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Enterprise Design Approach

Instead of delivering isolated solutions as delivered by traditional design thinking and practice, Enterprise Design tackles challenges of enterprise-wide innovation and transformation. In an iterative design process of rigorous filtering and focus, it works through the complexity of the enterprise ecosystem rather than ignoring it.

Why designing enterpises?
Overcoming Enterprise Awkwardness.

With any significant growth, the effects of Enterprise Awkwardness appear: silos, disjointed experiences, vulnerability to disruptive competition, complicated IT systems, lack of trust from customers and their own teams. Enterprises lose track of the conversation, get stuck in inflexible procedures, communicate in bits of incomplete information, and fail to deliver what they promised.

Regardless if you are a rapidly scaling startup or an established organization, a public entity or a business, enterprises are challenged to overcome their inherent complexity. The good news: these are mere symptoms, not causes, of bad enterprise design.

Enterprises can and should be well-designed! All you need is a proper tool to navigate a complex environment, collaborate with your peers and make a leap together.


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Responding to key enterprise challenges

Enterprise Design Framework

Enterprises are complex environments, both in their internal organization and the markets they address. It’s easy to get entangled in this messy reality, caught up in conflicting goals and unexpected constraints. As a consequence, many enterprise initiatives end up in dead ends, and fall short of the intended impact.

Enterprise Design is an approach for navigating this space, making sense of the various moving parts. It is about triggering key events within the enterprise to make a leap towards a thriving future state, bridging two key gaps:

  • From innovation (creating something new) to transformation (changing what already exists).
  • From uncovering opportunities (exploration and mapping) to developing solutions (experimentation and validation).

How to design an enterprise?
A phased design approach adapted to reshaping complex systems.

Framework phases

From high-level strategic initiatives to applied Design Sprints or workshops, following these steps helps guiding team activities through the design process.

Moving across the Stack and going beyond product-level design processes, it emphasizes activities linked to engagement of key actors, as well as ensuring delivery through subsequent programs and transformation initiatives.

It follows 7 iterative steps to be applied in a fractal fashion, for focused drilldown and gradual synthesis. Moving between stages and iterations is easy and communicative.

As a scaffold for a custom toolbox designed to fit a particular enterprise context, it allows to define a process model that supports an open exploration of what might be.

The Enterprise Design Approach step by step

Enterprise Design Approach steps

1. Engage stakeholders and start the conversation

Engage with key stakeholders, understand the Big Picture intent behind the initial brief and develop the design challenge to tackle. Develop first mappings of the Anatomy and conduct first workshops.


2. Discover insights, constraints and data points

Perform research, data collection and analysis on Anatomy elements developing an idea of elements to consider. Map out the environment and the problem space by applying different Frames on the design challenge.


3. Define and conceptualize challenges worth tackling

Think to develop a point of view on relevant Frames and define how to address challenges and conceptual aspects that form the Design Space. Envision conceptual solutions for suitable future states.


4. Experiment and prototype the new enterprise

Generate potential outcomes implementing the conceptual basis across the different aspects of the Design Space. Illustrate and prototype Rendering elements to bring key moments of the evolved enterprise to life.


5. Validate potential solutions for different success criteria

Validate Rendering elements by applying human, business and systems Frames, ensuring meaningfulness, viability and feasibility of proposed solutions. Iterate conceptual definitions based on validation outcomes.


6. Implement changes and create new enterprise components

Make the Rendering tangible with just enough documentation and production, sharing them with the wider enterprise. Transform Anatomy elements such as services, content or channels and touchpoints.


7. Deliver and measure adoption

Make the Rendering available to enterprise audiences, manage the communication and change processes involved in this transition. Set up governance and measure Big Picture impact to plan your next steps.