Handbook

How to determine objectives

How to determine objectives

Seven sorts of design knowledge are relevant to design services. You can determine an objective for the development of specific design knowledge in three steps. Targeted development of design knowledge contributes to a greater design impact, value, and performance.

Steps to determine an objective

looks_one

Significance

Define the meaning of specific design knowl­edge to your organization

looks_two

Direction

Define an action for developing specific design knowl­edge

looks_3

Priority

Define how urgent it is to develop specific design knowledge

How to determine the significance

Valuable

The design knowledge is necessary or useful to your business (yes/no)

Rare

The design knowledge is hardly present in your market (yes/no)

Inimitable

The design knowledge is hard to copy or substitute (yes/no)

Organized

The design knowledge is available when and where needed in your organization (yes/no)

How to determine the direction

call_split

Rethink value

If the design knowl­edge is not valuable (anymore)

play_for_work

Integrate value

If the design knowl­edge is valuable but not rare

call_merge

Increase value

If the design knowl­edge is valuable and rare, but not inimitable

sync

Exploit value

If the design knowl­edge is valuable, rare, and inimitable but not organized

update

Maintain value

If the design knowl­edge is valuable, rare, inimitable, and organized

How to determine the priority

priority_high

Do

If developing the design knowledge is important and urgent to you

watch_later

Plan

If developing the design knowledge is important but not urgent to you

send

Delegate

If developing the design knowledge is urgent but not important to you

not_interested

Eliminate

If developing the design knowledge is neither important nor urgent to you

Posted by Pieter van Langen in Handbook
Sorts of design knowledge

Sorts of design knowledge

Seven sorts of design knowledge

Designers continually develop knowledge, together with customers, commissioners, users, fellow designers, partners, and other stakeholders. They acquire, generate, and transform knowledge of different sorts. One may distinguish seven sorts of knowledge for design and their interrelationships (see figure):

  • Strategy: the plan to accomplish design goals.
  • Structure: the way that design is organized.
  • Systems: processes and procedures of design.
  • Style: the way designers approach design.
  • Specialisms: fields of specialization of designers.
  • Skills: talents and abilities of designers.
  • Shared values: accepted values, norms, and standards for designing.
Sorts of design knowledge
Framework for sorts of design knowledge

These seven sorts almost fully correspond with the seven internal factors in the McKinsey 7S Model. Other points of departure are conceivable. But the McKinsey 7S Model turns out to be well applicable in practice. Furthermore, it is known among many managers. For a brief introduction to this model, see for instance Strategic Management Insight or Investopedia.

In practice, the sorts Systems and Style may be hard to distinguish. For instance, a design team is likely to define style in terms of the processes and procedures the team members have agreed to follow. In such cases, you may conveniently combine the sorts Systems and Style into one sort, System.

Framework

Together, the seven sorts form a framework. It provides a structure for analyzing a design practice and advising on the development of knowledge for design. On the basis of this framework, the following conclusions can be drawn:

  • Multiple sorts of knowledge are of interest for design.
  • These sorts of knowledge are mutually related and interdependent.
  • For design, it may be necessary to develop different sorts of knowledge at the same time.
Posted by Pieter van Langen in Handbook