Research Proposal

Design Thinking Case Study: Internal Process


To identify case studies/examples of companies where ‘Design Thinking’ has been applied to improve internal processes. Also to identify the outcomes of the implementation and on what metrics they could be considered an improvement to the existing process.

Early Findings

Early Findings:

  • According to a 2014 assessment by the Design Management Institute, companies that were led by ‘Design Thinking’, like Apple, IBM, Nike, and Whirlpool outperformed the S&P 500 over the past 10 years by 219 percent.
  • According to Indra Nooyi,the former CEO of Pepsico, the company has been forcing the design thinking way back in the supply chain.

Improvement in Emergency Room Internal Processes at Stanford Medicine

  • Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, known informally as the conducted an exercise to improve the patient experience in the hospital’s emergency department.
  • For this exercise, the students played patients and their family members to get a sense of what it actually felt like to be in the often-chaotic atmosphere of an emergency department.
  • The exercise was primarily driven by ‘Empathy’, considered to be a key element of ‘Design Thinking’.
  • Following a step-by-step approach to problem-solving that involves observing and interviewing people as they went through an experience, several prototypes were formed and tested with the aim of improving the process.
  • The entire exercise included seven months of conducting interviews and tabletop exercises and simulating actual work routines that eventually resulted in the recommendation of nursing units to be redesigned.
ABN AMRO’s Use of ‘Design Thinking’
  • According to Hugo Koster, a design thinking trainer at ABN AMRO, “With design thinking, you work in a continuous feedback loop. When working with colleagues, you just show them your product and use their feedback to adjust it to their needs,”
  • He also believes that 'Design Thinking' is more process-driven, as small iterations brings the process further down the road to an experience that matches up best with the brand and what customers expect.
  • ABN AMRO also has its own Innovation Centre that trains employees in becoming design thinkers. Team members are taught to innovate their way to better outcomes.
Prepared By
Agnidip M.
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