2013 Proposal Document: Facilitating creation of ad-hoc cross-functional teams for designing innovation with a rapid turnaround

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Published on March 7, 2014

Author: jancsics

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Thesis proposal from 2013 studying "design jam" events and understanding them to facilitate application to formalized organizations.


J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 Table of Contents Abstract ______________________________________________________________________ 1 Introduction __________________________________________________________________ 2 Literature Review ______________________________________________________________ 3 Design Prototyping _________________________________________________________________ 3 Social Innovation ___________________________________________________________________ 3 Group Creation and Personality Factors ________________________________________________ 8 Holistic Problem Analysis and Integrative Thinking _______________________________________ 9 IBM and their 'Innovation Jam' _______________________________________________________ 11 Glossary of Terms __________________________________________________________________ 16 Research Questions ___________________________________________________________ 17 Method ______________________________________________________________________ 18 A: Approach to Answer and Research Question _________________________________________ 18 B: Technical and Logistical Issues Involved _____________________________________________ 18 C. Timeframe for Work ______________________________________________________________ 19 D. Documenting Results _____________________________________________________________ 19 E. Validating Results________________________________________________________________ 19 References ___________________________________________________________________ 20

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 Abstract Research is proposed to understand “design jams” - events with a social and collaborative design-based approach to problem solving and creating new value. It is proposed that by researching such events, some of the unique value attributed might be discerned and made applicable to areas of organizational development and problemsolving. Research is summarized and methods are identified as a means for answering the question of how to develop a system for an organization to create and manage teams focused on designing innovation. 1

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 Introduction The general area of this thesis is to evaluate the process, social dynamics and outcomes of collaborative “design-jamming” methods used for social, team-based innovation, and to explore ways of transferring the benefits of such an approach to intact organizational teams. Ad hoc, collaborative design “jam” groups have been shown to be highly effective at turning around valuable innovations within short cycles. However, as of yet no one has developed an effective means for transferring such an approach to a more formalized organization. The significance of this study relates to the rising demand for innovation in offerings, and designers are faced with the challenge to deliver successful new products and service in short order. A lengthy or inefficient design process can lead to significant missed opportunities. The increased global competition and shorter product cycles are creating competitive pressure for organizations to significantly shorten development cycles and also improve the hit-rate of successful innovations. I will try to address this problem by studying how diverse ad hoc teams assemble and work together in social jam events, such as Global Service Jam (etc), to develop and prototype often remarkable design ideas in short order, often less than 48 hours. From this study I will explore how to translate or transfer such an approach to the ongoing practice of an intact organization. 2

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 Literature Review Design Prototyping "Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones." (Simon, 1996, Kindle Locations 1880-1881) A powerful method of design representation is prototyping. Moggridge (2006) defined prototyping as "A representation of a design, made before the final solution exists." (p. 685) Schrage (1996) defined the role of prototyping when he stated, "Prototypes are designed to answer questions. The quantity and kind of questions that generate prototypes are at the heart of prototyping culture." (p.10) Prototypes present incomplete solutions, and allow a starting point for refinement through iteration, before moving a product into production. According to Suri, Coughlan, & Canales, (2007) three primary objectives of prototyping were identified in the realm of organizational change: building to think, rather than discussing; learning faster by failing early; and giving permission to explore new behaviors, where the presence of the prototype will encourage new behaviors. (p. 127) Social Innovation The value of social components related to design work has been recognized formally for decades. In the first issue of Task Magazine, published by architecture students in Cambridge, MA in 1941, they began the editorial section with an emphasis on a lack of awareness and training towards the rapidly changing needs of society and collective work principles for architects. (Hull, E., et al., 1941) The students established Task Magazine in an effort close that gap, for both academic and professional purposes. "New Trends in Design" was an article in the same issue where Moholy-Nagy (1941) 3

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 stated, "Thus design is dependent not alone on function, science and technological processes, but upon social implications as well." (p. 28) He points out division of labor and other relationships that changed the outlook and approach to design. This social structure of design work supports the application of Activity Theory to the working process of design, in this case architects. Kaptelinin and Nardi (2006) explain that activity theory is an approach used in social sciences that aims to understand individuals and the social entities they compose in their natural environments and activities. Engestrom (2000) presented the activity theory framework is in a way to which it can be adjusted to apply a team-based design structure (Fig. A). In figure A the designers are focused on rapid innovation, their skills and specialties are instruments used but not the central element. The rules they adhere to involve constraints of a user's goals and time limits applied to the project, the collaborators on the team find their roles through the 4

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 division of labor. Activity theory is a cultural and historical model, shown to be relevant through research within the social sciences, and based on the material presented up to this point we can hypothesize that these patterns apply when designers are working collaboratively. Tuckman's group development model (as cited in Robbins and Judge, 2011) suggests working in groups generally gives members the benefits of increased security, status, self-esteem, social affiliation, power, and goal achievement. Robbins and Judge (2011) detail the five stages of group development (fig. B). During the forming stage there is a large amount of uncertainty about the purpose, structure, and leadership of the group. After members begin to think of themselves as members of the group they enter the storming stage. This is when "Members accept the group but resist the constraints it imposes on their individuality. Furthermore, there is conflict over who will control the group." (Robbins and Judge, 2011, Kindle Locations 3453-3454) The third stage is called 5

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 norming, and it consists of the group members agreeing on expectations and defining behavior. The performing stage is evident when the structure is fully accepted and the group's energy has transitioned focus onto performing their assignment. The norming and performing stages both relate back to the division of labor outlined in the aforementioned activity theory model (fig. A). The adjourning stage is where the group prepares to part ways; at this point the focus has shifted to finishing activities and wrapping up tasks. Robbins and Judge (2011) defined a work team as something that "generates positive synergy through coordinated effort. The individual efforts result in a level of performance greater than the sum of those individual inputs." (Kindle Locations 38713876) They identify work teams with diverse member specialization as a cross-functional team, focusing on problem solving, coordination of complex projects, and the creation of new ideas. (Robbins & Judge, 2011) A model provided in the text (fig. C) compares a 'work group' and a 'work team'. The most notable distinction is the primary goal; work 6

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 groups share information, and work teams focus on collective performance. A performing group and a work team both rely on a social component to increase performance. Johnson and Bate (2003) identify a different five-stage process, relating to the strategy innovation discovery process and teams: staging, aligning, exploring, creating, and mapping. They point out that the staging phase involves selecting the right members for a focus on strategy innovation. The aligning phase relates to directing the team toward the best new business opportunities. The exploring phase consumes the most time and energy as it involves the process of discovering new value and insights through activities. The creativity phase is, "a creative activity where imagination is used to envision and define businesses of the future." (Johnson & Bate, 2003, p. 186) Lastly, the mapping stage is the implementation planning process of the new business opportunity. (Johnson & Bate, 2003) Johnson and Bate (2003) emphasized diversity on teams, "cross-functional teams greatly enhance the internal alignment process." (p. 76) They also stated the advantage of support for complexity, "In this complex and often ambiguous journey, a team of people can offer support and problem-solving ideas to each other where an individual would have to shoulder the entire burden alone." (Johnson & Bate, 2003, p. 75) A commonly referenced model for an organizational framework is AEIOU; which refers to activities, environments, interactions, objects, and users. Martin and Hanington (2011) clarify that the AEIOU framework is originally credited to Rick Robinson, Ilya Prokopoff, John Cain, and Julie Pokorney, from 1991 when they practiced at the Doblin Group in Chicago. (pp. 10-11) When coding observations of designers (or anyone for that matter) 7

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 working in teams, the AEIOU framework can help identify critical interactions. Activities involve the pathways people take to accomplish goals. Environments play a significant role to influence the way people behave, or how a team will collaborate. Interactions can be between people, the environment, or objects. In this case objects can be artifacts within the environment, tools, and prototypes. Lastly, users are the team members, or the people whose behaviors are being observed. Group Creation and Personality Factors Mandate from senior management is essential to the aforementioned staging phase. (Johnson & Bate, 2003) One key challenge in the first step of staging involves selection of the best members for an innovation team. Johnson and Bate (2003) made reference to Dan Buchner of Moen and the importance placed on finding the proper balance of perspectives. They quoted Buchner, "It was also very important to me that team members be open-minded and have the ability to change. But there weren't a lot of people like that in our organization at the time." (Johnson & Bate, 2003, p. 84) They went into detail about how Buchner worked directly with department leaders and requested their best person; often times he needed to return and ask for a different person. At times he would present the vision of the team to specific individuals, building up the level of excitement, and this would lead to their request to join. (Johnson & Bate, 2003, p. 84) Self-determination theory proposes "people prefer to feel they have control over their actions, so anything that makes a previously enjoyed task feel more like an obligation than a freely chosen activity will undermine motivation." (Robbins & Judge, 2011, Kindle Locations 2612-2613) By evoking volunteerism Buchner was able to create a 8

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 situation where individuals comfortable with uncertainty, those who can thrive on an innovation team, were identifying themselves to him. Part of assembling an innovation team involves seeking out people with desirable attributes or facilitating a process where they can identify themselves. Holistic Problem Analysis and Integrative Thinking "The process of discovering new business opportunities requires both right-brain creative skills to identify a new customer need and left-brain rational skills to create the appropriate business model to meet that need." (Johnson & Bate, 2003, p. 75) Tovey (1984) wrote about the hemispheres of the human brain, where the left hemisphere handles sequential analytic abilities and the right hemisphere has an association with visuo-spatial thinking. Using both hemispheres, known as lateralization, is most evident in simple tasks; it is under more significant load that one hemisphere will take a leading role. (Tovey, 1984) This explains that one side of the brain will take a leading role when an individual is challenged. The objective for a team with a blend of left and right-brain thinkers is to cumulatively represent a lateral thinking model when dealing with complicated problems. The article "The Art of Integrative Thinking" begins with a description of "today's climate of constant change and relentless competition." (Martin & Austen, 1999, Introduction section) They stress the importance to understand problems in their entirety through a process of integrative decision making. The choice cascade model (Fig. D) shows the four steps related to integrative decision making. Higher-order choices set the context for and put constraints on lower-order choices. There is an element of 9

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 interrelatedness, where higher-order choices are revisited if lower-order choices cannot be constructed, the model promotes an iterative process. The first part of the choice cascade is salience; this involves consideration of important requirements, normally the start of any development or design process. The next step is causality; this is the understanding of relationships and variables of the requirements from the prior choice. Sequencing is the step where an integrative thinker will recognize the salient and causal choices to build a scenario that moves towards creative solutions. Resolution is the final step where all salience, causality, and sequencing are all considered. This step of resolution relates to making decisions that will deliver innovation in a way that considers all variables. 10

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 IBM and their 'Innovation Jam' IBM held their first Innovation Jam in 2001 as a method to unite the organization. (Bjelland & Wood, 2008) "The executives conceived the idea of a 'Jam' to promote innovation. 'Jam' was IBM’s term for a 'massively parallel conference' online." (Bjelland & Wood, 2008, p. 32) The 2001 jam effort and subsequent events were focused on improving IBM's operations. "Values Jam in 2003 gave IBM's workforce the opportunity to redefine the core IBM values for the first time in nearly 100 years." ("Welcome to the IBM Jam," n.d., The history of Jams) The 2001-2005 jams were "drawing employees into discussion about everything from management to company values." (Helander et al., n.d., Section 1.1 Innovation Jam Background) Interlinked bulletin boards were the primary vehicle to answer questions like "How do you work in an increasingly mobile organization? and "How do we get IBM Consulting into the C-suite?" (Bjelland & Wood, 2008, p. 32) In 2006 the "Innovation Jam" had a budget allocated and it became a company initiative towards designing new products, aiming for results more central to IBM's future and customers. (Bjelland & Wood, 2008) This initiative was supported due to the excitement around finding new ways, through cross-collaboration and open discussion, to uncover breakthrough ideas. The IBM Innovation Jam was a large-scale format held in two three-day phases. Bjelland and Wood (2008) reported, "150,000 IBM employees, family members, business partners, clients (from 67 companies) and university researchers. Participants Jammed from 104 countries, and conversations continued 24 hours a day." (para. 6) The event was viewed as successful to a considerable degree based on data used to track projects that later went 11

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 on to receive $100 million in funding. (Bjelland & Wood, 2008) They also elaborated on a few various impractical and irrelevant ideas produced, mainly attributing their emergence as a result of brainstorming without heavy guidance or moderation. The authors pointed out that online communication played a significant role, and that moderation was low as to not interfere with the creative process. Bjelland and Wood (2008) provided the steps that IBM worked through in creating and managing the process. The steps they list involve details about review phases, setting up discussion websites, and other concepts related to managing new ideas, but they do not involve detail about prototyping or refinement. The IBM Innovation Jam has led to new ideas that have later continued on to become new businesses, such as smart health care payment systems, 3-d Internet using gaming environments for navigation, and a "Digital Me" service to simplify storage of personal files, just to name a few. (Bjelland & Wood, 2008, p.36) The 2006 Innovation Jam "led to the creation of Big Green Innovations, a new IBM business unit that applies IBM’s advanced expertise and technologies to emerging and global-scale environmental issues." (A Global Innovation Jam, n.d., Transforming the World Section) This open-format large-scale virtual brainstorm gives IBM the ability to explore new ideas and extract information, it is during a review processes that ideas are sorted and aligned with a vision. Bjelland and Wood (2008) quoted a former IBM scientist Paul Horn where he said: Jamming is a form of brainstorming. And the first thing you have to learn in brainstorming is: Take in all the ideas. Even if the ideas are crazy, take ’em all in. 12

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 That means you’re going to get a lot of garbage. But it forces you to think out of the box. You do it on this scale, you come out, and you’re just completely saturated with stuff and you have to come up with some way to winnow those things down. (p. 38) The IBM Innovation Jam has time constraints within phases, cross-collaboration through discussion, and personality and task ownership elements fall into place naturally with the open and voluntary format. The IBM innovation jams facilitate a collaborative process that accelerates the emergence of new ideas. "As their name suggests, these jams are like jazz improvisations, connecting people who might otherwise never meet, allowing them to formulate and build on each other's thoughts, and in the process, create something entirely new." ("A Global Innovation," n.d., Overview Section) Bjelland and Wood (2008) pointed out that the IBM jam achieved two primary types of progress: First, it had enabled people with big ideas to articulate them to a wider audience, including skeptics, to hear others’ complementary ideas and to win funding. Second, and probably more important, it had allowed people whose ideas weren't quite so big and who hadn't been able to find the place for their ideas within IBM to present them in ways that senior people could understand. Related ideas could then be combined in major new initiatives. (p.38) In 2007 IBM launched a service that runs jams for other organizations, one event involved bringing auto component makers and manufacturer customers together for an Automotive Supplier Jam. (Bjelland & Wood, 2008, p.38) There is also an IBM website 13

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 where they hosted a Service Jam event. "The Service Jam will engage leaders, subject matter experts, organizations and individuals in this field to generate breakthrough ideas that will redefine service and social innovation." ("Service Jam," n.d., FAQ Section What is the goal of Service Jam?) The Service Jam took place on October 10-12, 2010 and was hosted online using IBM’s Innovation Jam™ solution platform, "which is especially adept at bringing communities together to discuss social issues." ("Service Jam," n.d., FAQ Section - About Jam Platform Tech...) The total impact of the IBM Innovation Jams has resulted in over $700 million in revenues from innovations created through open collaboration. ("A Global Innovation," n.d.) "In a world where innovation is global, multidisciplinary and open, you need to bring different minds and different perspectives together to discover new solutions to long-standing problems. Therein lies the essence of collaborative innovation." ("Welcome to the IBM Jam," n.d., Collaborative Innovation) Helander et al. (n.d.) collected and analyzed data from the IBM Innovation Jams, and then published a findings to "discuss the results of supervised and unsupervised learning applied this data." (Abstract, P. 1) Among their findings is a summary of 31 ideas from the 2006 jam and indication that 10 of these were selected for funding as new business initiatives. (Helander et al., n.d., Table 4) Some of these ideas, such as the Electronic Health Record System, were funded but later put on hold after further exploration. (Bjelland & Wood, 2008, p.36) Helander et al. (n.d.) concluded "Much work is left in extending our use of the different data types in both supervised and unsupervised 14

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 learning, and in identifying the key characteristics - or a combination of characteristics that lead to success." (Section 6- Conclusion) 15

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 Glossary of Terms Definitions are provided to clarify key terms associated with the literature review. Ad hoc team - "team assembled for a one time purpose and disbanded when that purpose has been served." (Answers, n.d., What is an ad-hoc team?) Design jams - Events aimed to get designers to learn and collaborate with each other while working on actual problems. ("Design Jam," n.d.) Design-jamming - The use of design methods with the collaborative jam process. Global Service Jam - An international event, made up of multiple jams. ("Global,” n.d., Glossary section) IBM Innovation Jam - IBM’s term for a 'massively parallel conference' online." (Bjelland & Wood, 2008, p. 32) Jam - A collaborative process of working that involves the creation of unique results, often involving a short deadline. ("Global", n.d., Glossary section) Lateral thinking - "a heuristic for solving problems; you try to look at the problem from many angles instead of tackling it head-on." ("The free," n.d., Lateral Thinking- thesaurus.) I.e., the process of using both halves of the brain to understand problems. Kansas City Service Jam - The Kansas City local iteration of the Global Service Jam. (Schreiber, 2013) "Focuses on collaboration and designing services related to a shared theme" ("Forty-Eight hour event," 2013, par .2) 16

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 Research Questions -What social and collaborative elements can stimulate the creation of innovative ideas in a short amount of time? -What methods can guide a manager through the creation of a highly-motivated crossfunctional team focused on streamlined innovation? 17

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 Method A: Approach to Answer and Research Question Kansas City Service Jam, the local iteration of the Global Service Jam, was convened on March 1-3. Over a 48-hour period event participants formed two teams and designed prototypes inspired by the theme that was announced at the kickoff. Primary research methods consisted of recorded observation, staggered-survey distribution (before, during, and 30 days after), and interviews. Other cities from around the world participated in research activity and interacted with the KC team. The literature review is based on a framing the topic of collaborative innovation with an initial focus on building the team. Diversity in thinking is cited for the value added in understanding problems holistically. The IBM Innovation Jams are referenced to provide an existing model for collaborative innovation. The management sources cover in detail the concepts to benefit structure of teams, and the design sources are about the actual processes, way of thinking, and activities. B: Technical and Logistical Issues Involved The primary logistical issue is to find a reasonable stopping point. The topic was weak and now it is strong, but like many design challenges the layers get peeled back as you try to find the underlying problem. Without much time left I will need to spend it wisely to prepare for my presentation date. 18

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 C. Timeframe for Work June 12th- Proposal revision submitted June 13th- July 15th- Take research data and build presentation along with proposed model or solution. July 16th- 26th- Present to a committee within these dates. D. Documenting Results Results will be documented in a presentation including qualitative and quantitative information, participant personas, a needs cluster matrix, and overviews of recorded activities. Comparison to prior local Jam events will be presented; sequences and activities will be compared along with output from teams. General strategies, useful tactics, and practical techniques will be identified as they apply to the design jam process. E. Validating Results Results will be validated through analysis of data from event participants and output from the teams involved. Application of behavioral concepts to a system, or model, for delivering streamlined innovation will provide further validation. The deliverable will be research findings and a vision document of a streamlined innovation system. Results will also be validated with coverage of follow-up comments from participants, including agreements and disagreements. 19

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 References A global innovation jam. (n.d.). Retrieved May 12, 2013, from http://www03.ibm.com/ibm/history/ibm100/us/en/icons/innovationjam/ Answers (n.d.) What is an ad-hoc team?. Retrieved from http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_ad-hoc_team Bjelland, O. M., & Wood, R. C. (2008, Oct 1). An inside view of IBM's 'Innovation Jam'. MIT Sloan Management Review, 50 (1), 31-41. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from MIT Sloan Management website: http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/aninside-view-of-ibms-innovation-jam/ Design jam (n.d.). Come together to tackle user experience challenges. Retrieved May 12, 2013, from http://www.designjams.org/ Engestrom, Y. (2000). Activity theory as a framework for analyzing and redesigning work. Ergonomics, 43(7), 960 - 974. Forty-Eight hour event produces innovative ideas. (2013, March 3) In KCPT Kansas City public television blog. Retrieved from http://kcpt.org/blog/2013/03/03/48_hour_event_produces_innovative_ideas/ Global Service Jam. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://planet.globalservicejam.org Helander, M., Lawrence, R., Liu, L., Perlich, C., Reddy, C., & Rosset, S. (n.d.). Looking for great ideas: Analyzing the innovation jam. Retrieved March 5, 2013, from http://dmkd.cs.wayne.edu/Papers/WEBSNAKDD07.pdf Johnson, R. E., & Bate, J. D. (2003). The power of strategy innovation: a new way of linking creativity and strategic planning to discover great business opportunities. New York, NY: AMACOM. Kindle Edition. Kaptelinin, V., & Nardi, B. (2006). Acting with technology: Activity theory and interaction design (Acting with Technology) (pp. 31-39). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Hull, E., Radford, W. H., Rosenberg, R. H., Snibbe, R. W., Turner, J., Bayley, J. B., & Metzger, G. (Eds.), (1941) Editorial: Social usefulness of the architect's education. Task: a magazine for the younger generation in architecture, Issue 01, 5-9. Retrieved April 15, 2013, from http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/45295213 20

Table of Contents J.Jancsics 6.12.2013 Martin, B., & Hanington, B. (2012). Universal methods of design. (pp. 10-11) Beverly, MA: Rockport Publishers. Martin, R., & Austen, H. (1999) The art of integrative thinking. Retrieved April 25, 2013, from http://rogerlmartin.com/library/articles/integrative-thinking/ Moggridge, B. (2007). Designing interactions. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Moholy-Nagy, L. (1941) New trends in design. Task: a magazine for the younger generation in architecture, Issue 01, 27-31. Retrieved April 15, 2013, from http://pds.lib.harvard.edu/pds/view/45295213 Robbins, Stephen P.; Judge, Timothy A. (2011-05-18). Essentials of organizational behavior (11th Edition): Pearson HE, Inc.. Kindle Edition. Schreiber, D. (2013, February 26). KC event that kicks off Friday gives teams 48 hours to design a service. Silicon Prairie News. Retrieved from http://www.siliconprairienews.com/2013/02/kc-event-that-kicks-off-friday-givesteams-48-hours-to-design-a-service Service jam: Making the world work better through service. (n.d.). Retrieved May 12, 2013, from http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/minijam/overview.html Simon, Herbert A. (1996-10-01). The Sciences of the artificial, 3rd edition: MIT Press. Kindle Edition. Suri, J. F., Coughlan, P., & Canales, K. (2007). Prototypes as (design) tools for behavioral and organizational change. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 43(1), 1-13. Schrage, M. (1996). Cultures of prototyping. Bringing design to software, 191–205. The Free Dictionary (n.d.). Lateral thinking. Retrieved from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/lateral+thinking Tovey, M. (1984). Designing with both halves of the brain. Design studies, 5(4), 219228. Tuckman, W. (1965, June). Developmental sequences in small groups. Psychological Bulletin, 384-399. Welcome to the IBM jam events page. (n.d.). Retrieved May 12, 2013, from https://www.collaborationjam.com/ 21

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