Now we are nearing the end of EnterprisebyDesign it is worth thinking about the benefits of the process. As an interdisciplinary project, with a vague brief compared to most academic modules EbD can add substantial value to academic courses.
Even as post graduate students, taking masters and PhDs we are very much focussed on one discipline which does not reflect how a real business operates. In order to solve a real business problem a solution has to come from multiple different angles, and consider many different aspects. The team in EbD are designed to broadly to provide a scientific, engineering, creative and business perspective to every solution. This not only shows the value of working in a team, but also adds value to each individuals skill set. When working in one discipline it is assumed everyone speaks the same ‘language’ however in a real business setting this is not the case, and the ability to not only explain the core concepts of your discipline to others but also understand theirs is vital to effective cross-discipline teamwork.
The problems of miss communication in businesses are well known and widespread, and this stems from academic silos and reductionism. Whilst every discipline will have aspects of the process that they can contribute to more than others- for example business students will be the most familiar with a SWOT analysis, and engineering students will be able to provide insight into technology enhancement for their solutions, and the psychologists will understand how to use the principals of their disciple to make an effective presentation of ideas to the panel in the final week the value comes from all of the these skills working together. This is what EbD is about- adding value through bringing the best of four academic worlds together, and providing students with invaluable skills. For individual students this will hopefully result in a more critical outlook and a ‘what about…’ ‘did we think of…’ ‘how will…’ approach to problems even within their own discipline.
Another source of value is responding to the new style of brief, as this is a completely new experience for most students. Learning to work on what are essentially, shifting sands is giving students a new outlook, as well as increasing skills in flexibility and real world application. From my own experience in EbD I know that it is a jump in the deep end, especially since I like the academic environment, however I can also speak for the eye opening experience and skills the process provides.