Design Thinking and Student Information Systems

Once the wise person said, design is a thinking process for creative problem solving . In my last professional role, I struggled with insane levels of day-to-day operational challenges. I struggled to solve the pain points of my colleagues, with limited time and resources at my disposal. This was extremely frustrating for someone like me and yet it was one of the best things that happened to me. It’s true, necessity is the mother of invention and it led me into becoming an entrepreneur.

I also recently attended the grade 5 graduation of my daughter in one of the most prestigious international Baccalaureate schools. I heard one of the school leaders say in their speech that “Innovation happens when someone masters a subject” and this phrase resonated with me instantly. This brings us to our topic of discussion: design thinking

Design thinking has 3 essential elements:

  1. Empathy – the human ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s a key element of emotional intelligence, the link between the self and others. Empathy comes when someone starts exploring more with the heart and not just with the brain. It needs an extra dose of curiosity, the urge to seek feedback and an attempt to walk in another’s shoes.
  2. Ideation – is essential! The process to generate enormous ideas to solve a problem. The ideation requires visualisation, like sketching, prototype, brainstorming, and writing. The idea behind ideation is to bring together experiences and leverage insights to find connections.
  3. Experimentation – this aspect reminds us to take baby steps whilst problem solving. The concept of experimentation prevents making costly mistakes. There is no point in allocating huge amount of resources without understanding usability. Letting the solution be used in the real-world, and succeeding, is the real test. Afterall, you don’t want the solution to be just incremental, you want it to be innovative.

In our humble attempt with the Chiron student information system, we took this is approach precisely.  Design thinking was the core tenet of our development process. We further went on to integrate Chiron with multiple school ERPs to offer an end-to-end solution to international schools and school groups.