Developing Design Thinking Process Metrics as a Driver for Creative Innovation

PI: Prof. Bernard Roth


A primary barrier faced when applying design thinking is not understanding what benefits and risks this process has compared to standard problem solving processes. Compounding this issue is the fact that while organizations can measure and assess traditional problem solving processes, design thinking as of yet, does not have well known metrics to encourage application of its process.  This research project has two goals: (1) experimentally compare design thinking with other problem solving processes (2) test and observe the implementation of assessment metrics to promote design thinking in organizations on real projects.  The proposed experiment has three conditions: design thinking process, traditional engineering design process, and standard business plan process. Participants will work in teams to address a common challenge. Subjects will be randomly assigned to learn and use one of the three processes. Individuals and teams will be assessed on a number of measures including project outcomes and personal creative growth. The proposed exploratory research focuses on developing assessment metrics for organizations to deploy during a two-month project. Metrics created through previous HPDTRP work along with existing creativity and innovation measures will be used. Employee will be observed, and follow-up interviews will be conducted.