End State Exercise : Begin With The End In Mind

Posted on by Brandon Klein

This is a common DesignTeam assignment: build a model of the end state (organization, products, system, mechanism, et cetera). It is a Scan exercise, working on the Vision phase of the creative process. By focusing on the result (and not where we are now or how we’ll get there from here), participants are freed to clarify their desire and intent. This is usually a “co-processing” assignment; that is, each team is given the same charge, or the same charge with slight variations.

To clarify Vision and start to build Intent; to develop a shared image of the common goals of the group.

Can be used early in the design process (e.g., after Introduction); or at the beginning of Focus. Requires a typical DesignTeam round (approx. 90 - 120 minutes design, 30 minutes report).

Strengths — A strong, direct, clear assignment. Sets a foundation for a group developing a shared vision. Good in particular for “engineering-level” ‘shops. Weaknesses — By itself, doesn’t do much to break people out of their current ways of thinking.

Specifications for Success
• Sometimes we specify the form of the model: for example, a graphic analogy or collage of images and words akin to the graphic documentation we create. (If you choose this, provide full-color examples for participants to refer to).
• Can also be a Take A Panel assignment.