Mariana Salgado and Pia Laulainen
This article tells what we are doing right now. We have used the maturity ladder created by the Danish design center, to map our projects. This helps us to understand how design is used in the organization and to communicate better the future direction that our work could take if we want to make the best use of design in the organization.
First of all, we have identified different areas design could contribute to development activities.
- Organizational change and training. In many cases, the training that we give relates to changing working practices. For example, the introduction of facilitation and visual tools can motivate horizontal ways of working.
2. Future thinking. This could come in relation to the development of future organizational strategies or thinking about the future of one phenomenon in relation to our work.
3. Bringing innovation in a consistent and systematic way.
4. Development of processes and operational models. For example, using visualizations to understand challenges and directing interventions to solve them.
5. Digitalization. Part of our work is to support units with interaction design-related work
6. Visual design. Visualizing a system or process can sometimes bring light to the process and support the understanding of problems in it.
When we did the mapping of projects (Picture 3), we realized that it is not a question of mapping current and past projects in order to see where we are going — but we need to include the number of resources that they involved. If our involvement in strategic projects happens on a temporary basis, the possibility to influence is limited to the time that we are on the project. Though this intervention can be positive and change the course of the project, we believe that a long-term commitment to a project (from the beginning till the end) reassures a realistic and successful design contribution. In addition, members of the project see designers as key players only if we understand the wholeness and the complexity of the project, instead of coming to do a small contribution at a certain moment. Inland designers, as companions in strategic and innovative projects, can be key contributors if the commitment is not only on a temporary basis.
These visualizations (pictures1, 2, 3, 4) were used to enrich our discussions in our bi-annual development meeting with our supervisors. The potential of Inland design’s work is still partly hindered — there is still unused potential for us designers in future thinking and in strategic innovative endeavors. Visualizations show, that there is still room for more sustainable and strategic contribution to the organization. In the next article, we will discuss the value of design in the Ministry of the Interior.