It's been a whirling couple of weeks while we try to understand how to apply Design Thinking to the Youth Justice Service. Most of the other projects on the cohort seem to have been scoped to some extent before the sessions began, but for us it was an open and very blank book. During those introductory 2 days we drew up a roadmap and got back to the ranch where the temptation to start narrowing down to a focus area before we'd worked out what the problem was proved irresistable.
Meetings at various levels of the organisation took place, until eventually I decided to just go to our 'Design Lab' (prototype!) and go right back to what we covered in those 2 days. I got my notes out, pored over my copy of "This is Design Thinking" until I'd got some thoughts in order. That order took me right back to the roadmap we'd created at the session. The Big Question for us is:
"What is the problem?"
Our 90 days need to be spent on discovering the answer to this question. We need to find out what the customers think. We need to understand, with evidence, where the areas of high cost are. We need to find out what other services are doing. Then we might understand what the problem is, and start to design some ways of solving it.
Thanks to contacts with West Yorks Police made at the workshop, I've been able to arrange for us to visit Leeds YOT, where they have undertaken some engagement work with young offenders with an organisation called Uservoice http://www.uservoice.org/ . I'm hoping we'll learn how we can engage our young offenders, past and current, and their families, so that we can start to answer our Big Question.
It's baby steps for us, but we are definitely taking those steps and we will get there!