December 8, 2011
What is prototyping?
Prototyping is a way of testing out ideas in practice at the early stages of the design cycle, quickly, cheaply and with others to see if there is demand and if they work.
Dyson is probably one of the most well known organisations that uses prototyping to test their products prior to market, the first Dyson vacuum cleaner went through over 5000 iterations before it hit the shelves.
Prototyping is an exploratory and ongoing process it can be used when designing new services or to test out components of services with residents and stakeholders. Most importantly prototyping is about exploration and ‘doing with people’ in order to develop innovations, inevitably some prototypes will fail but this should be seen as positive. Prototyping is about taking small risks at an early stage in order to maximise opportunities and prevent costly failure in the long term.
How can I find out more?
Nesta and various partners have developed a guide to prototyping public services which you can view here: http://www.nesta.org.uk/events/assets/features/prototyping_in_public_services
I have created a short online presentation to summarise prototyping using information from the guide which contains links to more information and videos as well as case studies here:
In partnership with Barnet Council and Nesta, Thinkpublic have developed a framework for prototyping that contains lots of tools here: http://www.nesta.org.uk/events/assets/documents/prototyping_framework
Thinkpublic has also produced a couple of short videos that explain the concept of prototyping in more detail you can watch them here: http://goo.gl/jpRIS
December 2, 2011
Mutuo, a not-for-profit society that supports the creation of new mutual organisations, has published a mutual business detector. The detector is designed to provide an initial indication of whether it will be possible to “spin out” a council service into a new mutual organisation.
The council have been involved in the development of the detector, having piloted the approach with a number of council services. It isn’t intended to provide a definitive answer as to whether a service should spin out, but does provide an indication of where the service does have a fit with a mutual approach and where there are challenges that would need to be overcome.
The test looks at a number of factors related to the service centred around three categories:
The detector is available on the Mutuo website and includes full instructions of what to do. Using the detector shouldn’t take any more than 15 minutes so it really is a quick and simple tool.
November 9, 2011
At the recent Leadership Network event (see previous post) Lambeth Council managers undertook a scenario based exercise to explore how co-production works and the differences from more traditional forms of consultation. Below are a couple of links which explain the exercise that we developed and the materials that were used. Please feel free to distribute, use and adapt the exercise if you think this would be useful for your organisation or team.
If you have any questions about how the exercise works or you want to discuss this in more detail please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
20111109 Co-production Exercise
20111109 Role play cards