APRIL 2016 - March 2017: PROTOTYPING
Phase Two has been all about designing solutions to address the gaps and needs that were identified in Phase One: Insights. Our goal for Phase Two was to explore one or two tangible solutions to these gaps and needs, and understand how they would work, and how useful they are. By the end of 2016, we aimed to be at the "proof of concept" stage, which means that we would understand the ideas, and would either have evidence that they're valuable, or evidence that our assumptions were wrong. (If we discover that an idea just isn't working, that's a good thing! That's the point of design thinking — it allows you to test early and limit how much time, energy and money you spend on something that won't work, and then adapt or start over).
Between April 2016-January 2017 we:
- Generated ideas for how to improve the system
- Developed a better understanding of how children, youth and families move through services
- Prototyped (sketched, built, etc.) promising ideas so that they could be tested
- Tested our ideas with youth, families, service providers, and others to understand what works well and what doesn't
- Learned a lot about how to apply design thinking to complex problem solving and system transformation!
In our next phase, we will continuously evolve our prototypes based on what we learn through testing.
The Moving on Mental Health Steering Committee and its Prototyping Team were the backbone of this phase. The Prototyping Team worked together in an agile way — basically this means they planned what they would do for a few weeks at a time, reflected often on what was working and what was not, and were able to adapt and pursue what works more easily. Agile project management works really well with a design thinking approach.