Facilitating Process

One of the most valuable lessons from the d.school during my first trip was about process. Specifically the design thinking process.

For days we talked about process, and the steps in design thinking. Then we had the chance to practice. We all had all the information one could ever need and we still messed up the process. Five smart, and attentive university students veered way off course during a 60-minute design challenge.

We spent WAY too long defining our problem and ideating solutions. We flipped back and forth between brainstorming and questioning our initial challenge definition.

Why was our process so poor? I think it was because no one facilitated it. No one was in charge of process. Everyone was in an idea battle, and calling “time” on the “define” phase fell by the wayside.

That’s why it’s so crucial to have someone who is not participating managing the process. Facilitation is an art form, but even simple time keeping could be all you need. Process is hard. Make sure someone is dedicated to getting it right.