Reflection is a critical component of a successful co-design process. It lets you collect and organize your thoughts while appreciating your successes and failures. It allows for the time and space to see the possible directions a project is taking early on, then adapt intentionally and proactively to ensure you are making informed decisions. We have integrated reflection prompts throughout Design With that focus on your own projects to give you that space.
DECISIONS AFTER CO-DESIGN
There will likely be many decisions that must be made after participants have left. No matter your co-design lens, the realities of implementation mean ideas will change as the rubber meets the road—so how can you ensure the intention of participant ideas survives the evolution of implementation? Give yourself ample time to synthesize and corroborate key workshop findings, and make a plan (together with stakeholders, ideally) how to take key decisions. The way you move the work forward from planning to piloting can help solve other barriers that co-design projects commonly face.
Tips for making decisions after co-design
Think through your design process from inception to implementation, and flag the decisions that are likely to need to happen before, during, and between co-design moments.
During your co-design session, identify key future decisions, and discuss a protocol for making them. A protocol could include creating polls, surveys or other co-design touchpoints—or a set of decision criteria that you commit to assessing options against. The depth of feedback required will likely vary depending on your co-design lens.
Include implementers in co-design. There are many reasons for including operational experts in co-design, one of which is that they are uniquely-suited to anticipating the ways ideas will change during implementation. With input from these stakeholders, you will be better able to identify and put to participants possible implementation decisions.
Want a quick refresher on the theory? Check out the whole argument here.