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Design Thinking in Action (B): From Insights to Ideas at South Western Railway
Liedtka, Jeanne M. Case S-0378 / Published July 5, 2022 / 16 pages.
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This case, a follow-up to “Design Thinking in Action (A): South Western Railway” (UVA-S-0377), finds South Western Railway (SWR) and its design-consultancy partner, DK&A, beginning work on a project to improve passenger experience. The team followed a classic design thinking methodology, the Double Diamond, focused on four steps—discover, define, develop, and deliver—and created an ambitious three-month schedule to meet a tight delivery deadline. The case describes in detail how team members gathered data from a variety of passenger categories, created persona types and journey maps, and identified new ideas to help SWR accomplish its goals. It concludes with questions about how these ideas should be tested. What design should experiments take? What outcomes were most important to measure and learn from? For those interested in adding self or peer assessment to students’ design thinking learning journey, Professor Jeanne Liedtka, working with coauthors Karen Hold, Jessica Eldridge, and Treehouse Design, has synthesized more than a decade of research at Darden to create the Innovation Impact Assessment. This tool will help students identify personal development opportunities and provide them with practical guidance (in the form of detailed individual feedback reports) to accelerate skill development. The instrument identifies a set of five core competencies based on 44 behaviors that successful design thinkers have in common. It is available for individual use and bulk purchase via Darden Business Publishing at this link: https://store.darden.virginia.edu/innovation-impact-assessment.




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  • Overview

    This case, a follow-up to “Design Thinking in Action (A): South Western Railway” (UVA-S-0377), finds South Western Railway (SWR) and its design-consultancy partner, DK&A, beginning work on a project to improve passenger experience. The team followed a classic design thinking methodology, the Double Diamond, focused on four steps—discover, define, develop, and deliver—and created an ambitious three-month schedule to meet a tight delivery deadline. The case describes in detail how team members gathered data from a variety of passenger categories, created persona types and journey maps, and identified new ideas to help SWR accomplish its goals. It concludes with questions about how these ideas should be tested. What design should experiments take? What outcomes were most important to measure and learn from? For those interested in adding self or peer assessment to students’ design thinking learning journey, Professor Jeanne Liedtka, working with coauthors Karen Hold, Jessica Eldridge, and Treehouse Design, has synthesized more than a decade of research at Darden to create the Innovation Impact Assessment. This tool will help students identify personal development opportunities and provide them with practical guidance (in the form of detailed individual feedback reports) to accelerate skill development. The instrument identifies a set of five core competencies based on 44 behaviors that successful design thinkers have in common. It is available for individual use and bulk purchase via Darden Business Publishing at this link: https://store.darden.virginia.edu/innovation-impact-assessment.

  • Learning Objectives