Double Diamond Model: The new framework for innovation11 min read
Now that you’ve reached this article, you’re probably ready to begin your innovation plans.
But knowing how intricate the innovation process is, it might be overwhelming for you to figure out what to do first and what to do next.
Granted that there are a handful of innovation models today, your intent to study newer frameworks shows how much you want to adapt to the changes that modern times have brought in the world of business.
One of them is the double diamond model, which is what we’ll talk about today — this “new framework for innovation” that’s slowly becoming known today.
What is the double diamond process model all about?
The Double Diamond is a design process framework created by the British Design Council in 2005 based on the divergence-convergence paradigm proposed 9 years beforehand by Hungarian-American linguist Béla H. Bánáthy.
In the model, the first diamond represents the process of fully investigating a topic (divergent thinking) while the other one signifies taking targeted action (convergent thinking) to attain specific goals for the business.
The Double Diamond design model consists of four steps:
These stages, when combined, serve as a roadmap for designers to effectively manage and optimize their thoughts.
Note that this model isn’t straightforward. To thoroughly comprehend the problem and understand how to solve it best, you can go back and forth between the model’s four Ds.
The discovery stage is where businesses identify the true nature of the problem.
It entails knowing more about the many aspects that influence the issue and its potential solution. The goal of this step is to recognize and interpret the real issue into an opportunity to innovate.
This means that ideation is critical in the discovery process, and both should be carried out concurrently from the outset. You need to discuss and explore every factor that contributes to the problem and gather all the ideas that you need to address it.
You must create a solution space and study a wide variety of ideas and possibilities. Typical activities during this stage include reaching out to customers via market research and user testing.
Because this may result in a big volume of data, learning how to handle and organize relevant information is vital. Look for idea management software to successfully handle this part.
The definition phase is the point at which you can make use of all the opportunities you’ve previously found on the first step. At this stage, the ideas you’ve gathered are evaluated thoroughly.
You analyze the outcomes of the discovery stage, elaborate on the situation, and develop potential concepts to solve the problem.
This might include detecting bottlenecks or resource waste, seeing hidden possibilities, or creating a concrete list of items the design team should never do.
The definition stage strives to expound and clarify the many components of the project, ensuring that everyone knows its scope (both internal and external), including the competencies of the business that can support it.
This implies that before establishing anything, innovation teams must consider the company’s budget, resources, infrastructure, and market requirements.
This could be done via strategic planning, project management, discussion, and approval of project plans and objectives.
The third phase of the Double Diamond design process model reflects the development, prototyping, testing, and iteration of real solutions or concepts. This trial-and-error stage aids designers in refining their concepts.
For instance, you can create a team of designers along with internal entities like developers, engineers, and other departments with relevant project experience.
This speeds up problem-solving by bringing together multiple departments.
While each of them has their own favorite methods — brainstorming, visualizing, creating various situations, and so on — the crucial thing to remember is that all techniques strive for the same result.
That is to put the prototype tool to work and bring the solution to completion.
The last step of the double diamond model comprises final product testing, formal production sign-off, and finally — the launch of the project or product.
This is where you conduct the final checking to ensure quality and flawless performance.
It also involves examining the innovation for any applicable regulations and legal requirements, as well testing it for damage and compatibility.
Businesses also utilize this phase to evaluate the project’s design’s influence on consumer satisfaction in order to measure its business value.
It is also important to note that the delivery phase is mostly concerned with trying alternative solutions on small sizes, discarding those that will not work, and refining those that will truly respond to the issue discovered at the first phase of the process.
What are the principles behind the double diamond model?
There are four important principles involved in the double diamond model:
1. Valuing people
Using the double diamond model requires two things:
Assembling the right design and innovation team
Acknowledging how they can contribute to turning your ideas into a reality
The diversity of your team’s interests, knowledge, experience, and skills is valuable.
This is the reason why you have to listen to their suggestions, comments, and insights. You have to recognize their expertise and take them on board your innovation plans and strategies.
Simultaneously, having all players on board throughout the process may guarantee that you are defining and solving the problem in a more comprehensive manner.
However, bear in mind that while unique and differing viewpoints are always beneficial, they must first be guided by research and thorough user understanding.
In essence, teams must diligently make their work transparent and thereby record all aspects of the process.
This means that every part, procedure, decision, and finding is stored in a centralized repository that can be viewed and retrieved by anybody inside the organization.
2. Promoting visual and inclusive communication
The steps included in the double diamond model can never be done successfully without visual and inclusive communication.
In other words, without inclusiveness in the workplace, innovation efforts are less likely to succeed.
In addition, as the digital age promotes changes exponentially, active and visual communication is necessary to thrive and establish collaborative methods with relevant startups, clients, and partners.
To highlight the relevance of employee creativity to the company’s strategic direction, you must collaborate and visualize with different departments and maintain an open mind with an intent to understand and value their ideas and perspectives.
3. Applying collaboration and co-creation in the innovation process
Open innovation thinking, in which businesses interact with suppliers, distributors, and customers to co-create unique value, is rampant in the field of innovation.
Successful businesses capitalize on stakeholders’ creativity and energy by building initiatives and processes that connect their collaborators’ interests with company expertise and resources.
Leading companies have developed novel processes, tools, and technology in recent years to better facilitate and accelerate the co-creation of business value.
Co-creation, on the other hand, provides businesses with new perspectives, new sources of knowledge, and even new revenue streams.
These methods have worked hand-in-hand in enabling the world’s largest firms to strongly administer innovation and development for themselves.
So once you integrate these processes in your operations, the same thing can happen for your business too.
4. Iterating repeatedly
Iteration refers to the act of refining a concept. It is performed to promptly identify errors in the innovation process.
It minimizes risks and establishes confidence in the development of processes, projects, and ideas. It aims to continually improve and gradually achieve the best by repeatedly double-checking every aspect of the project.
In a sense, iterating relieves the pressure to come up with the greatest idea on the first try — that the first idea out of the gate must be a huge success.
However, this process is also so unpleasant as it depends on frequently failing even on a small scale and learning what needs to be corrected.
Making iteration a habit is what prepares every business to create outstanding, disruptive changes that are significant in their fields.
It swiftly rolls out products, processes, services, and innovation plans to obtain corrective feedback — transforming it into something that can absolutely satisfy a business need.
Applying the double diamond model for innovation
The double diamond model is just one of the many frameworks that you can use for your business. Knowing that every framework has its own set of pros and cons, you need to carefully examine which innovation framework suits your organization best.
If you think this design model is perfect for you, remember that you can always go back and forth in discovering, defining, developing, and delivering your innovation plans to ensure that everything goes smoothly in responding to your customers’ needs.
Grab a copy of our innovation ebook today to strengthen your organization’s innovation capabilities. Find out what innovation framework works best for you so you can begin your innovation plans now.