When we're able to pause and see the broader picture, we open ourselves up to thinking bigger
DEVFACTO has been ideating with clients successfully for years now. In 2014 we started piloting exploration activities and outlining lean processes on various projects. We discovered that minimal envisioning and strategy up front reduced wasted effort and the work we delivered had a bigger impact. What we learned from that lean process has become a cornerstone of how we approach project work ever since. While those engagements early on were limited to smaller efforts and custom development, we have seen significant growth in the process since.
Ideation paired well with our Discovery process. As we learned about the context of any new project, we were careful to work in an early ideation step with our customers. Timing ideation properly helps us imagine what could be with them at the outset of the project and opens the doors for innovation.
Humans are wired to solve problems directly. When you're hungry, you look for food you can eat, rather than begin by planting a garden. That "immediate fix" instinct has helped us survive, but these days we need to rewire ourselves to step back. When we're able to pause and see the broader picture, we open ourselves up to thinking bigger and planning for more long-term solutions for our clients.
Through ideation we began building more interesting things and formed deeper partnerships with our customers. Looking back to assess how all of these individual ideations have uncovered opportunities, we understand there is so much more to do. Ideation is one method in a sea of many, and as we get more strategic, we have to expand our thinking and approach. Doing so will increase the opportunities we find and the impact they could bring.
Armed with this knowledge, we're embarking on the next leg of the journey. We have created the DEVFACTO Innovation Framework (DIF). This framework will drive and support everything we do, broadening our own thinking on how we engage with clients. Stronger engagement will provide a foundation to imagine and communicate bigger impact or more ideal outcomes at any point in the development process.
Taylor Reese is our Principal Innovator based in Edmonton, Alberta. His background is in design and facilitation, but he also loves drawing, cycling, and craft beer. He believes the things we build must improve the lives of those who use them. You can follow some of his adventures on instagram @sketchnote.love.
About the artist
Maren Kathleen Elliotis an interdisciplinary artist and educator from Edmonton Alberta whose modalities include illustration, mixed media, movement and sound/music. Maren is passionate about arts accessibility, storytelling, mental health advocacy and community activation.
For this piece, she was thinking about ideation and the conversations, exchanges and meandering paths that happen between us in the process of collaboration.