Business Design is a human-centred approach to innovation. It applies the principles and practices of design to help organizations create new value and new forms of competitive advantage. At its core, Business Design is the integration of customer empathy, experience design and business strategy.

     The Business Design approach to innovation aims to combine the best of design thinking and strategy. Sustainable growth comes from the development and implementation of new-to-the-world ideas, but innovation of this kind is almost impossible without an actionable framework and tools for creative thinking.

     The Three Gears of Business Design provides the framework and tools for:

  1. Understanding Customers – innovation begins with an unmet customer need. Customers often lack tools to articulate their own needs, and standard market research methodologies only scratch the surface. Students learn new tools for engaging deeply with customers and understanding them in new and meaningful ways.

  2. Generating and Testing Ideas – turning unmet needs into innovation. This is about creating new ideas, getting customer feedback and doing rapid testing to get to a better solution. Students learn tools and techniques for ideation and prototyping.

  3. Connecting to Strategy – New ideas will fail to flourish if they aren’t backed by a sound strategy, including a clear set of choices of how the organization is going to win. Our students connect their ideas to the model of strategy articulated by Roger Martin and A.G. Lafley in Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works.

     Business Design helps organizations explore new possibilities in very tangible ways, and ultimately make better decisions that are customer-centric, holistic, collaborative and innovative.

     Software prototyping is the activity of creating prototypes of software applications, i.e., incomplete versions of the software program being developed. It is an activity that can occur in software development and is comparable to prototyping as known from other fields, such as mechanical engineering or manufacturing.

     Prototyping has several benefits: the software designer and implementer can get valuable feedback from the users early in the project. The client and the contractor can compare if the software made matches the software specification, according to which the software program is built. It also allows the software engineer some insight into the accuracy of initial project estimates and whether the deadlines and milestones proposed can be successfully met. The degree of completeness and the techniques used in prototyping have been in development and debate since its proposal in the early 1970s.

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