3. Ideate 

You have an idea of what you want from your workflow. You have an idea of where your current workflow falls short of that ideal. Now, it’s time to come up with ideas for solutions. 

Use brainstorming for every possible solution to your problems, regardless of how bad, 

unconventional, or impractical they may seem. Write down every idea that comes to mind. Sometimes the bad ideas can lead you to really good ideas. Don’t be afraid to challenge assumptions around how you should handle specific parts of the design process. 

4. Prototype 

You now have a bunch of ideas to solve your workflow problems. It’s time to prototype. Make prototypes for what you have come up with, and test to see if it functions, if it is feasible, and if it fulfills the need that you are dealing with. 

Then, create a prototype for your new workflow. It can include minor tweaks to what you’re currently doing, as well as any big shifts. List out the steps you’ll take for your design projects, and how you’ll tackle each phase. Get as detailed as you need to here, including any software or communication processes you’ll use. 

5. Identify the Best Solution and Implement. 

Once you have your workflow prototype outlined, you’ll need to test it. Follow your outline as closely as you can, making note of where it falls short or where unexpected problems create further bottlenecks or breakpoints. Also, make note of where it’s an improvement over your old workflow. 

When you find a step where the new workflow falls short, you’ll want to go back to the ideation step and see what alternatives you could try. You might need to come up with new ideas to incorporate into your prototype and test. If there are entirely new problems that come up with the new workflow, you may have to go further back in the design thinking process to define those new problems. 

Design Thinking is Iterative 

Design Thinking is not just another process to add to a company policy handbook. It is a far-reaching mind-set that’s only successful when people get on board and support each other. 

Ultimately, it will shape the way people approach every aspect of the business. 

So inspire exploration and celebrate experimentation. Let everyone know they are free to think big and aim further than you would ever expect to get.