Maybe a better title would be 'How to find out if it can be done, and if so, how, exactly?'. You decide. This isn't about getting through your list of things to do, being more efficient in your doings, but a wider picture. I downloaded a design toolkit a while back, for what sort of design I can't recall now, but possibly planning engagement consultations. That might have all the answers I am planning on posing now. I'll check when I've finished writing this, and report back.
So, imagine an idea for a local project, maybe setting up a Community Interest Company (CIC - pronounced 'kick'). Perhaps for local renewable energy production. Start with a feasibility study, of course. But that probably covers the defined aspects - where does the money come from, where do the benefits go, what about planning, other grants etc. And maybe a management structure. That's the sort of stuff you need, but wouldn't it be good if you could establish early on how likely it is that the system will work, and how?
Design Thinking. I've been a bit presumptuous in thinking that I know what that is, being a designer myself. Plus I do some thinking. The way we, as a species (designers) approach solving problems is just how we do it, almost without thinking, as it were. That process, in its entirety, might be beyond the comprehension of non-designers. I'm wondering if there is some way to distil it down to a simple & adaptable system, without losing the product. The product, in this case, being the proposal, with all details being addressed, albeit as placeholders in some cases.
The detail is the thing, of course. You need all the detail, and you need to know what 'all the detail' comprises. Detail has a hard time of it. Either loved or hated, maybe it's in need of some rebranding. There are many examples of everything working, except for one little detail that doesn't, and it all goes wrong. Or at least not as right as it might have. Someone will have decided it was a minor detail to be sorted out later, but thinking of it as minor is a big mistake.
Coming back to the example of getting things done locally, it takes people with time just to start it off. But at that stage they don't know what it could look like in 6 months, 2 years, whatever. Similar examples won't be fully applicable. What they need is a toolkit, and a project manager. From somewhere else. So the PM + Toolkit would establish a robust & flexible framework that would work right through the project. Comprehensible to all, and useful throughout.
Because if you want something to work well at a local level you need to make sure everyone can understand what its all about and give their thoughts and feelings in the way that suits them, and not get bogged down with detail. By which I mean the wrong sort, at the wrong time, delivered by the wrong person or group. Setting the framework out right at the start, on the basis of what needs to be set up by when, and how that might be done, and how to overcome obstacles, means it could be examined in terms of objectives and how they are achieved. Process and product, in design thinking. It would be a way to abstract local decision-making process to provide a more cohesive product. And maybe sidestep the amorphous impediments to getting stuff done.
Information & Communications Technology. It's all there in the initials. A while back we changed our bank because we told them what we were going to do & did it, whilst they told us what they were going to do and then did the opposite. The direct debit for one of our mobiles got left behind when we moved the account elsewhere. Either of the two banks concerned could have told us that it wasn't transferred. In fact they probably weren't that concerned. Orange however, would have found they weren't getting the money they were expecting. Being all about communications, you might think they could easily and effectively communicate the information to me by means of their own technology. But no. What actually happens is my call is interrupted and I am informed by a recorded message that my service will be restricted unless I pay soon. This always happens at an inconvenient time, say when I'm out or having to make several calls. OK, so I could set up a new DD, or set a reminder to pay monthly. But now I am annoyed and resentful. A timely text would mean I could sort it out at a convenient time in the office instead of the car or wherever else I always am. Plus, Orange would get the payment on time. Why oh why oh why...
I see quite a lot of new technologies, mostly via twitter feeds. Some look interesting, many irrelevant to me, and a few like they could really improve on some aspect of life. There does seem to be a reliance on the technology part though. Only the newest, however. One app, if I recall rightly, would remind you to get up and do some exercise at the optimum time for maximum benefit. As assessed by the bio-monitor which would read your state of body by means of the phone being in your pocket.
Today I wanted to get a quick idea of how feasible and economical it would be to have some specialist electronics designed and made up. I'm sure there's stuff in cyberspace that would tell me exactly what to do and how. Probably a YouTube channel devoted to it. I thought of calling the local Maplins for names of people to discuss it with, but it costs 50p a minute. So I did an internet search for small electronics firms nearby. The first one I called understood what I was talking about and recommended a designer. I called him, had very fruitful conversation, and got some good ideas I hadn't thought of. Estimate of costs about right for our budget. Exactly what I needed. In fact, better than I expected. All done by means of technology about 120 years old. Except for the virtual yellow pages. But the paper version would have done, if I could find it. I got to talk to a person about some kit we need. We communicated the information about, and by means of, various technology. It was fuss-free, very efficient, and hugely enjoyable (to me, at least - he might have a different view). That should be the aim of all ICT, but it rarely achieves a reasonable score in even two of those three bits.
'Mixed media' is usually seen on labels adjacent to artworks. Application of the appropriate technology - not necessarily the newest - would be well described by that phrase. And getting things done right, and well, without avoidable waste would be easier to achieve. And better all round.