Handbook ICA/RUS

In this handbook for design leaders, we share our expertise in increasing the success of design. We regularly update the content of this handbook. Please e-mail us if you have any questions, remarks, or suggestions.

Handbook ICA/RUS
Handbook ICA/RUS

Handbook part I: Way of working

The first part of this handbook describes how to increase the success of design. The method ICA/RUS that we have developed for this purpose is based on a capabilities strategy for successful product development (McKinsey, 2017). Each development step consists of three subsequent activities:

  1. Prepare the development step: define and analyse conditions for fulfilling your ambition.
  2. Execute the development step: take action towards fulfilling your ambition.
  3. Complete the development step: evaluate advances in fulfilling your ambition.

Prepare the development step

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Overview

Define and analyse your ambition regarding each design service that you want to develop:

  1. Analyse the situation.
  2. State your ambition in its development.
  3. Check whether all preconditions for executing the step are met.
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Situation

Analyse the situation of the design service:

  1. Describe its organisation.
    • Design: what is the plan?
    • Existence: is the plan in execution?
    • Operation: is the execution according to the plan?
  2. Analyse its critical success factors.
  3. Indicate its maturity (in a VRIO analysis).
    • Competitor’s advantage (if valuable, but non-existent)
    • Parity (if existent and valuable, but not rare)
    • Temporary advantage (if existent, valuable, and rare, but not inimitable)
    • Unused advantage (if existent, valuable, rare, and inimitable, but not organized)
    • Sustained advantage (if existent, valuable, rare, inimitable, and organized)
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Ambition

State your ambition in the development of the design service:

  1. Formulate a measurable objective.
    • Minimise
    • Reduce
    • Normalise
    • Stabilise
    • Restore
    • Increase
    • Maximise
  2. Indicate the intended benefit of its development.
    • Value
    • Impact
    • Performance
    • Demand
    • Results
    • Advantage
  3. Define at least one and preferably three balanced indicators to measure the intended benefit of its development, with a target value range and the current value.
  4. Analyse whether your ambition is worth pursuing.
    • Desirable
    • Feasible
    • Viable
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Preconditions

Check whether all preconditions for executing the development step are met:

  1. Describe what has been done or is being done to fulfil your ambition.
  2. Assess whether the quality of results of the preceding development steps is sufficient.
  3. Check whether all required resources for execution are available.

Execute the development step

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Overview

Take action towards fulfilling your ambition:

  1. Perform a development service to fulfil your ambition.
    • Assessment
    • Advisement
    • Realization
    • Second opinion
    • Troubleshooting
    • Management
  2. Study the results.
  3. Process obtained insights.

Perform a development service

For each design service that you want to develop:

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Assessment

Analyse competencies critical to fulfilling your ambition:

  1. Identify competencies critical to fulfilling your ambition.
  2. Compare the effectiveness of critical competencies.
  3. Assess the maturity of critical competencies in fulfilling your ambition.

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Identify

Identify competencies critical to fulfilling your ambition.

  • Development
  • Promotion
  • Delivery

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Compare

Compare the effectiveness of critical competencies regarding organizational aspects.

  • Reputation
  • Organization strategy
  • Stakeholder needs
  • Technology
  • Ethical conduct
  • Regulatory

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Assess

Assess the maturity of critical competencies in fulfilling your ambition.

  • Absent
  • Individual
  • Group
  • Organizational

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Advisement

Propose to develop critical competencies and build strategic capabilities to fulfil your ambition:

  1. Route the development of critical competencies.
  2. Unite critical competencies to form strategic capabilities.
  3. Secure strategic capabilities in your organization.

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Route

Propose how to route the development of critical competencies based on their effectiveness and maturity.

  • Apply focus
  • Refocus
  • Add resources
  • Repurpose resources

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Unite

Propose how to unite critical competencies to form strategic capabilities.

  • Invent
  • Optimize
  • Vary
  • Innovate
  • Transform
  • Adapt

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Secure

Propose how to secure strategic capabilities in your organization (in line with the McKinsey 7S framework).

  • Strategy
  • Structure
  • System
  • Specialisms
  • Skills
  • Shared values

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Realization

Realize strategic capabilities to fulfil your ambition:

  1. Execute the plan to develop critical competencies and build strategic capabilities.
  2. Track the progress and results of executing the plan.
  3. Evaluate fulfilling your ambition.
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Second opinion

Compare the results of a second assessment and advisement with the first advice:

  1. Make your own assessment.
  2. Draw up your own advice.
  3. Compare your own advice with the first advice.
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Trouble­shooting

Resolve setbacks in realization:

  1. Analyze setbacks in realization.
  2. Propose how to overcome setbacks.
  3. Carry out the proposal.
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Management

Arrange fulfilment of your ambition.

  • Steer
  • Organize
  • Facilitate

Study the results

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Analysis

Analyze the execution of the development service:

  1. Examine the execution log.
  2. Assess the quality of the execution.
    • Efficacy
    • Efficiency
    • Experience
  3. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the execution.

Process obtained insights

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Synthesis

Capture obtained insights into increasing the success of design.

  • Describe
  • Depict
  • Demonstrate

Complete the development step

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Overview

Evaluate advances in fulfilling your ambition:

  1. Draw conclusions about the results.
  2. Prepare recommendations on the next development steps.
  3. Present the main points.

Handbook part II: Library

The second part of this handbook describes practical problems and concepts for increasing the success of design. They originate from scientific and professional literature and practical experience. This non-exhaustive overview will be updated from time to time.

Business success

Problem

How can my design team create business value?

Concept

Explore user experiences, discover user motives, and define user requirements — Interaction Design Foundation

Problem

How can my design team gain business impact?

Concept

Define a portfolio strategy, identify gaps and unmet or latent needs, and define segments for customers and users — McKinsey Design

Problem

How can my design team increase business performance?

Concept

Combine scale with agility to grow — David Butler & Linda Tischler

Team success

Problem

How can my design team prove its value?

Concept

Describe design work in terms of business goals, collect evidence of design results, and communicate the business value of design — BoagWorld

Problem

How can my design team gain impact?

Concept

Represent design at the top level of the organization, improve employee experience with design, and spread design practices — McKinsey Design

Problem

How can my design team improve its performance?

Concept

Turbocharge processes, speed up internal feedback loops, and improve handoffs — Invision Inside Design

Recognize and remove overly complex content, organize knowledge, and filter content — UX Collective

Set goals, determine ground rules, and provide facilities to acquire, create, and share knowledgeUNStudio

Team development

Problem

How can I build my design team?

Concept

Build up your reputation, spot talent through your network, and establish a flexible talent pipeline — Workable

Form a cross-disciplinary team, further knowledge integration, and implement decision-making through consensus — Purdue University

Problem

How can I evaluate my design team?

Concept

Define quantified metrics, build a holistic metrics system, and define supporting operational metrics — McKinsey Design

Problem

How can I advance my design team?

Concept

Determine the need to change, identify the willingness to change, and assess the ability to change — BCG

Demonstrate desired behaviours, provide motivators, and recognize and acknowledge displayed behaviours — PositivePsychology

Handbook part III: Posted articles

The third part of this handbook lists a number of links to posts with supporting expertise and background knowledge.

Handbook ICA/RUS 2

7 sorts of design knowledge to accomplish design work

Design is indispensable in a rapidly changing world where organizations need to catch up, keep up, and move up. This post describes seven sorts of design knowledge that determine the value, impact, and performance of design.

Annex to handbook: Terms

See definitions for an explanation of the terms used in this handbook.