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Design Thinking in Facility Management

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  • Post last modified:October 10, 2021

The Interaction Design foundation defined Design Thinking as an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding. At the same time, Design Thinking provides a solution-based approach to solving problems. It is a way of thinking and working as well as a collection of hands-on methods.

The phases of Design Thinking

The five phases of Design Thinking are:

  • Empathize;
  • Define;
  • Ideate;
  • Prototype; and
  • Test.

Design Thinking is not only for designers but also for creative employees, freelancers, and leaders who seek to infuse Design Thinking into every level of an organization, product or service in order to drive new alternatives for business and society. Design Thinking revolves around a deep interest in developing an understanding of the people for whom we are designing the products or services.

Solving problems in facility management using Design Thinking

Ifeoluwadayo Adeoluwadotun identified below how Design Thinking can be used to solve problems in facility management.

Empathize – with your users. FM needs to empathize with its customers to ensure they deliver value and ensure customer satisfaction.

Define – your users’ needs, their problems, and your insights. Customers feedback and regular interaction with the use of technology will need FM to articulate the need of the FM and resolve using KPI and predictive analytics.

Ideate – by challenging assumptions and creating ideas for innovative solutions. Technology has been a game-changer for innovation to ensure timely response to issues, quality service is delivered and cost-effective solutions are delivered to the customer.

Prototype – to start creating solutions. Facility managers deal with complex systems and different kinds of people. FM might not necessarily work towards one perfect solution but on many different iterations of possible solutions.

Test – solutions. As FM, you must learn to execute. FM must test the solution with the aim of understanding the user standpoint on the solutions, and if required make changes based on feedback from observations.

The benefits
Design Thinking allows FM to be innovative, enable FM to deliver value-driven service, and create differentiation from competitors in the FM marketplace.
It helps to promote communication and collaboration. It is a proven problem-solving technique, as it combines critical and creative thinking.

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