This page will provide some basic help and guidance for using the Shape Resource. If you cannot find what you need here please e-mail the project team at firstname.lastname@example.org and allow 5 working days for a response.
If you require help with a specific task – writing a brief, or finding designers for example – you can use the tool menu in the relevant stage of the resource to find the appropriate one.
Using the resourceback to top
The resource has been developed as an introductory guide to design thinking and design management to support your current project management and delivery process.
The resource contains a total of 10 stages and 3 phases. The phases are Challenge, Project and Report. The Challenge phase consists of 4 stages to help you where your requirement, or outcome is defined but not your approach. The Project phase is where both the requirement and the approach are defined and consists of 6 stages. The Report phase has one stage.
The resource has a suggested linear approach to follow, starting with problem identification through to final project delivery. It can be used from end to end, or at specific stages. Our recommendation would be to follow the process as it is set out. However, the my guide tool is a planning and navigation guide will allow you to navigate anywhere in the resource at any time going forwards or backwards from any page.
Printing and managementback to top
Individual web pages, tools and case studies can be printed for your reference or for sharing.
Collaboration with colleagues
The project map accessible from the button on the left hand side of the toolbar allows you to save pages, tools, notes etc to your own project map which can then be shared with colleagues or partners.
Working with designersback to top
Finding a designer
There is a specific tool available to help you with finding designers. Firstly, use the ‘Types of design specialities’ tool to identify the type of design required for your project, then use the ‘Finding design suppliers’ tool. Both tools are available in the tools menu of the ‘Plan’ stage.
Working with designers
There is specific help on this available in the ‘Plan’ stage of the resource.
Background informationback to top
Why design management can help
Public services are facing widespread reductions in budgets but an increasing requirement to deliver better and more efficient services to citizens. Properly understanding citizen’s needs and developing new innovative ideas are vital activities to undertake to achieve this. Using and managing creativity to improve services is greatly enhanced by using design management thinking and skills.
Requirement, Challenge and project
These words are used consistently throughout the resource. In terms of Shape, a requirement is a goal or task that you have been set. This will be done through executing and delivering specific projects. Projects are the activity that delivers the requirement. With some requirements, it is not immediately clear what project(s) need to be carried out. When you are exploring what projects to execute, this is what we call a challenge.
My Workback to top
Getting new ideas
Where do ideas come from and how do we choose the right ones? How can we ensure that we use ideas that meet both the requirements of the organisation and the citizen? The ‘Generate’ stage will help you in both areas.
Many people are interested in bringing more innovation into their organisations. But what is innovation and where do we find it? Innovation can be defined as profiting from the delivery of new ideas. Profiting can be in terms of increased awareness, service use, citizen approval, operational or financial efficiencies. Using creativity with design management has a major role to play in starting this process and then delivering it.
You may already test new approaches, improvements or services with citizens, or present to them at open meetings and enquiries. But how do you find out what they really need and would benefit from when they might not know themselves? This resource can help you achieve this with a number of simple and powerful tools and techniques. Have a look at the ‘Research’ step in the ‘Create’ stage.
The wrong project?
Have you had the realisation that the project you have been asked to work on will not deliver the challenge you have been set? Using the resource will help you investigate whether it is correct or help you evidence that it is not. It will also help you to present an alternative approach. Have a look at the ‘Reflect’ stage.
How much to spend, where best to spend it and how to justify it to directors and taxpayers are always crucial questions. As a project leader, using designers for the first time will be a new and different experience. The resource will provide guidance for the best type of designer to use at different points in a project and help you to provide evidence for appropriate budgets and build a case to present onwards.