Design Thinking Can Help Homeland Security Counter Hydra-like Threats

Design Thinking Can Help Homeland Security Counter Hydra-like Threats

Design Thinking Can Help Homeland Security Counter Hydra-like Threats

In Greek mythology, a hydra is the nine-headed serpent slain by Hercules as one of his twelve labors: when any one of its heads is cut off, it is replaced by two others. This is a great way to characterize the ever-changing threat that the many agencies of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) face every day.

DHS agencies face hydra-like challenges – addressing one security risk often reveals another. From terrorism to natural disasters, homeland security risks are constantly changing and evolving. To address threats, strategies must be equally agile. The solutions must be able to comprehensively meet the needs of all stakeholders involved.

Design Thinking offers creative problem-solving methods that are uniquely suited to address homeland security objectives and counter these threats.

Design Thinking is a human-centered method of problem-solving and product design. In a human-centered approach, the impetus for all action begins with understanding the people you are trying to reach, and then designing solutions from their perspective. Empathy is vital to the Design Thinking process because it allows the designer to understand the needs of the end-user and design to those ends, rather than simply expanding on the status quo.

When applying Design Thinking methods to issues of homeland security, the first step to developing any solution is understanding the client and their goal as thoroughly as possible. For what challenge are they seeking a solution? What resources do they have? Are there unique constraints? What does the end vision look like to the client? Defining and understanding client needs is critical to success.

Homeland security is viewed as a singular large Government agency or department tasked with a broad security undertaking. However, the homeland security missions are unique because success relies on countless stakeholders. Communities, local governments, other Federal organizations, and even individuals are often just a few of the moving parts integral to a homeland security mission. Empathy for each of these stakeholders – with a key focus on the citizens and business in the United States – results in solution designs that complement the abilities of each part of the system.

Traditional consulting firms may enter the room saying “We have the solution. Here it is.” However, Arc Aspicio knows the first step in solving the problem is understanding what the problem means to each stakeholder involved. This Design Thinking method of problem solving produces the most usable, innovative, practical, and comprehensive solutions to address a wide variety of homeland security threats and challenges. Once one disaster is over, the Government must be ready for the next big event – and prevent it where possible.

A Leader’s Most Influential Tool: Gratitude

A Leader’s Most Influential Tool: Gratitude

Gratitude is one of a great leader’s most powerful tools. It creates positive energy among an organization and the sense of appreciation permeates through the work the collective group is performing. Influential leaders listen to the needs of their colleagues and express gratitude. This helps them bring out the potential in the people they lead and inspire them to achieve what is most important to them and to the project.

The Design Era of Project Management

The Design Era of Project Management

Project Management best practices and methods continue to evolve to address the biggest challenges Government agencies face in today’s market. The increased use of Agile and the move from traditional waterfall methodologies is fairly common in Information Technologies. Projects use Agile methods such as Scrum or Kanban, and organizations invest a lot of time and effort to make this cultural shift on projects.

Data: Lost in Translation No More

Data: Lost in Translation No More

The rise of Big Data technologies and data-driven approaches of business functions has created a demand for data architects and scientists that is growing by as much as 12% annually. These highly technical resources and capabilities address part of the challenge, but organizations still struggle with how to effectively use the data they have to make timely and informed decisions to improve business and mission outcomes.

Great Meetings with IT Customers in an Agile World

Great Meetings with IT Customers in an Agile World

Meetings are an essential part of day-to-day work and collaboration in every organization. There are an estimated 37 million meetings every day in the United States, yet up to 67 percent are considered failures. Sources estimate the cost of unproductive meetings in the billions and say meetings may take up 15% of an organization’s collective time.

Not Made for TV: The Critical Behind-the-Scenes Continuity Mission

Not Made for TV: The Critical Behind-the-Scenes Continuity Mission

Back in the public spotlight for the first time since the Cold War thanks to the new ABC drama Designated Survivor, Continuity of Government (COG) is a lesser-known mission in the portfolio of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Federal Emergency Management Agency. As a concept, its origins lie in the dawn of the atomic era, when the new possibility of simultaneous nationwide devastation created the need for contingency plans for the worst cases imaginable.

General Services Administration Awards Arc Aspicio HCaTS Contract

Arlington, VA December 12, 2016 — The General Services Administration (GSA) and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) awarded Arc Aspicio the Human Capital and Training Solution (HCaTS) Small Business contract on December 7, 2016. This Multiple Award, Indefinite-Delivery, Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) is a government-wide contract that was awarded to vendors in two different pools. Arc Aspicio’s contract is in Pool 2, which supports customized human capital strategy services and organizational performance improvement.