest companies are struggling for relevance.  

There are plenty of services that are simply not satisfying the consumer, nor supporting the business to stay relevant in the long term. Things like capped mobile phone plans limiting the value a customer can derive… health insurance policies providing coverage for irrelevant conditions… pay TV subscriptions with content you’ll never watch.

Fortunately (for both the customer and corporation), we are starting to see leaders with an appetite to explore the benefits of human-centred design.  In doing so, businesses are better able to take a fresh and more productive approach to the types of experiences they can aspire to provide their customers.

By designing product offerings and services with a primary focus of delighting the customer, the business actually positions themselves really well for financial success and improved market share. Setting up design teams to run projects to create new products with a primary focus on the customer experience (instead of supply chain constraints, profit motives, ...) is a really important step in building organisational capability.

Organisational capability however, with this kind of customer-first design thinking often lags behind.  Whilst human-centred design teams are charged with creating a different approach for customers, others in the company simply pursue ‘business as usual’—which naturally reduces the effectiveness of work being done.

For success in designing and delivering a service or product, human centred design capability needs to exists in AND beyond the project team. As a first step, the project team need to be human centred design savvy, but design capability needs to be broader in the organisation. Otherwise the design team and project encounter roadblocks and buy-in, enthusiasm, momentum, creativity, solidarity, and innovation suffer.

As a second step in building maturity, there needs to be a focus is on building capability, thinking deeply and understanding the human centred skills and behaviours required throughout an organisation.  

It’s essential to think not just of the design process, but of all the humans involved in each and every step of the service journey and product being offered.

I found helpful insights into this in Dr Melis Senova’s latest book, This Human. She takes a refreshing approach in exploring the types of behaviours and mindsets that become the foundation of an energised and creative culture in business.  

If you’d like to ensure your projects and delivery thrive and want to explore how to best embed this broader capability-uplift approach into your business, then join us for our Designing with People three day program.


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