Our Story: Part 9 - Our Teams Tackle Complex Systems and Explore the Future: A 2018 Close Up

Our Story: Part 9 - Our Teams Tackle Complex Systems and Explore the Future: A 2018 Close Up

Our Story: Part 9 - Our Teams Tackle Complex Systems and Explore the Future: A 2018 Close Up

Our SILab helped develop “personas” to zero in on common needs and concerns. When we encountered specific questions about technical issues, we were able to guide users through solutions and work arounds. We tapped into knowledge of our SMEs for the most difficult questions. We shared feedback with software vendors on common challenges. Throughout this process, we worked closely with our client, gaining their input on interview questions and the ideal range of organizations from which to gather data. At the end of 2017, we walked through the six personas in focus groups with our clients to determine how to apply what we learned to improve the user experience.

So far in 2018, we have updated training to target the most pressing challenges and created best practices for alerting organizations. Our client has taken the information from the interviews and personas to develop a new user forum to share information across the community. The SILab continues to be a source of new ideas, helping our team and clients explore the future.

About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. Focused on innovation, Arc Aspicio provides services in strategy, design, human capital, operations, analytics and visualization, technology, and information sharing. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude, provides leadership opportunities, and explores the future. Our teams use a human-centered approach to working with clients and are flexible and responsive within dynamic Government client environments that often have new priorities and evolving missions. We thrive on these situations and promote continuous improvement and new ideas. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.

At Arc Aspicio, our clients face some of the most challenging problems there are. They respond to natural and man-made disasters, protect the country from terrorism, protect U.S. borders, and that’s just on a regular Monday!

How do we as consultants add value in such a high stakes environment? In a word—Innovation. We are constantly exploring and identifying new ideas though our Strategy Innovation Lab (SILab). The SILab provides access to experts on our Design Thinking, a human-centered method to solve problems through understanding users’ needs and then experimenting with prototypes to ultimately solve those needs holistically. We have ways we tailor this specifically to the complexity of the Government environment, anticipating needs of a wide, diverse, and demanding set of stakeholders.

In 2017, our team applied SILab resources including expertise in stakeholder outreach to better understand the challenges that emergency managers and law enforcement officials face when sending alerts to the public. Using a Design Thinking approach, we developed a detailed interview process to gather specific information on the experience of end users—how do they determine if information needs to go out to the public? What is the process for choosing which system/software they should use? Do they have established templates with suggested wording depending on the situation or do users craft messages for every event? What types of redundancies have they built into their process to make sure the information is accurate and actionable?

We searched for six months and talked to 21 organizations —from large, urban law enforcement agencies with large staffs to small rural emergency management staffed by one. We also interviewed organizations that successfully sent alerting messages to the public, ones that had faced challenges, and others that, while they had access to alerting systems, rarely sent alerts and warnings at all.

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Contributors

Anne Roberts-Smith |

Anne is a Manager for Arc Aspicio supporting the emergency preparedness mission. Anne has approximately 20 years' experience supporting government clients, both domestically and abroad in a wide range of areas including emergency response, bioterrorism, energy, and transportation.

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