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DESIGN FROM WITHIN

Embed Human-Centered Design Within Your Organization

A Medicare Services (CMS) Quality Improvement contractor partnered with Accenture Digital Services to provide an immersive human-centered design (HCD) experience for Quality Improvement leadership.

The goal of the partnership was to enable and empower leadership to learn and embrace HCD mindsets and methodologies through project-based learning workshops.

The actionable design opportunity the team was tasked to address was:
How might we inspire and enable nursing homes to collect accurate real-time data, ​so that QIOs and nursing homes can measure the effectiveness of medical interventions and make changes in a timely manner?

DESIGN FROM WITHIN TRAINING FORMAT

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Learn foundations of human-centered design practice

Develop research questions and research plan. Define ecosystem under consideration. Expand ecosystem to include ‘edge cases.’ Identify similar ecosystems and research what is being done in those spaces.

Design thinking methodologies are very different from the scientific methodologies I have been trained as a medical professional to use. I love how design thinking forces us to think beyond what is right in front of our face, and opens us up to new possibilities.

Workshop participant
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Reinforce by doing

Execute research plan under careful guidance of trainers. Make a ton of mistakes and hold postmortem analysis of what happened and why. Dust yourself off and try again (hey, this is getting to be really fun—I’m getting good at this!).

I have spent my whole career in nursing homes. So it was difficult for me to look at a nursing home with “beginners eyes.” But with practice, I found myself noticing behaviors and needs I hadn't noticed before. And that is when new opportunities began to emerge.

Workshop participant
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Design and facilitate co-creation session

Synthesize your research and develop the workshop’s “How might we?” questions. Plan which members of the ecosystem need to be in the co-creation session. Design activities to elicit solutions to the “how might we” questions posed during your research synthesis.

It was frightening to let go of control to the group. I am glad I did. The group was so much more knowledgable than me. The solutions were fantastic. Not one idea was wasted.

Workshop participant
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Integrate design thinking methodology into your daily practice—train your team

Find opportunities to use the methodologies you have learned within your teams practice. Teach your team to train others. Create a culture of innovation.

I find myself using the tools you taught us in every one of my teams meetings. These tools have made us a stringer, more unified group.

Workshop participant

DESIGN WITHIN TRAINING APPROACH

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING 

Provide an immersive learning experience as they adopt design thinking and HCD mindsets and methodologies and learn to apply HCD to tackle challenges facing Quality Improvement professionals. 

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COLLABORATION 

Enhance design thinking skills across the organization through immersive workshops and by introducing human-centered design methods to projects.

Learn to apply sustainable design thinking methods that have high impact across the organization.

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GUIDANCE 

Gain confidence to tackle tough problems using human-centered design with ongoing support from design professionals.

Provide timely assistance, on-site support at critical milestones and remote guidance on project work. Experts to support and bolster deliverables. Instructors and mentors that will create a toolkit to help evangelize design thinking use across the organization. 

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DESIGN FROM WITHIN TRAINING CONTENT

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DISCOVER

The first step in the human-centered design (HCD) process is defining an actionable design opportunity, as it sets the tone and guides all of the activities that follow. In the discover phase, we form an actionable problem statement by asking “How might we...?”

The “How might we?” statement used in our Design from Within workshop was, “How might we inspire and enable nursing homes to collect accurate real-time data, ​so that QIOs and nursing homes can measure the effectiveness of medical interventions and make changes in a timely manner?”

After our actionable design problem has been defined, the next step in our process is to create a sense of empathy towards the people we are designing for, by gaining insights into what our users need; what they want; how they behave, feel, and think; and why they demonstrate such behaviors, feelings, and thoughts when interacting with our services in a real-world setting.

TOOLS EXPLORED
Actor Mapping
An actor map depicts the key organizations and individuals that influence a service, which provides deep insight into the players within our system.

Ecosystem Mapping
Ecosystem maps graphically represent the web of actors and their inter-relationships in order to provide a systemic view of our services and the surrounding context.

Journey Mapping
Journey maps illustrate the stages actors go through when interacting with our services.

Team Accomplishments
Teams developed a research plan, listed who they would interview and the observational visits they planned to make. Partner teams then identified secondary research sources to contextualize their research findings.

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DESCRIBE

In the development phase, prototypes (a preliminary model of a service or product) are created. Prototypes help determine how users interact with our services, reveal new solutions to problems, and help the human-centered designer to build a more robust understanding of the real-world issues users may face when interacting with services.

For service design projects, we develop prototypes in the form of concept posters that we then resonance test with users. We then gather feedback from users and revise our prototypes to reflect the feedback received in our user testing sessions.

TOOLS EXPLORED
Affinity Cluster
We form thematic clusters that reveal commonalities and patterns based on a collection of our interview notes, observations and secondary research.

Themes
Our affinity clusters reveal common themes in our findings. We capture those themes and evaluate them against our research questions. Our themes are then further refined for use in the brainstorming section of the design phase.

Mindsets
Mindsets explore and uncover the range of emotional and physical motives our users posses and the barriers they may face.

Team Accomplishments
In the describe phase, the teams synthesized 21 interviews, 7 site visits, 43 research papers and 4 observational visits into 16 themes and 12 mindsets.

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Co-Creation

The designing stage is when we use creativity and innovation to develop solutions. By expanding the solution space, we are able to look beyond the usual methods of solving problems to find better, more elegant, and satisfying solutions to the issues that influence our users’ experience of the service we’re exploring.

In this stage, we invite those who will use, implement, and support the solutions to the problem to join us in co-creation. By involving the users and stakeholders in the creation process, we design services that are more relevant to our users, and solutions that our users and stakeholders are invested in.

TOOLS EXPLORED
Brainstorming
We identify the core subject of the brainstorm—our opportunity statement. We defer judgment, encourage our team to come up with their own ideas that sprout from other members of the group. We provide an environment in which the team feels comfortable verbalizing their thoughts. The team then writes down as many ideas as possible in the time allotted. The team then takes the best ideas and develops plans which became progressively more refined and targeted towards our central issue.

Reframing
We create frames for what we experience, and those frames inform and set up boundaries around the way we think. To counteract the limits of our current frameworks, we brainstorm how other industry leaders would handle the same problem. This process enables us to change our perspective by shifting our field of view and unlocking a vast array of new solutions to our service-design problem.

Prioritizing
We review our ideas and analyze the patterns that emerged in the brainstorming sessions. We choose ideas that we believe would best address the problems.

Team Accomplishments
The team invited over 18 participants to the brainstorming Rumble.TM Three separate RumblesTM were held simultaneously with over 287 ideas generated during the brainstorming session. Each RumbleTM chose one to two solutions to develop further and test in the develop stage.

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DEVELOP

In the development phase, prototypes (a preliminary model of a service or product) are created. Prototypes help determine how users interact with our services, reveal new solutions to problems, and help the human-centered designer to build a more robust understanding of the real-world issues users may face when interacting with services.

For service design projects, we develop prototypes in the form of concept posters that we then resonance test with users. We then gather feedback from users and revise our prototypes to reflect the feedback received in our user testing sessions.

TOOLS EXPLORED
Concept Cards
Concept cards illustrate our service design ideas, and provide reasons why the idea will succeed and why it may fail. Concept cards also identify the necessary resources needed to successfully enact services.

Round Robin
We share-out our concept cards with each other and list all the reasons our concepts will fail. After identifying the failure points, we then solve for each failure point. We repeat this process until our concepts are strong enough to test with real users.

Concept Posters
Concept posters illustrate the new service in a presentation format. Concept posters are an effective and powerful way to promote an idea and rally support for that service’s development. Concept posters illustrate what the service is, why it matters, how it works, and what makes that service an appropriate solution.

Team Accomplishments
Teams and their users developed prototypes of their co-creations and tested those prototypes with users at two local SNFs. Feedback was collected and the prototypes were reworked to address the users’ feedback. Four ready-to-implement prototypes were designed and ready for the release phase.

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In the release stage, findings uncovered during the develop stage are incorporated. As a solution passes through the human-centered design process, aspects relating to its implementation will continue to be modified and refined.

TOOLS EXPLORED
Iteration

Testing, getting feedback, and iterating helps us bring a great service to market and will help us and our users to evangelize our new service.

Live Prototyping
A live prototype provides us the opportunity to run our service out in the real world.

Pilot
A pilot is a longer-term test of our service and a critical step before rolling it out to our potential users.

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Final Concept Posters FROM WORKSHOP

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Accenture federal Federal (FJORD) HCD Research Team
I have the world’s best team of HCD researchers and thinkers. Everyone contributed to this project and as a team, we killed it.
Chris Zinner
TJ ODonnell
Katharine Graham

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