Jesper Christiansen: Lab Journeys as Learning Tool for Enabling and Embedding Human-Centered Design in Government

Andrew Young — August 12, 2015

On the MindLab blog, Network member Jesper Christiansen shared some reflections on strategies for bringing human-centered design methodologies into the core functions of government. To help share the learnings gained from MindLab and other public innovation and design labs, MindLab, with support from  Design for Europe, developed a “dialogue tool inspired by service journeys often used to illustrate the concrete interaction between the citizen and the system.”

Christiansen shares the steps in the journey of a lab that could provide a roadmap for future human-centered design work across governments:

1) Challenges and premises. Identifying the main challenges and premises of the establishing and supporting the lab work. 2) Decisive moments. Concrete moments, situations and factors that had a decisive importance the opportunity space of the lab. 3) Enabling conditions. Illustrations of under which conditions and in which contexts that lab work is carried out – and the strategies and actions that could be used in that light. 4) Context analysis. Exposing the organizational and structural challenges involved in setting up and running lab work in public sector contexts. 5) Expected outputs and outcomes. Expected outputs and outcomes of the lab work – and the processes needed in order to make these possible 6) Legitimizing factors. Factors of legitimization to ensure government support and the ‘uptake’ of new ideas and concepts as well as enabling the ongoing process of capacity building 7) Future scenarios. Shared understanding of useful reference point from which to imagine the future journey of the design lab and create strategic scenarios in order to formulate realistic potentials and goals (including vision, purpose and role of the lab). 8) Strategic considerations and decisions Illustrating the concrete change and transformation processes that need to take place in order to ensure the labs existence and value-creation (including reflection on the governance model, methodological approach, activities and impact assessment for the lab).

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