Before Opening the Digital Playbook, Use Design Thinking
New technologies are popping on the scene every day – artificial intelligence, Big Data, visualizations – and the rate of technology change continues to increase rapidly. You might think the best approach is to jump into Agile software development to get the new tech as soon as possible. But sometimes it’s better to slow down before you accelerate.
In a very positive way, the Federal government is transforming its approach to acquiring and building technology solutions, in part by using the US Digital Services’ Digital Playbook. It defines best practices and approaches for building software, but it doesn’t help you figure out what you should be building in the first place. However, the Digital Playbook does not guide you to hidden opportunities or pockets of innovation that should be scaled up across an enterprise. To get this level of insight, we have to get clarity on – and develop empathy for – what mission users need to execute their mission in the changing world. They know the mission best, they have instincts and wisdom built up over years of mission operations.
How do we tap into this? By applying Design Thinking before the first step in the Playbook.
Design Thinking uses a series of techniques and engagement approaches to generate a deeper understanding of the goals, objectives, challenges, and constraints of a mission operator. Mission operations, after all, is about people and technology is an aid to allow people to do greater things in their mission.
We explore new solution spaces and generate unique perspectives on long standing problems. We find unexpected connections or synergies that open up whole new ways of meeting stakeholder needs.
Through Design Thinking we may develop Personas, Guiding Principles, and even rough mock ups of potential solutions. These outputs feed right into the first play of the Digital Playbook “Understand What People Need” and give a much stronger platform from which to launch Agile development efforts.
In short, using innovation methods to understand the mission more deeply to first decide what user need is essential before we use the Digital Playbook to execute on that vision and implement solutions.
About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. As a rapidly growing company, Arc Aspicio has a bold strategy for 2016-2018 that drives growth through new capabilities in strategy, design, human capital, data analytics, information sharing, cybersecurity, and strategic communications. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude – for its clients and its great team. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.