6-D Design Thinking Execution Model

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The Design Thinking Method is a structured approach to solve various problems and foster innovation. This method emphasizes human-centered principles and three key operational elements: Empathy, Co-Creation, and Iteration.

As a methodology, it has evolved, birthing different models tailored to accommodate the dynamic nature of design problems. One of these models is the 6D Execution Model, developed by InnoEdge Consulting Limited. The 6D model is expanded upon the traditional Four-Diamond model of Design Thinking.

Here are the details of the six phases within the 6D Execution Model:

Phase 1

Determining Major Changes and Challenges:

This stage primarily focuses on identifying the major changes or challenges. It requires designers to delve deep into the essence of the problem and pinpoint the significant issues that need to be changed or resolved.

Phase 2

Discovering All-Rounded Information

In this stage, innovation teams must conduct comprehensive research to collect all information relevant to the problem. This can involve various methods such as market research, user interviews, product analysis, etc.

Phase 3

Defining Root Causes and Opportunities

During this stage, designers use the information collected to ascertain the root causes of the problem and identify potential solutions. This step requires a critical thinking approach where not only the superficial causes but also the underlying issues are identified and addressed.

Phase 4

Developing Creative Ideas

At this stage, innovative leaders need to start generating creative ideas for potential solutions. This might involve tools for creative thinking, such as brainstorming or mind mapping.

Phase 5

Delivering Innovative Solutions

In this stage, designers implement and launch their solutions. This could involve designing, manufacturing, testing, and promoting the innovative product.

Phase 6

Driving Changes and Results

In the final stage, designers must drive change and ensure results. This requires good leadership and communication skills to ensure the new solution is effectively implemented and yields the expected results.

Through these six stages, the 6D Execution Model of Design Thinking offers a more structured and comprehensive approach to solving design problems. This model emphasizes identifying the root cause of the problem, conducting comprehensive research, developing innovative solutions, and ensuring these solutions are effectively implemented and yield results.

While the 6D Execution Model and the traditional 4D model differ in structure and approach, they share several similarities. Here are five of them:

  • Human-Centric Design: Both the 6D and 4D models emphasize human-centric design thinking. This means that in designing solutions, they always prioritize users’ needs and experiences.
  • Problem-solving Process: Both models encompass basic steps such as defining the problem, gathering information, generating solutions, and implementing these solutions. The specifics of execution may vary, but the fundamental process remains the same.
  • Emphasis on Innovative Thinking: Whether in the “Developing Creative Ideas” stage or in designing solutions, both the 6D and 4D models underscore the importance of innovative thinking.
  • Iterative Process: Both the 6D and 4D models stress that the problem-solving process is iterative, requiring continuous trials, improvements, and optimization of solutions.
  • Cross-disciplinary Collaboration: Both models highlight the importance of collaboration, recognizing that solving design problems requires knowledge and expertise from different fields.

The 6D Execution Model of Design Thinking offers several superior aspects over the traditional 4D model in the innovation process. Here are five areas where the 6D model outperforms:

  • More explicit problem definition: In the first stage of the 6D model, “Determining Major Changes and Challenges”, designers are asked to delve deep into the essence of the problem and pinpoint the significant issues. This leads to a more explicit and concrete problem definition.
  • More comprehensive information collection: The “Discovering All-Rounded Information” stage of the 6D model emphasizes comprehensive research to collect all information related to the problem. This holistic approach to information gathering helps designers understand the problem more fully and find solutions that better meet user needs.
  • More in-depth problem analysis: In the “Defining Root Causes and Opportunities” stage of the 6D model, designers are encouraged to identify not only the superficial causes of the problem but also the underlying issues. This in-depth analysis can lead to more effective solutions.
  • More opportunities for innovation: The “Developing Creative Ideas” stage of the 6D model encourages designers to develop innovative solutions. This open-ended process of generating ideas provides more opportunities for innovation.
  • A stronger driving force for change: In the final stage, “Driving Changes and Results”, the 6D model emphasizes the need for designers to have good leadership and communication skills to ensure that new solutions are effectively implemented and yield the expected results. This focus gives the 6D model a stronger driving force for change when compared to the traditional 4D model.