Design Thinking: Solving Messy, Complex, and Persistent Problems

Design Thinking: Solving Messy, Complex, and Persistent Problems

Design Thinking: Solving Messy, Complex, and Persistent Problems

The private sector has long been on board with the overwhelming benefits of Design Thinking. Empathizing with the end user during iterations of creative exploring, experimenting, and prototyping results in the most successful solutions. But the Government has not been quite so quick to adapt. One arm of the Department of Defense (DoD) is working to change this.

The DoD is on the leading edge of using Design Thinking to find innovative ways to update policy in a modern marketplace with DIUx – the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental. DIUx has reached out to companies in Silicon Valley to re-vamp the way the DoD does business. Their goal is to use the latest technology to best serve the U.S. military by maximizing both efficiency and technological superiority. The goal of this unit is to find ways to adapt to the fast-paced culture of business. New ideas cannot be forced through old systems. DIUx must create a new and dynamic system to meet changing demands.

Design thinking is the best tool for these problems because it can help teams create solutions with the market in mind. Through this process, they have created a Commercial Solutions Opening – a contracting tool that helps the DoD move more rapidly when conducting business. DIUx did this by following the repeatable design guidelines in their How-To Guide.

The guide highlights assembling and empowering a strong team with the necessary skills, researching the market to find capability gaps, speaking with end users, and then developing the problems that arise into the basis for the projects. In this model, collaboration between DIUx, the DoD customer, and the potential vendor is key. This method is already showing results. In the first quarter, DIUx awarded more agreements in a smaller amount of time.

While this is just the beginning, this success proves that Design Thinking is an excellent method for solving some the Government’s more messy, complex, and persistent problems.

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.

Blog Design Thinking

Contributors

Alicia Howard |

Alicia is an Associate at Arc Aspicio. Alicia attended Old Dominion University and obtained a Bachelor’s in International Relations in 2013, and graduated with a Master’s in Public Policy in 2015 with a concentration in Transnational Crime, Corruption, and Terrorism from George Mason University.

Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

I’ll admit it, I was a little smug. After more than 20 years in the consulting business helping clients develop, implement, and integrate their strategies, I thought… “how hard could it be to do the same things for my own company – a company of consultants?” I had the commitment of my leadership, a group of talented people, and a plan and resources to grow the company. We had energy and we had a great process and tools to successful. What could go wrong?

Exploring Trends in Strategic Workforce Planning (Attract, Engage, and Retain)

Exploring Trends in Strategic Workforce Planning (Attract, Engage, and Retain)

Federal agencies have been undergoing significant transformation, requiring effective workforce strategies that can assist them in facing increasing challenges. As government leaders look for and implement initiatives to improve performance, Strategic Workforce Planning, (SWP) has become instrumental in assisting organizations to focus on their most important resource: their people

#Innovate Your Heart Out: We See an Innovation Day in Your Future

#Innovate Your Heart Out: We See an Innovation Day in Your Future

Innovation is difficult to harness for organizations of all sizes (Government and private sector alike). Replicating a process to encourage and produce innovation is even more challenging. Innovating in a structured space and time seems counter-intuitive, and begs the question: can thinking outside the box be a structured activity? Arc Aspicio recently held an Innovation Day to answer this question.

A Unified Brand Helps Serve a Complex Mission

A Unified Brand Helps Serve a Complex Mission

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), created in 2003, undertook the most significant reorganization of federal agencies since the Cold War. It brought together federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies with a focus on securing the U.S. from threats in a collaborative way. DHS pulls together five complex mission areas: preventing terrorism and enhancing security; managing our borders; administering immigration laws; securing cyberspace; and ensuring disaster resilience.

Towards Preparedness and an Emergency Management Workforce of the Future

Towards Preparedness and an Emergency Management Workforce of the Future

Grit and determination. This is what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) workforce is known for. After what is arguably the most challenging year in its history, the FEMA leadership called on the agency to enable the workforce through four elements: build, empower, sustain, and train. A key factor in creating a scalable, sustainable disaster response workforce is to foster a proactive culture, one focused on preparedness. A proactive mindset can create an environment that asks the “what if” questions that lead to more prepared response efforts.