Applying Design Thinking and Collaboration

by | Oct 7, 2019 | Digital Transformation

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

Just over a decade ago, Emerson announced the formation of a Human Centered Design Institute. Its goal was to:

…make products that are not only reliable, compatible and cost-effective, but also bring about a significant improvement in ease-of-use and workforce productivity.

Over this past decade, this human-centered design (HCD) approach has been applied to software, hardware, systems and solutions across the broad automation portfolio of Emerson offerings. One recent example is the MyEmerson personalized digital experience to simplify and streamline common work processes for manufacturers and producers.

Emerson’s Mary Grace Francisco and Andy Switzky, highly trained in the human-centered design practice, recently presented at the 2019 Keep Austin Agile conference. Their presentation, All the Sugar and Twice the Caffeine: Applying Design Thinking Within an Agile Transformation, introduced HCD Design Thinking as well as LEAN and Agile concepts. Here’s an excerpt from their presentation and interactive demonstration abstract:

Design Thinking explores the problem space, Lean UX tests the hypotheses that emerge from Design Thinking, and Agile builds the thing right. While this is a cutting-edge concept, there are many articles, blogs, and books that discuss these topics. During this session we will focus on how you can apply Design Thinking methods in your everyday work during a Lean UX and Agile Transformation.

Design Thinking can be used to:

  • Evaluate and prioritize (such as a Lean experiment, or an Agile backlog)
  • Gain consensus in a group (group consensus is one of the biggest challenges in a large enterprise)
  • Visualize a meeting during the meeting (minimizes waste and focus on meeting outcomes)

Grace and Andy demonstrated Design Thinking techniques using methods from LUMA and tools such as MURAL. You can see the flow of their presentation and audience interactive exercises in here in MURAL. Digital tools such as these foster collaboration without having to assemble a cross-functional team in one location. That really helps drive collaboration to achieve the ease-of-use and task elimination goals that Emerson sets for its technology and solution developments.

Here is their 42:24 recorded video of this applying design thinking presentation and interactive demonstration. It’s well worth your time if you’d like to better understand the methodology and tools to improve innovation and collaboration.

Visit the Plantweb digital ecosystem section on Emerson.com to see how these HCD practices have been put into practice across a wide range of products and solutions. You can also connect and interact with other digital ecosystem application experts in the IIoT & Digital Transformation group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.