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Self-Analysis & Reflection On Design Thinking


Prepare a report presenting a self-reflection on Design Thinking that helps in enhancing managerial skills.


Within the management criteria, Design Thinking refers to the design methodology, which provides the solution-based approach for solving any issues or problems. As opined by Carlgren, Elmquis, & Rauth (2016), Design Thinking has the human-centred core, that encourages the entire organization or the individuals such as the managers working within the organization to focus upon their creativity skills and labour which might help them for being efficiently productive, provide better services and become more innovative as well as customer-focused. Thus, the present study focuses on the self-analysis and reflection that has considered my personal development as well as the development of my knowledge regarding the topic of design thinking.

Self-reflection and analysis from the blog activities
Lessons learned and their importance

In the first lecture week, the tutor explained to us about the marketing criteria and the online lecture taking place. Eventually, we discussed the data visualization with the help of visual thinking and drawing along with the importance of marking criteria and the awareness about the deadlines. In the second lecture week, the tutor taught us about the poster-making format and asked us to choose one format on which we will make a poster. Gradually, we had a discussion regarding the difference between the business and design along with the principles of design thinking and its tools. Consecutively, in week 3, we were made to learn about design thinking, logical reasoning, and the design theory along with the significance of reflective reports and blogs. Moreover, the structure of the creative learning spiral was also taught to us.

In week 4, we came to learn about the group assessment and the way it is helpful in our career, the tutor also taught us the objective regarding the problem finding versus problem solution and activity was also assigned to us where we have presented our ideas regarding the solution of a problem. Moreover in week 5, the tutor taught us about the learning objective like brainstorming as the design thing tool along with the Need Analysis with empathy. Eventually, the topic of reflection on time and journey mapping was also taught to us, that are interconnected to each other.

Development of knowledge of design-thinking topics
There were several topics covered under the design thinking concept, which has been enlisted as follows:

Logical reasoning: As opined by Dijksterhuis&Silvius (2017), the logical reasoning is the process of utilizing the rational, systematic series for steps that are based on the mathematical procedures and on the given statement that helps in concluding. Thus, we were taught deductive logical reasoning which would help in meeting with the subordinates, communicating with the department goals, and structuring the brainstorming session regarding the staff to decide the methods for reaching the objectives.

Creative learning spiral: This starts with the imagining of the possibilities apart from working with the stated problem and thus, helps managers like us to look for along with discovering the new problem. Thus, the spiral of the imagination, creation, play, sharing, and reflection is the continuous loop, which helps in framing the design thinking process.

Problem-solving and problem finding: As from the learning of week 3, Design Thinking is all about finding the problem as well as solving it. It is the act of defining the problem that determines the cause of the problem, its identification, prioritization, and the selection of alternatives for the solution, and lastly, implementing the solution.

Brainstorming: In week 5, the methods of Brainstorming were taught to us which is the primary method employed on the ideation stage of the Design Thinking processes. As evidenced by Elsbach, &Stigliani (2018), it is a great way for generating the ideas through leveraging the group’s collective thinking by engaging and listening to each other and building upon other ideas.

Needs analysis: The Need analysis helps in focusing upon the human needs and user satisfaction, which is, associated with empathy for truly understanding and sharing the same feelings with others.

Value chain analysis: As the Design Thinking is the service design mindset, the value chain analysis is the approach for the service design that helps in identifying the key element regarding the experience of the customers along with defining the outcomes desirable for the customers. According to Heintz&Lousberg, (2018), the outcomes of value-chain analysisaids in alignment of the organizational and business objectives with the demands of the customers as well as strategies designed for business improvements.

Mind mapping: This is utilized for representing the idea or the other items that are linked with the central ideas as well as to others. It has helped us for generating, visualizing, structuring, and classifying the ideas that look for the insights and patterns which provided the key design criteria.

Rapid prototyping: This helps the practitioners for embracing the failures as the means of learning regarding the shortcomings of the ideas and making changes within it. Thus, as asked by Kongot&Pattanaik (2017), this is the simulation of the final products that are used for testing before its launch that is associated with design thinking.

Contribution of the learning to future career development
The topics related to the Design Thinking approach, which I have learned, from the weekly classes or training would help me in my career development to become more innovative and customer-focused within the organization. This provides me to influence my skills to confidently generate human-centred innovations. The concepts like Logical reasoning will help me to meet my subordinates along with communicating with the department goals, structuring the brainstorming session for the staff that would help in decoding the methods for reaching the organizational objectives. The lesson of a creative learning spiral has helped us to find new problems and solve this accordingly through imagination, creation, sharing of information, and reflection.

Moreover, with the help of the problem-solving approach, Design thinking was better understood by us as it identifies, prioritizes along with the selection of the alternative that resolves the problems in the future. With the Brainstorming techniques, it helped us to aim for the large number of ideas that our whole team could filter or cut down into the best one in, and will produce a better and new design solution or products. The needs analysis along with empathy, made us understand the human needs and provide user satisfaction along with helping us to share the same feeling with others that would help in the future. Furthermore, with the concept ofValue Chain Analysis, we will be able to identify the key elements of the customer experience and these outcomes will be aligned to the objective of the strategic business. Lastly, the aspect of mind mapping will help us in linking our ideas to the central ideas and also to each other that helps in generating, visualizing structuring, and classifying the ideas for looking to the patterns and insights of the design thinking and on the other hand, the rapid prototyping will help me to test and ideas generated with which we will be able to make changes in producing the best idea that would change the future of business as well as will shape my careers.

Identification of strengths and weaknesses from weekly activities
I had incurred certain weaknesses as well as strengths by going through the weekly activities such as,


  • I had incurred efficiency within the problem-solving criteria through the activity given to us in week 4, and I was able to find out an appropriate solution for the problem which was appreciated by the whole group and even by the tutor and has helped me in identifying the best alternative for any kind of issues arising within the company.
  • In week 5, I had gone through the activity regarding the reflection time and this, I had gained strength in it as I was able to reflect on my project and the learning process that gained me the ability for efficiently designing and improving my skill within the design activity. Hence, as viewed by Kupp, Anderson, &Reckhenrich (2017), for remembering the important aspect it is significant to reflect on time and thus, it was the perfect criteria adopted by me to remember the overall aspect.


  • The activity of brainstorming was carried in the week 5 that made me fall under certain unwanted situation as I was not able to place an appropriate objective and had settled down with few ideas which allowed the tutor to become a critique against the idea generated by me as it may create vague promises for following it up.
  • In week 6 there was an activity performed regarding the value chain analysis and thus, I was lagging to identify the outcomes and the lament if the customer experience due to lack of proper communication skills and thus, I was failed to align all of this to the objective of the strategic business and thus, I had to improve it for future.

Identification of opportunities for improvement
Identification of opportunities for improvement

Brainstorming: This can be improved through generating the techniques of brainwriting that help in separating the ideas from the discussion, as like the members of the team shares their ideas and the other members write down the ideas and thus, it helps in eliminating the anchoring bias and encourages the members like us within the team to share our ideas that are based on the ideas presented by the other members. As opined by Mahmoud-Jouini, Midler &Silberzahn (2016) Rapid ideation helps in generating ideas quickly, as the individual does not have the time for filtering or overthinking each one.

Value chain analysis: The using of this tool properly can be done through the three main steps such as the Activity analysis that identifies large activities that are needed to be delivered, secondly, Value Analysis for which we would think through for achieving the greatest value for the customers and lastly, Planning and evaluation where we should evaluate the worth of making the changes and then plan for the action.

Objective 1: To improve my brainstorming skills





Time is taken

The brainstorming skills are specific for the managers as it helps in generating the ideas through leveraging upon the collective thinking of the group by getting engaged and listening to each other and building upon other ideas (McGann, Blomkam& Lewis,  2018). 

It can be measured by creating the shortlist of the ideas and asking the group member to read it and point out the 5 best ideas. The criteria scorecard needs to be handed out to participants and thus, they should rate the ideas as per the criteria.

The brainstorming processes can be achieved through certain techniques like brainwriting and rapid ideation which could help in enhancing the brainstorming skills. 

The process is reliable as it helps the managers to provide their ideas without any biases or alterations of the thinking and thus, the best idea is provided by them. 

2-3 months

Table 1: SMART objective for improving the brainstorming skills
Source: (Developed by the learner)

Objective 2: To enhance my knowledge and skills regarding the value chain analysis tool





Time is taken

The value chain analysis helps in identifying the key elements associated with the customers and thus, the desired outcomes are aligned with the strategic business objective (Micheli, Wilner, Bhatti, Mura &Beverland, 2019). 

The skills can be measured through analyzing the cost and value of the activities along with determining the primary and support activities along with identifying the opportunities for gaining a competitive advantage.  

The method can be achieved by adopting the three-step processes such as the activity analysis, value analysis along with the planning and evaluation. 

The techniques are reliable as it helps the individual to evaluate the customer experiences so that it could be aligned with the strategic business.

1-2 months

Table 2: SMART objective for enhancing the knowledge and skills of value chain analysis tool
Source: (Developed by the learner)

Objective 3: To develop the skills regarding the rapid prototype





Time is taken

The techniques help the practitioners or managers to embrace the failures as the men of learning regarding the shortcoming of the ideas and to make changes within it (Mintrom&Luetjens, 2016).

This technique is measurable through evaluating the shortcoming of the ideas and the failures occurring within ideas to make changes in it.

The techniques can be achieved through designing the prototypes that test the specific elements and keeping it consistent. The testing of the user is needed instead of the stakeholders with keeping it simple and designing the multiple rounds. 

The techniques are reliable as it would help in analyzing the shortcoming of the ideas generated by the individual within a group and would help in making changes within it for creating the best out of it.

2-3 months

Table 3: SMART objective for developing rapid prototyping skills
Source: (Developed by the learner)

The rationale for the activities chosen for personal development and how they would help in realizing the set objectives
Certain activities are I have adopted for my personal development within the specific areas such as,

Brainwriting and Rapid Ideation
Brainwriting helps in separating the ideas generated from the discussion and helps in eliminating the biases as well as encouraging the team to share their ideas. Moreover, the rapid ideation helps in providing the limitations for helping to generate the ideas quickly as it does not provide time for the individual to filter or overthink about each of the ideas.

Three-step processes for value chain analysis
Firstly, activity analysis helps in identifying the activities undertaken by the individuals. Secondly, the value analysis helps the individual to think regarding the addition of the greatest value for the customers. Lastly, the evaluation and planning help in evaluating the worth for making the changes within the ideas and eventually plan for another action.

Usability techniques
This would help in designing the prototypes for the specific elements along with testing it upon the user rather than the stakeholders. Thus, the testing makes it keep simple along with designing the multiple rounds of the rapid prototype. Moreover, these testing criteria help the individual for testing the copy along with keeping it consistent. Thus, as evidenced by Scherer, Kloeckner, Ribeiro, Pezzotta&Pirola (2016), these techniques can help the individual to establish a clear purpose for each of the prototypes; it defines the requirement early. It helps in testing the interaction of the prototypes and improving the communicating facility.

To conclude, the present study focuses on self-reflection regarding Design Thinking that helps in enhancing managerial skills. The study determines the Self-reflection and analysis from the blog activities that discuss the lesson learned from the activities, Development of knowledge of design-thinking topics, contribution of the learning to future career development, Identification of strengths and weaknesses from weekly activities, Identification of opportunities for improvement. Moreover, the study demonstrates the action with implementing the SMART objective and however, the rationale of the activities that are chased for personal development has also been mentioned within the study along with the ways it can realize the objective within SMART.

Carlgren, L., Elmquist, M., &Rauth, I. (2016). The challenges of using design thinking in the industry–experiences from five large firms. Creativity and Innovation Management, 25(3), 344-362.

Dijksterhuis, E., &Silvius, G. (2017). The design thinking approach to projects. The Journal of Modern Project Management, 4(3).

Elsbach, K. D., &Stigliani, I. (2018). Design thinking and organizational culture: A review and framework for future research. Journal of Management, 44(6), 2274-2306.

Heintz, J. L., &Lousberg, L. (2018). Desining project management for next generation project managers. In EPOC 2018: 16th Engineering Project Organization Conference.

Kongot, A., &Pattanaik, M. (2017, September). Empowering Project Managers in Enterprises-A Design Thinking Approach to Manage Commercial Projects. In IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 189-197). Springer, Cham.

Kupp, M., Anderson, J., &Reckhenrich, J. (2017). Why design thinking in business needs a rethink. MIT sloan management review, 59(1), 42.

Mahmoud-Jouini, S. B., Midler, C., &Silberzahn, P. (2016).Contributions of design thinking to project management in an innovation context. Project Management Journal, 47(2), 144-156.

McGann, M., Blomkamp, E., & Lewis, J. M. (2018). The rise of public sector innovation labs: experiments in design thinking for policy. Policy Sciences, 51(3), 249-267.

Micheli, P., Wilner, S. J., Bhatti, S. H., Mura, M., &Beverland, M. B. (2019). Doing design thinking: Conceptual review, synthesis, and research agenda. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 36(2), 124-148.

Mintrom, M., &Luetjens, J. (2016). Design thinking in policymaking processes: Opportunities and challenges. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 75(3), 391-402.

Scherer, J. O., Kloeckner, A. P., Ribeiro, J. L. D., Pezzotta, G., &Pirola, F. (2016). Product-service system (PSS) design: using design thinking and business analytics to improve PSS design. In 8th CIRP IPSS Conference. Product-Service Systems across Life Cycle (Vol. 47, pp. 341-346). Elsevier.


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