Applying ‘Design Thinking’ to Alpha’s projects

Design Thinking is a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients. It is a human-centric approach, drawing upon empathy, imagination, and logic to foster organisational innovation.

Often, we see our clients turn to technology to fill gaps or to satisfy their desire for innovation, but whilst technology may form part of the answer, there is a risk that it may not fulfil unmet needs, leading to a disconnect between staff and technology. Rather than focussing on vocalised problems, and looking for a technology which can solve for these, the Design Thinking approach involves observing staff, clients and processes to discover unmet needs and generate inspiration for opportunities and innovation.

Through applying Design Thinking to our strategy projects, Alpha runs not only traditional requirements-gathering processes, but will also build in time to understand the business context, motivations, and goals, in order to identify unmet needs. Our clients are already starting to see the benefits of this approach in some of our ‘Sales Effectiveness’ programmes.

 

Key benefits to our clients and projects:

Minimise scope creep:

By investing more time in requirements gathering, stakeholder interviews, and general observations of processes in the pre-design phase, all functional requirements can be elicited early on. This prevents surprise needs or problems arising at a later point in the programme.

More comprehensive requirements:

Applying a Design Thinking approach to requirements gathering involves early-stage stakeholder interviews, clearly defining scope, engaging cross-functional stakeholders, and facilitating Design Thinking workshops. This not only increases the speed of requirements gathering, but also allows more effective management of the end set.

Increase agreement & buy-in:

Early participation from cross-disciplinary stakeholders, multiple iterations of solutions, and a more quantitative approach to validating decisions ensures a greater buy-in of the end product, whether it be process design, business strategy, or a set of requirements.

“Our clients are realising that creative thinking isn’t anathema to the Asset Management industry – Design Thinking can function as a roadmap for innovative, user-centric change”

Neil Curham, CMO