In 2014, an HCD program was brought in to IAG to increase people’s exposure to and use of design thinking. Despite its widespread advocacy and attendee numbers approaching 1000, the program’s ongoing delivery and use was resource intensive and yielded mixed outcomes: Resulting design practices primarily took the form of large workshops, lacked a rigorous mindset, and favoured outgoing personalities. For the program to show sustainable value, it needed: a structured yet approachable path from learning to practice; alignment with professional design methods; and a feedback mechanism that would both improve and meaningfully expand it.
The project involved a team that previously facilitated or participated in the original program. Their focus was to apply HCD to the program's design. This involved understanding how IAG employees learned, practiced, and/or benefited from HCD. These insights were coupled with a critical look at the previous program’s contents and tools. With support from Learning and Development and the Design Centre at IAG, along with agency Neo, the team created and tested potential solutions within the workplace, improving with each iteration. The result is a system with a stable framework that has become highly utilised and continuously evolves.
A wide variety of IAG employees have participated across the different offerings of the HCD Community. Training has been attended by 580 people in 5 locations. From surveys conducted, 92% reported the modules as significantly changing their understanding of HCD. People are moving from workshop-only formats to more rigorously considered projects, or applying specific design methods to their roles. Participation in the HCD Community offerings has grown from separate, interested individuals to larger collectives across business divisions. Despite ongoing realignments within IAG, enthusiasm for understanding of HCD has increased, with participants now helping to facilitate and improve the program.
Engaging, maintaining, and improving the HCD Community effectively requires an ongoing core team that provides: Training: Live group sessions that teach HCD through discussions and hands-on activities - Awareness modules: Provides a general overview of HCD - Extensions: Enables deeper and more rigorous practice Support: Ways to transfer knowledge into ongoing practice via guidance - Drop in: Open, casual sessions that people "drop in" to with questions - Coaching/mentoring: Ongoing sessions to track and guide people's ongoing HCD practice. - Practice groups: Small peer groups focused on practicing specific techniques - Resources: A set of evolving readings, tools, and templates Events: Planned large group gatherings to enable ongoing sharing and learning - Showcases: Highlight people's use of HCD - External speakers: Features outside design practitioners to provide diverse perspectives - Internal sessions: Maintains interest through storytelling and light practice - End of year celebration: Acknowledges exemplary HCD practice Measurement: Objective ways to measure progress - Skill matrix: A table that shows people's proficiency across different HCD methods - Capability tracker: A database of all employees who attended HCD training, and feedback on that training - Success+: A Learning & Development approved quiz Communications: Channels to connect HCD interested people via personal stories, ongoing work, and relevant resources - Yammer (internal) & LinkedIn (external) - Newsletter - Slack channel