‘Rowing harder doesn’t help if the boat is headed in the wrong direction.’ – Kenichi Ohmae.
Ohmae’s words beautifully sum up the importance of having a business strategy, and its role in the outcome and success of plans and goals. So, you may have a killer design for your upcoming website/app, but do you have a strategy? Do your design plans align with the objectives of your business?
While having just a corporate strategy is the conventional method that most businesses identify with, what you need today is a design strategy. This is a term that describes the nexus between design thinking and corporate strategy. The adoption of this methodology is going to provide you with a solution-based approach. It can help engage the end-users and solve usability problems.
Now, let’s take a look at the nitty-gritty of facilitating strategic planning through design to take the success of your project to the next level.
How can strategic planning be implemented in design?
The creation and execution of a strategy is both an art and science. Similar to design, a strategic mindset is improved with practice over time. When it comes to the implementation of strategic planning in design, you can follow this framework:
The first step is to gain an in-depth understanding of your project. The understanding has to be in a holistic manner and it can include an analysis of the opportunities, constraints, and seeing the bigger picture of the design project through the lens of your business.
The next step involves making sense of your project in terms of the business and design objectives. The result of the project has to be tied to the goals of the business.
At this step, you need to ask a lot of questions to learn the milestones and tasks that need to be accomplished so that the core objectives of the business are supported directly. One of the most important questions to ask here is who you are designing the project for.
By now, you have all the analysis and understanding of the design and business aspects of your project. It is time to act on the strategy. For this, you have to get your entire team as strategies through design work best in collaboration.
Checking and monitoring
During the design process, you are going to accomplish a few tasks. So, it would be wise for you to keep on monitoring and reassessing the effectiveness of the accomplished tasks to ensure that you’re going to achieve the intended objectives and goals.
Strategic planning through design is a process that may seem challenging at first. But, the creation of a strong bond between the managers and the design team will facilitate the success of your project.
What are the advantages of strategic planning through design for upper management?
With a tactical mindset and the ability to combine business strategy with design; the upper management of an organization stands to gain the following benefits:
With the application of strategic planning to design, you can better align your project with the needs of your customers. Also, this will make sure that your design team doesn’t have to make multiple revisions or waste time on a design that simply won’t work. As the efficiency goes up, you can complete your project within the stipulated timeline and within budget.
When business goals are aligned with design, it paves the way for better and stronger relationships between the upper management and design team. This fosters cohesive thinking and a quick turnaround time for all future projects.
Collaboration is strengthened when strategic planning is facilitated through design as the entire team of focused on achieving a single goal. Both the upper management and design team will be working toward a common outcome.
The results achieved through the collaboration of the managers and the design team last long and the benefits pour into future projects as well.
Now, let’s focus on how to facilitate strategic planning through design.
The stages of strategic planning through design
Identifying problems and solving them
This stage is dedicated to collecting data regarding the problems with your project and/or company. It might even include an analysis of your business goals, the available resources, and much more. Once you’ve identified the issues, you need to solve them before you can start designing your project. This way, you can save resources from being sent unnecessarily.
Ideation and brainstorming
Now that the problems are solved, it is time to ideate and brainstorm the design part of your project. Moreover, this is the time to look for ways to align it to your business objectives. For this, you can make use of visualization tools to map the interaction between various areas. From this viewpoint, ideas are not generated restrictively, but creatively.
Creating prototypes and seeking feedback
The initial prototyping is typically going to be a low-cost materialization that is going to illustrate your idea so that it can be presented to people for their feedback. This can help managers filter the designs that best suit the project and strategic objectives of the company.
The feedback received on the prototype will allow you to make the necessary improvements to your project.
Planning the execution of ideas
To plan the final execution of your project, you can make sure that there are checks at every stage to ensure you meet the macro and micro objectives. Also, the management should periodically carry out assessments. After each cycle of checking and strategic planning, all teams comprehend their role in the delivery of the business outcomes. By involving design and strategies as part of the plan; you can execute your ideas and meet all the objectives of your company and project. This is an intangible gain, and therefore, businesses usually don’t see its value.
So, this is how you can implement strategic planning through design. For more information, you can reach out to Divami. You can even check out our portfolio to see how we’ve strategically partnered with clients to aid them to achieve their business goals.