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Learn by Doing - Building a Design think Culture in 10 Weeks or Less

Ms Donna Mcrostie

University of Melbourne

In a year of transformation change for Scholarly Services at the University of Melbourne the importance of hearing and responding to the customer experiences has becoming increasingly vital. We have embarked on a bold journey to re-imaging our services and strategy from the community insights and experiences. This human centred design (HCD) approach to business decisions does however require new skills and capabilities for staff and ways of working to be embedded across our business.

This presentation will outline our partnership with Design Think experts to develop an approach over a 10 week period “in-project” or “learn by doing” taking our leadership team, strategy group and managers through training and engagement to embed HCD tools, methods and ways of working for the future and drive momentum and energy around the work with the wider team and key stakeholders. Over a ten week period staff have participated in team coaching on applying HCD skills and new ways of working. This has been scaled over a number of experiences beginning with a three-day event (boot camp) which immersed staff in an intensive deep- dive human-centred design process which focused on a strict ‘learn-by-doing’ approach, where action is the emphasis and practical exercises develop energised and con dent new design practitioners.

This was followed over a six week period of deep- dives into HCD led by a team of expert practitioners and education specialists. Immersed in a creative and dynamic learning environment, covering: building an effective design brief; Research methods and practice; Ideation; Prototyping methods; Pitching and storytelling; Team building, bonding and rituals Through this program staff were provided with the opportunity to use existing projects or real challenges to apply the theory of HCD in real-world scenarios – ensuring all participants feel ready to exercise their new skills as frequently as possible. From this intensive we have developed a “at scale” design think capability and have translated to roles and responsibilities and approached.