Over the summer break, the D:Lab had several students use design thinking to innovate and co-create with organizations and companies such as Vodafone, Casa Trassaco, Café Kwae, Burro Brand, GN Electronics and our very own university Ashesi. This event was organised to get a sense of progress and the way forward for each of these projects.
What? – D:Lab Mobile Summer Projects Update Session
When? – Wednesday 12th October 2016
Time? – 2:40 – 4:10pm
Where? – McNulty Foundation Design Lab, King Engineering Building 102.
Audrey S-Darko, presented on her team’s progress with the Cafe Kwae Use Experience projects and how she looks forward to ending the project with a market strategy proposal that her team will present to the manager of Cafe Kwae. Kelvin Dogbetse detailed his team’s progress on exploring and improving employee productivity of Tradeworks. His team hopes to continue research work, however, the future of this project hinges on their availability outside school work; possibility during school breaks.
Aisha Jallow and Purity Musau, who worked on the Ashesi Fundamentals of Design and Entrepreneurship (FDE) Research project which centred on developing tools (templates etc.) for helping students visualize things in cleaner, more professional and more engaging ways such as developing hieroglyphic-mnemonic devices to help students remember the design thinking process and methods. They presented a few of their findings and how these finding will influence future FDE classes. The D:Lab Coordinators also presented on the state of other projects.
The Tradeworks project was a project which originated out of the need for the owner of the Tradeworks factory to find a way to improve employee productivity but later evolved into a project which seeks to solve the problem of employee productivity in any factory while providing the members of the team with first hand involvement with the factory revolution in Ghana.
The problem is that the owners of factories do not know how to measure employee productivity therefore they cannot improve it because once something is not measured it cannot be improved. This is a problem because a decrease in productivity can lead to a decrease in revenue and employee dissatisfaction can affect the company in many ways negatively. The opportunity this problem brings for our team is to become pioneers in consulting for factories in Ghana when it comes to improving their employee productivity.
The team wanted to find a way to measure productivity, they then wanted to find what the obstacles where and how to get rid of those obstacles when it came to improving employee productivity.
The team did do some primary research with engineering students from Ashesi when they had to build solar generators; we used this as a simulated experience. We are currently doing primary research and analysis in a factory we are working with to gain more insight into the pain points of our users.
Findings and Analysis
We found out that allowing employees to have a say into what happens to them and which environment they worked in is very important, we also found out that ergonomics is important in factories because things such as color of instruments and posture go a long way to affect employees. We also found out that factory workers work better when they work according to a rhythm be it music or the sound of the machine. We are also looking into using technology to measure productivity and improving but are still in the researching and testing phase .Also we found out that some problems are unique to some factories and that the management of factories are not usually open to improving employee productivity because of the cost incurred, they would only do this if they have an assurance that their revenue would increase after improving employee productivity.
We are still in the Research and Development phase.
It has been fun working on the project but would have been cooler if we had frequent meetings to get updates from other projects to find more insight and also if the D-lab takes care of transportation.
The D:lab should do well to constantly be updated with the pain points their researchers have to be able to solve them quickly. Future researchers should ask those who have done it before (us) how to go about things to avoid making mistakes we did.
Starting off from Impact Hub Accra, the second stop of the Ashesi D:Lab Mobile was at the McNulty Design Lab, King Engineering Building on the Ashesi University Campus. The event took place on Thursday, Jun 30th 2016 from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm.
The D:Lab in partnership with the Ashesi Venture Accelerator (AVA), featured Lysanne
Denneboom, the Managing Director of Fundraising Africa, who gave a presentation about new and innovative ways to raise money online for things people care about. Her presentation explained the essence of crowdfunding and how it can be used to make ideas reality through running successful crowdfunding campaigns.
Student teams presented 5-minute updates on the progress made and challenges they face while working on their respective design thinking projects this summer. Teams also interacted on ways they could improve their design processes for their respective projects.
Event Coordinators: Theodore Philip Asare, Carl Agbenyega
Media Production: Cybil Mupazviriwo