Train-the-Practitioner Certification Programme – Unleash

Train-the-Practitioner Certification Programme

December 2018

Train the Practitioners HKDC X LUMA Certification Workshop 3-4 Dec 2018

Lead Facilitators: Gavin Pryke and Anjali Kelkar, LUMA Institute

Digitalization (technology) changed interactions, the pace of change increased, and we have rising customer expectations. Design as a strategic tool helps corporates become more competitive, governments become more efficient & effective, and NGOs more impactful. As Herb Simon, the Nobel Laureate, said, “Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.” The following behaviour traits are important for design thinkers:

  • Questioning: be an effective problem framer
  • Empathetic: seek to understand people
  • Imaginative: explore a variety of concepts
  • Iterative: fast & frequent solution iterations
  • Visual: use visuals to explore & share ideas
  • Collaborative: leverage different perspectives and talents to create solutions

Design Think Process & Tools

Stakeholder Mapping

  • First go broad, then narrow down
  • Represent groups of people using different symbols.
  • Draw key people bigger.
  • Show relationships with arrows with actions.
  • Add speech bubbles on key people


  • Record: note-taking, video filming
  • Use an ice-breaker (warm-up questions)
  • Ask open questions
  • No leading questions
  • Suspend judgement
  • Listen 90% of the time
  • We want to go deep. Ask 5 Why before moving to the next question
  • Close with: “If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change?”

Contextual Inquiry

“What people say, what they do, and what they say they do, are entirely different things.”
– Margaret Mead, Anthropologist

Contextual inquiry is an approach to interviewing and observing people in their own context. It reveals what people actually do and say.

  • Show people you want to learn from them, and people will be happy to teach you
  • Ask people “Show me how you… “
  • Record in videos, notes, photos, audio, etc.

Fly on the Wall

An approach to conducting field research in an unobtrusive manner.

  • Make efforts to blend in
  • Look at the situation from different view points

Walk a Mile

A way of building empathy for people through first-hand experience.

  • Use props to help you recreate conditions of different experiences.
  • Ask an observer to help you capture findings

Journey Mapping

A way of mapping a person’s journey through a set of circumstances or tasks. It summarizes the current state of a situation. Emotional journey map is a visualisation of the intangible experience.

  • Select an experience and document it in detail.
  • Be specific when describing the experience
  • Focus on points of disproportionate impact: positive points reveal what to keep, and learn to apply elsewhere; negative points reveal improvement opportunities

Rose, Thorn, Bud

A technique for identifying things as positive, negative, or having potential.

  • Codify your notes using the color code: pink for positive, blue for challenges, green for opportunities
  • Keep one observation per post-it.
  • Write a full sentence (not just one word).
  • Limit time and discussion during this activity.

Affinity Clustering

A visual technique for sorting items according to similarity. This collaborative activity builds a shared understanding, reveals patterns and helps identify insights.

  • First download your data onto post-its, keeping one caption per note. Then put together all post-it notes from everyone, so that they belong to the entire team – not to individuals.
  • Keep one conversation at a time: each person takes one post-it note and reads it out loud, then add it to the post-it wall, clustering similar notes.
  • You may split, merge or reshuffle post-its if needed. Then create headline statements to describe each of the clusters found.


Define/Redefine the Problem with How Might We …

An approach to phrasing problem statements that invites broad exploration:

  • Don’t embed a solution.
  • Don’t be too broad.
  • Provoke and challenge (don’t define specific targets)
  • Use metaphors to transmit relevant attributes
  • Transfer agency to the other party (e.g. HMW make customers ambassadors of change? – instead of HMW convince customer to…?)
  • Use voting to pick the best statement starter, which you’ll later use for brainstorming.

Creative Matrix

A format for sparking new ideas at the intersections of distinct categories, used to structure and focus a brainstorming.

  • Time-box brainstorming activity (max 15-20min)
  • Do it individually: avoid group thinking, HiPPO (highest paid person opinion), and loudest voice
  • Each person gets a post-it pad & pen
  • Keep one idea per post-it
  • Encourage drawing ideas
  • Reward quantity (over quality) of ideas
  • Avoid early judgement
  • Keep silent: do not discuss nor integrate ideas yet
  • Create a grid (max 5×5) where: columns define ‘People’ categories (market segments, touchpoints, problem statements,…); rows define ‘Solution Enablers’ (emerging tech, cultural drivers, trends, …)
  • To spark ideas, think about organizations or people that inspire you. What solutions would they create?


Impact/Difficulty Matrix

A quad chart to plot items based on relative importance and difficulty, to help prioritise items quickly.

  • From your brainstorming, as a group review all ideas, and chose a few ideas that are bold (inspire you), impactful, and scare you a little.
  • Map the ideas on the impact/difficulty matrix: first map horizontally the lowest and the highest impact ideas, and then map the other ideas. Now map the ideas vertically according to their difficulty.
  • Without moving post-its, group similar ideas through bubbles or arrows.
  • You may combine and name ideas.
  • Divide your matrix in 4 quadrants: Targeted, High Value, Strategic, and Luxury


Concept Poster

A presentation format illustrating the main points of an idea.

  • It’s an alternative to ppt to present ideas
  • It’s a collaborative work of the entire team
  • It should include:
    • Name of your idea and concept tagline
    • Short summary of the idea
    • Key stakeholders
    • Illustration of the idea (picture or diagram);
    • Why it may fail?
    • Development timeline
    • Key features & benefits
    • Measures of succes

Concept Poster

A form for people to give and receive constructive feedback.

  • Start by presenting your idea – describe what has been done and why.
  • Give reviewers the opportunity to ask clarifying questions to fully understand it – no feedback yet.
  • Ask for feedback, allowing one voice at a time. Ask first for positive/warm feedback, then challenges/cool feedback. Then close by asking feedback on opportunities/suggestions.
  • Feedback is a gift. Don’t defend yourself. Say ‘Thank-you’ and take the feedback post-it note.

Voting on Ideas

A quick poll of collaborators to reveal preferences and opinions.

  • Give each collaborator post-it notes as voting tokens.
  • Give 1 post-it note to vote on the overall vote, and 2 different color post-its (or page tags) to vote on favourite aspects/details among all options.
  • Have presenters describe each concept.
  • Everyone should vote simultaneously.

Story boarding

A series of images showing the key elements and interactions of a new scenario, to explain your idea to others.

  • Make a poster with a few blank rectangles, explaining how your idea works (beginning, middle, end)

Rapid Prototyping

Rather than learning to make, make to learn. A rapidly built model of a new idea that approximates its appearance and behavior.

  • Prototype to get feedback early, because:
    • The more time you spend on an idea, the more you’ll love it, and your ability to take feedback decreases.
    • The closer to the launch, the higher is the cost of changes to the design.
  • Identify first what you want to test, consider what you want to learn, and then prototype that aspect.
  • Ideal sample size is 6-12 people, as the learning gain won’t change with more people. More importantly, ‘Who’ you sample is key – get rich perspectives.

Think Aloud Testing

A testing format where people narrate their experience, while performing a given task.

  • Ask people to say out loud what they are thinking while they are performing a task.
  • Remind people that you are not testing them, you are testing your prototype/idea.
  • Keep quiet and listen carefully. Don’t ask questions before the end of the test.
  • Don’t correct people, and don’t do a demonstration – you want to see how people think and react.

Implementation Tips

Q: How to convince other people at work to use Design Thinking?

A: First apply these methods on what people care about, without telling them that what you’re using is design thinking. Once they see the results and get interested in knowing more, then you may share more about it.

Q: How to start applying it?

A: Start by practicing these techniques on small individual/ personal tasks or projects, to build your experience. Once you’ve build your confidence with using Design Thinking methods, you may start using them at work.

Note: Design thinking methods described in this post are from the LUMA System of Innovation