If someone in the group objects to the problem statement and the group agrees

If someone in the group objects to the problem

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If someone in the group objects to the problem statement and the group agrees with the objection, then the presenta- tion should not proceed. The presentation shouldn't proceed because, in such a case, the creative work is no longer relevant. Instead of presenting the creative work, you should focus on redefining the problem. Look at this scenario not as a setback but rather as an opportunity to learn something and to make the creative work stronger. Consultants should make sure their contracts anticipate redefinitions of the problem and allow for appropriate com- pensation. And, likewise, in-house staffs should make sure decision makers are aware of the process. Consider also, this corollary. Never present creative work to a decision maker if you haven't previously met and dis- cussed the problem statement. If you haven't met, there is simply no way you can know that you are solving the problem as this decision maker sees it. In this situation, the risk of your presentation being unsuccessful is extremely high. I explain this philosophy at the beginning of a project and use it as a way to ask if the ultimate decision maker is participating in the process. If he or she cannot make time to participate in defining the problem, then something is wrong. It may be that your client is acting without authority or has misunderstood a request. Work should proceed only with the utmost caution. Process in theory, more models I've devoted so much space to describing how I define
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problems because I believe it's the key to the rest of the process. However, the rest of the process also deserves at least as much attention. To those unfamiliar with it, the design process can seem like a black box. Something mysterious. Something that takes inputs and magically delivers outputs like a computer. Some people may see little need to examine the contents of the black box. And there may be little need if a proj- ect is small enough for one person to handle and if that person is experienced with the class of the project. In such situations, intuition and experience will suffice. For some small design projects, idiosyncratic processes mayeven be appropriate. But for large or complex projects, and especially for new classes of projects, the process must be explicit or the project will fail. In design classes, I use a short exercise to begin prying open the black box. I bring to class three office diction- aries, a ream of regular copy paper and a ruler. I give two sheets of paper to each student. Then, as a prelude to the problem, I ask each student to stand, lift the diction- aries and write down an estimate of their weight. We share all the estimates and find the average, which is normally about ten pounds. This prelude involves the students and dramatizes the weight of the dictionaries.
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