Design Thinking and B-Y-O-S

Design Thinking and B-Y-O-S

Design Thinking and B-Y-O-S

A lot of people are interested in Design Thinking.  But what exactly is design thinking?  This video from Harvard Business Reviews gives a simple explanation.

In the video, it talks about the 3 stages in Design Thinking in simple terms:

  1. Invent the Future - What customers want but don't have, by immersing yourself into in their lives, observes and ask questions about their behaviors
  2. Test the Ideas Out - Use iterative prototyping and conduct experiments to see how customers respond, and make adjustments accordingly
  3. Bring it to Life - Got the final winner, identify the opportunities, capabilities and necessary resources for launch - sales and marketing

Stage 1 & 2 is exactly what BYOS practice is about in the area of digital solutions, therefore it is also a matter of innovation.  Since learning & practice of BYOS does not require technical background, it eliminates the high entry barriers for the ideation and experience, and can be used as a tool for designs and experiments, and enables the iterative prototyping process.


Iterative Prototyping is BayGO

For the same reason, this BYOS methodology was practiced by the author to build real life digital solutions for businesses and for knowledge management, and surprisingly found 80% of the chance that we can come up with a satisfactory solution on our own.  The iterative prototyping process, which the author also describes as BayGO (Build-as-you-GO), is an important part for innovation.  Thanks to the world of well established open source and cloud resources ecosystem which makes it possible, and allows us to apply in our practical needs.

In real life practice, once the knowledge and skills of BYOS has been developed, the cost is absolutely nothing.  Cost of a server is only a few USD per month, and can be easily deployed on cloud platforms.  The rest is a matter of ideas, prototyping, experiments and launch.  But it does not stops there, because more ideas and needs will be generated and discovered, and it is actually a matter of continual improvements.  When users acquire the skillset, it becomes their personal tool same as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but extended from the individual area in their own computers into networked systems and online applications, which connects to other people.


Tools to Go Beyond the Boundary

Without such a tool, we are limited to ideas in our brain, where we cannot go too far.  With iterative prototyping, we can go much much further because we can go one step at a time.  In this manner, everybody can innovate depending only on how far or how deep he/she wants to go.  Another important advantage is, when things can be laid out by prototyping, it becomes visible which further enables our brain to go in a much wider scope, or to collaborate with other people.  Essentially it empower ourselves with better visualization.

With this experience, the BYOS workshops are designed to develop this skillset, but with focus on digital solutions in real life.  It is not a technology workshop, which is difficult for most non-technical people.  There is a substantial gap between technology and real life as we already learned in our experience.  The BYOS workshops are designed to work for people without technical background, and there are distinct advantage in that.  The beauty is to start thinking from the perspectives of novice users differ from IT people and come up with solutions designed by users vs designed by IT.  In the workshops, emphasis are put on real life business analysis, system and process design.

It is a good career and personal development for the individual, because it drives for the mindset towards digital transformation, which is a worldwide trend anyway.  For the organization, there are both advantages as well as challenges. The ideas of allowing systems to be developed by normal business staff might not be easily accepted by the IT departments who are in charge of IT security and overall integrations.  Of course this is their areas of expertise too which non-technical users cannot easily catch up with their knowledge.  It requires an open-mind, and determinations of actions.  But isn't that also how innovations evolve too?  In such situations, small projects with well defined scopes can be considered first.  In small organizations, this BYOS practice might be an excellent choice to start with for digital transformation of their internal IT solution needs, by having a few staff start learning and practising.  The company enjoys low cost and tailored digital solutions designed and fitted to the actual office and business environment, and most importantly, not to change existing well established business workflows and practices.


The Process

In the second video attached, it introduce the process of Ideate - Prototype - Test, which is also the methodology used in BYOS.  Perhaps this also outline the difference between a novice user and an IT professional in designing a digital solution.


and in the BYOS workshop, we emphasize the importance of business analysis.  That we talked about different stakeholders, and apply sense-making and observations.  This cope with what described in the second video on Empathy too for a successful  project.

and the summarized design thinking process is same as our recommended BYOS process: