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Enjoyed your post very much.

I am writing an article on the potential uses of persona in OD area. This can be "human prototyping".

Could you point me resouces that I can study more on this "practice prototyping" ideas?

Thank you.

Socks, from Tokyo Japan

Pamela Slim

Boy, this outline sure sounds great, and makes me long for my student days! In my next incarnation, once the kids are grown, I will come back and take the class. Will you be open to teaching Elderhostel at that point in your career? :)

linda m lopeke

Hi Bob,

Love the d-school approach (and your explanation). The napkin manifesto gets my support too! (So many great start out in life as notes on napkins don't they?


Linda M. Lopeke
SMARTSTART: Success-to-go for people working @ the speed of life!


An excellent answer and one that gives an overview of the course and it's process. Having had the good fortune to be involved in "standing-up" new things for most of my career it certainly rings bells. A couple of small suggestions that my be implicit already or may not fit your timeframes. As a rule of thumb it's always easier to edit than do greenfield.
The Re-engineering Revolution failed miserably for that reason - the inexperienced tried to start with a clean sheet and DID NOT understand the functional characteristics of the things they were looking at. Plus of course everyone missed the resistance and political dimensions. That said:
1. Early on you should review existing materials and outside sources on on-boarding processes.
2. And then ask two related questions:
- what would an ideal process look like (not all too often but every time from apps development to changing policy to new depts I see people LIMIT themselves to what exists and clean-up and smooth-out history)
- what's the value ? And the metrics and measures to determine things. Take an outside in look.

In this case who's the customer ? The company, the HR dept. ? NO - or not solely. It's the new employee - what minimal information do they need to get to be effective and how should they best acquire it ? And how can you lay the foundations for later learnings instead of overwhelming them ? Especially with one boring lecture delivered by one jaded and dis-interested staffer after another.
Now this may all be implicit in the way you've described things but in my mind it adds the notion of accelerating thru tapping into possible blueprints of processes. And self-organizes around the central question.

Max Christian Hansen

This sounds wonderful. However, it doesn't sound much different from the "Planning & Managing Change" course that Ed Schein taught at MIT Sloan (business school) when I was there 10 years ago.

Even so, that course, excellent as it was, would have benefited from the addition of design concepts.

Nowadays, when I see a dysfunctional business process, the word "design" pops into my head frequently as I analyze it.

Schein taught systems thinking, and that's much of where I learned to analyze the way I do. But what I didn't really figure out until after school was to always ask "if the whole biz had been designed from scratch to make this process perfect, what would be different in every part of the system?"

The result is the most idealistic (and naive) vision you can create. But asking it that way seems (for me) to make the naivete clear. I can see how far the present system is from the ideal. From there I can think clearly about how to approximate the ideal within the constraints of time, resources, and the need to preserve well-functioning processes unharmed by any changes I implement.

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