Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Design-Oriented Enterprise (DOE)

Coming from an IT background I perceived an increase in the scope of design activities. Starting with the design of information systems, the scope expanded to the design of business processes. Thereafter, the scope expanded even further to the design of the business itself, referred to as the business model.

I would like to raise the question how an organization could (or should) maximize the opportunities offered by a design approach. For this I came up with the concept of the ‘design-oriented enterprise.’ As I see it for now, the objective of a design-oriented enterprise should be to increase their performance by design motivation and ability (see also figure below). (I think the ‘design-oriented enterprise’ is not used yet in this way, see also the Google search.)

For design motivation it is possible to differentiate between ‘ambition levels.’ I based the following ambition levels partially on Investing in Design by Rosa Wu and Jess McMullin (adapted it to an IS context):

  • No Conscious design effort: Design has no perceived value for the organization.
  • Design is the gateway to automation: Design supports the automation of business activities.
  • Design makes things better: Design makes things work better than they did before.
  • Design as problem solving: Design finds new opportunities by solving existing problems.
  • Design as problem framing: Design redefines the challenges facing the organization.
For design ability it is possible to differentiate between a number of maturity levels, as is done in the Capability Maturity Model (CMM) and CMM Integration (CMMI).

These are just some early ideas and these ideas would benefit from your comments!!!

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