MDI, reflections of first semester

Over the past semester, I’ve been working on a number of client projects and exploring what excellence is within innovative practice.    As I reflect back over the past few months, the one major take-away has been how we work as a team on client projects, communication, application of strategic principles through design methodologies, otherwise known as design thinking. 

Broadly speaking, the challenge for myself has been people management.  I have noticed that my cultural experience and expectation of work-ethic practice is not always manifested or shared by others.   It is therefore up to myself to reflect more on how I can improve and share ambitions with others to ensure good working practices, and ensure we all get something worthwhile from the course.

From a client project point of view, we’ve explored all aspects of project development; scoping, requirements gathering, client interviews, stakeholder mapping, gathering research, generating insight and pitching; however in the upcoming semester I would like to explore more design methods through artefacts, like service design and service blueprinting. 

From a course point of view, I would like to explore more disruptive startup thinking; what is disruptive startups, what do investors look for in startups, and what are the challenges and opportunities therein.

There’s lots I’ve enjoyed, some that offer pause for thought and others where I’ve felt that we need to improve; but above all, this course has reinforced my own desire to explore innovational practice through design thinking, and remain resolute to my ambition to return to London armed with innovative practices that will see me better positioned against my contemporaries within the mobile app space world.

MDI, week ten and eleven

Covers: 19/11/2017 to 01/12/2017

Week 10: 19/11/2017 to 24/11/2017

During this week our teams split into 3 groups to produce and iterate design briefs, furthered our primary research and secondary research.  A small team also looked at past research in a summarised fashion. 

One of the main aspects of this week was gathering, recording and crystallising the research together.

Week 11: 27/11/2017 to 01/12/2017

During this week, our teams were in a rush to get our work together into a document, especially during the Wednesday and Thursday night so that the project would be on the deadline of 01 December 2017.  I was incredibly disappointed with the high number of individuals whom would leave early with no mention of whether they’d return.  Why they didn’t feel it was important to ask whether they could help was also very disappointing, it felt a lot like if their work was done, they’d leave.

I was also left frustrated that the people who’d champion an activity and raise areas where they were blocked on, would leave and not make sure the activity was a success or even fulfilled their original hypothesis.  

Further to this, there was work produced where I had to take more and more jobs myself; and totally mis-judged just how much editing and work that was needed to be corrected to make the secondary research more linear and logical.   

There was a number of artefacts (works) produced where I had to actually correct and check the work produced.  An example of this was the executive summary; it was a very poor representation of what the four week project we undertook and didn’t even mention why we were doing the project in the first place.

A further example was a summary of research differences was factually incorrect; and with multiple people leaving and left a skeleton crew behind really made everything quite uncomfortable and tempers were very high, especially as this document creation lasted well over 12 hours and lasted until mid-night.   

In our short presentation, I was able to summarise a position of our research basing this upon the actual outputs (design briefs), however a response back from our lecturer was the work produced seemed quite heavy and didn’t reflect or crystallise the full body of work.

To resolve this, the lecturer suggested drawing an outline of the contents and edit the document.  I was ready to draw such an outline with another team member; we however focused on doing easy-win edits and a further reflection will be undertaken next week.

During the weekend I thought it might be useful to go back to the basics, cut it down to basics; and position the whole project to the actual audience consumers: (1) the University whom want a briefing document, (2) the client and (3) the graduates whom will be consuming the outputs.

To me, this project whilst did highlight a lot of inter-personal and project management issues, that I’m confident will be improved over the next semester.