Austerity driving innovation: Solutions in a time of constraints
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.
Covid-19 “what if…?”s:
- 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.
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Jack Murphy joined Sysdoc as a Consultant in August 2021, following a career change. He graduated from the University of Birmingham, then worked at Amazon in Peterborough, Nottingham, and the north- east of England as an Area Manager. He has adapted quickly to his consultancy career, bringing enthusiasm and new thinking to the role. I asked Jack about how he is building knowledge and creating networks in his consulting role. (Geoff Hardy, Lead Consultant)