Motor Vikatan's workshop on Innovation & Design Thinking for Mobility Engineers
This session to be handled by Mr.Sayantan Mukherjee and Dr.Shankar Venugopal.
Motor Vikatan is organizing a workshop on Design thinking and innovation for Mobility Engineers (DTI). This workshop is aimed to help the participants to innovate and create automotive products with a strong customer focus. The participants will learn to use the Design Thinking framework and a wide variety of ideation techniques to systematically develop their innovative ideas.
#1 How to use Empathy to understand what customers need
The world that we are in today is extremely volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA). A lot of this chaos can be attributed to the dynamically changing human needs. Successful businesses that thrive today, invest significant resources to understand their customers better. Engineers aspiring to become successful automotive product designers should learn to empathize with their customers. An empathetic innovator hears the unspoken and sees the unseen and subtle challenges that the customers face. This workshop will discuss on how to develop empathy and conduct customer research to collect insights that will help us to build valuable automotive products. For example, if we are designing a car for shared mobility, then we need to take a ride on a shared car, talk to the drivers and co-passengers, take photos/videos and make careful notes before we decide on the problem to solve.
Engineers aspiring to become successful automotive product designers should learn to empathize with their customers. This workshop will discuss on how to develop empathy and conduct customer research.
#2 How to define the right problems from a customer perspective
Once we gather insights about the unmet needs of the customers, we need to translate these insights into technical problems. We use one of the five most important innovation skills – Questioning. Asking “Why?” helps us to understand the root cause and helps us to define the problem at a deep level. Asking “What if” helps us to challenge the underlying assumptions and reframe the problem. We may do the mistake of narrowly defining a problem with a solution in mind – we need to overcome this tendency by formulating a general problem. We will introduce the concept of Ideality & “Jobs to be done” to help innovators formulate the problem in an unbiased manner. For example, if we ask “how can I improve the battery capacity to enhance the range of EVs?”, we are limiting our approach by assuming that enhancing the battery capacity is the only way to improve the range while infact there are many other ways to improve the EV range.
Asking “Why?” helps us to understand the root cause . Asking “What if” helps us to challenge the underlying assumptions. Don't define a problem with solution in mind.
#3 How to create innovative ideas that really work
Once the problems are defined, the focus shifts to creating new ideas. We will use a powerful divergent thinking tool CREATE to create many ideas. CREATE is an acronym representing six idea triggers - combine, rearrange, enhance, adapt, turn-around and eliminate. We will illustrate these triggers with a wide variety of innovative product ideas. When we have many new ideas, it Is quite challenging to select those ideas that have the potential to become impactful innovations. We introduce a convergent thinking tool – DFVS – that will help us to prioritize the right ideas. We have added sustainability to the traditional filters of customer desirability, technical feasibility and economic viability taught by the Human Centered Design (HCD) framework. For instance, if we have generated 100 ideas and we want to identify the top 10 ideas, we could rate the ideas low/medium/high on desirability, feasibility, viability and sustainability – it is very effective as a quick screening tool.
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CREATE is an acronym representing six idea triggers - combine, rearrange, enhance, adapt, turn-around and eliminate. We introduce a convergent thinking tool – DFVS – that will help us to prioritize the right ideas.
#4 How to build prototype to test and improve the idea
Now we have an idea that may solve a challenge that the customer is facing. However, our idea is based on a set of assumptions that we inadvertently made while generating it. We need to identify and isolate those assumptions and test them to check whether they are true or not. We need to plan experiments and design prototypes of the idea suitable to run the experiments. In this phase we will be discussing on how to plan experiments, design prototypes and validate ideas quickly but thoroughly. This is a very important step to transform the paper idea into a working prototype. Prototyping helps us to improve the idea iteratively. A prototype helps to explain our idea and convince others about the value of our idea.
The workshop will take the participants on an innovation journey comprising four stages – customer need identification, problem formulation, idea generation and prototyping & testing.