Program eXplore is the first step in the design thinking journey. The objectives of this programs are to gain a deeper understanding of the general challenge at hand and articulate it in specific problem statements. A general challenge often consists of several interrelated problems, which can be invisible and complex in nature. Misunderstanding such problems can result in costly and ineffective decision-makings. A deep insight into such problems through empathy-based approaches and action-research using different lenses can help decision makers steer their efforts towards effective solutions.
Divergent analysis followed by convergent synthesis result in specific problem statement
Program eXplore, as the name suggests, explores the 'problem space' using a human-centred approach. The human centred approach applies empathy to better understand stakeholders' needs and engages with them to gain deep insights in the challenges at hand.
The program starts by discovering the general challenge as a set of interconnected problems. At this stage of discovery a divergent methodology is used to invite data to emerge from different sources to credibly build the problem space. Methods of observations, interviews, survey and/or focus groups form part of this process. Empathy is the guiding principle in all steps. The aim of the discovery phase is to build a pool of 'problem data', which can then be objectively analysed and synthesised in the next step.
The next step is the problem definition phase. The available data is analysed and synthesised to form clusters or themes with similar attributes. This convergent step aims to use the power of specificity in articulating problem statements from a stakeholder's perspective. These specifically articulated problem statements present the design challenges at hand.
Design challenges are usually articulated as 'How might we ... so that ...'-questions (HMW-questions). Each question is specific and presents a specific problem area (or cluster). Problem areas can (and often do) relate directly or indirectly to each other. The aim of this program is to specifically articulate these problems and present them as design challenges in the solution space (Program iDeate).
*) Program duration may vary depends on the scope definition.
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