Barry Avis CQP MCQI, CMgr FCMI, Regional Quality Assurance Lead at UKI AECOM, tells the CQI about the CQI South Anglia branch event: Design thinking workshop

Holly Checkley, Principal Project Assurance Engineer at Leonardo MW Ltd, and South Anglia branch committee member, presented a ‘design thinking workshop’ for the CQIs’ South Anglia branch members, on 16 May at the Anglia Ruskin University, in Chelmsford, UK.

She introduced the concept of ‘design thinking,’ highlighting the benefits of this ‘human-centric’ approach when used with other more process-based approaches such as Six Sigma.

Checkley provided some real-life examples of how this approach has been used in organisations such as Air BNB and the Centre for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology in Boston.

Attendees split into two groups and worked through a generic problem to see how to use the various ‘problem space’ techniques, such as ‘brain dump’ and ‘charrette’, before moving into the ‘solution space’ techniques, which looked at solutions based around individual human experience to avoid implementing solutions that do not work in the real world.

Key learning points from the event were that the design thinking approach focuses on people, to ensure products and processes are not only technically feasible, but also desirable to end users – something so often forgotten, when looking at problems from a purely technical viewpoint.