Austerity driving innovation: Solutions in a time of constraints

Danny Norcross

At Sysdoc, providing innovative learning solutions is our bread and butter. We operate in an agile manner, with a dynamic toolkit that draws on a spectrum of methodologies and models to ensure we consistently exceed the expectations of our clients. One such tool comes from the playbook of human-centred design: imposing constraints. 

Imposing constraints is a brilliant way to drive innovation. After using other ‘ideation’ techniques, such as storyboarding or analogy thinking, applying a series of constraints allows us to re-imagine issues in a different context, under a new set of rules. 

We do this by asking a series of “what if…?” questions that break the design mould by altering the frame of reference. For example, if you are ideating an in-house one-month learning solution, and then constrain yourself by asking “what if I only had one week?”, you will get a very different result. 

Usually this exercise is played out in a design session, and the constraints are flights of fancy, but what happens when fantasy becomes reality? 

Looked at in this way, we see businesses weathering a global situation imposing non-negotiable constraints. 

In the learning and development field, the impact of Covid-19 means requests for conversion of traditional learning materials into quick-fire digital solutions for remote consumption are becoming the norm.  

Blog Post Image

Covid-19 “what if…?”s:  

What if: 

  • we are not able to deliver this non-essential training face to face? 
  • all participants must be at home when attending this training? 
  • it must be delivered via eLearning?
  • it has no development budget? 

Often, in times of squeeze, golden opportunities arise. What opportunities do our “what if…?”s hold for businesses? 

At a basic level, they mean businesses must revise their requests, and really consider their needs. Once-ruled-out options now become possibilities. 

At Sysdoc, we have noticed an upsurge in the desire and willingness to repurpose existing training materials. 

If a partner asks for PowerPoint presentations for their entire training audience, we might suggest using assets that provide appropriate material custom-designed for online delivery, perhaps using investment-efficient, impactful tools like Articulate Rise. 

Our mission is to continue to provide the highest-quality learning experience. 

Sysdoc believes that when you are faced with a double-edged sword, you might as well make both edges work for you. 

Latest blog posts

See all blog posts

Thinking transformative, and embracing digital

Our latest thought leadership ‘Thinking transformative, and embracing digital’ takes a human-centred approach to transformation. We believe in creating alignment of process, technology and people to enable a 'customer first' outcome.

Jon Hay

7 Habits of Highly Effective Remote Learning Designers

Designing training for the virtual environment can feel overwhelming. So many platforms, so much content to get through, so little ability to be there 'in person'.  The good news is that we’ve been doing it forever and want to share our experience with you. We hope you benefit from this blog post and enjoy designing an awesome remote learning experience.

Warren Mara, Martin Tanner, Danny Norcross

7 Habits of Highly Effective Remote Learning Facilitators

Facilitating learning in a virtual environment can seem like a daunting or even impossible task, but we’ve been doing it forever and want to share our experience with you. We hope you benefit from this article and enjoy your first remote delivery. 

Martin Tanner, Danny Norcross, Warren Mara