Setting up for success
Getting Started

Setting up for success

Following the project proposal document being approved the Project Approval Board will assign the project to a member of the Design and Data team to kick off the project. Using our design-led process, they will set up a project team based on the recommendations from the proposal document and bring together experts and critical friends to assist.
This phase of the process is all about putting the building blocks in place to ensure positive outcomes are achieved throughout the process.

What is the aim?

What is the aim?

Develop a plan

Identify roles and responsibilities and develop a clear plan for your project

Why are you doing it?

Why are you doing it?

Create a shared vision

Ensure the team know what is expected of them and how they can achieve the desired results

Who do you need?

Who do you need?

Project Team

Build a team with a wide range of skill sets

What is our process?

Setting up for success
Setting up for success

How did we do it?

Set up for success

Assemble your team Assemble your team

Assemble your team

It is important that you have a core project team that cover the skills identified in the Project Proposal. Identifying critical friends and experts and getting them on board at this stage is also crucial. Defining roles and responsibilities and creating a shared vision now is key.

Project management

Project management

Project management is so important in this process. Design methodology is all about understanding people. Whether you are tackling a city challenge, designing or re-designing a service or developing a product the needs and wants of all stakeholders should be central to designing your solution.

This can take a bit of time and it is important to understand the project life cycle is not the traditional ‘council’ model. More time is spent at the beginning to understand the challenge followed by fast paced and iterative prototyping and implementation. Project management is crucial in keeping everything on track.

Start well

Project Kick-off Session Assemble your team

Project Kick-off Session

Using the project kick-off session plan allows the team to interrogate the information in the proposal document and start to identify the questions they want to answer. The process helps the team interrogate the initial problem and begin to have an early look at how it might be broken into smaller, achievable problems.

Identifying gaps

Identifying gaps

As the team starts to look at the problem in more depth, early themes and questions can be developed. As these are explored, gaps in knowledge and understanding will appear and these can be used to feed the research plans and tasks.
Recording this information in a visual way and building as you go can be extremely productive.

Planning is key

Plan your work Plan your work

Plan your work

Having identified gaps in your knowledge, stakeholders you want to speak to and areas of interest it is important for the various work streams to create a plan of action. Most of our projects have a research plan, an engagement plan and a data collection plan at this stage. These are working documents that grow with the project.

Share the plan

Share the plan

Collaboration and co-design are vital elements of the process. Ensuring that every member of the project team understands the plans and objectives at the outset is very important. As the project develops, regular quick meet ups can be useful in keeping everyone up to date. If you do them at your “living wall” updates can be added and connections made on the fly.

Focus on...Initial Research

Case study in here covering the initial research done for the public transport project.

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Focus on initial research
Our lightbulb moment

Open doors...

Get senior buy in at the outset. They need to understand that this is a new way of working - explain the process, the methodology and show success. Don’t talk at them for long - get them to actually take part. Show them how productive and creative the process is. Evidence with the workshop that, with little time, a small amount of information and some creative techniques you can generate a whole host of innovative options. Imagine what we could do if we worked with their staff and clients who hold the operational info.

Crucially, make sure we capture the big picture information in this session - where are the big wins, the strategic visions and where can we join and share resources. You’ll be amazed how many previously closed doors are opened following this session.

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