Design Thinking at CNEA

April 14, Rabat,  #IBMCSC  #CSCMor10 #IBMCSCMorocco10 #CitizenIBM

We are conducting a “Design Thinking” workshop for our customer Comite National De L’Environment Des Affaires today. Currently CNEA is going about with its mandate in a somewhat unstructured way and with little involvement of its stakeholders on whom they are dependent for success. Their stakeholders are many and widespread and include the likes of ministerial departments, private sector players, industry associations, Morocco’s central bank and multilateral agencies.

The reason de etre for our presence at CNEA is to help them in establishing an online collaboration platform that would enable them to get a better grip of their multi faceted initiatives across several stakeholders. One of our project deliverables is to create functional specifications for this platform. Creating functional specifications requires ‘appropriate design’.

Design Thinking has been around for several decades. Although it is not an IBM discovery, Design Thinking has been extensively adopted by IBM. In the 1950’s, IBM’s then chief executive, Thomas J. Watson Jr., hired Eliot Noyes, a distinguished architect and industrial designer, to guide a design program at IBM. In its more recent avatar, Design Thinking is being used by IBM to create a superior user centric experience that is engineered to an appropriate level, as in neither over or under engineered. The IBM method dwells on empathising with the end user; problem definition, ideation, developing prototypes and creating feedback loops with users. It uses a combination of lateral thinking, intuition and logic in problem solving. The interesting thing about Design Thinking is that it can be applied in myriad number of situations across a spectrum of private, government and non government organisations.


Coming back to CNEA, we start our workshop and divide the two groups into two teams. The CNEA Secretariat has just 11 employees, so we are limited in creating more groups. Our customers take an avid interest in this method and we see them deeply engaged. Malika, our local coordinator from Pyxera, is there to help us troubleshoot when our customers get stuck translating from french to english. This turns out to be an extremely interactive and useful session. It is summed by Siham OMRANA, from CNEA ” what I like about Design Thinking is it is a combination of doing, thinking and feeling”

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