Business Design is a proven methodology to mitigate risk when transforming products and services, creating new experiences, or innovating new disruptive, sustainable, or circular business models. The Design Index monitors how well the project mitigated the various risk factors by following the Business Design process.
Note that the Design Index measures only process compliance - not the quality of the deliverables itself. In this sense, the Design Index is comparable to a ISO certification: A company might follow its processes by the letter, but due to bad luck, the outcome might sometimes still be not ideal.
Sponsors should use the Design Index to monitor that their project teams follow the Business Design methodology. For example: Sponsors should ask more thorough questions during the phase wrap up sessions about how a team came up with its findings.
Sponsors can see the Design Index on the projects tab of their theme. A breakdown of the score is available by clicking on the Design Index. The Design Index dialog shows the different dimensions together with a short explanation.
We discourage teams from using the Design Index while working on a phase. The Design Index is too high level to derive specific actions. Instead, teams should rely on the advice in the app, which will lead to a good Design Index score.
Improve your Design Index score
Although there is no 1:1 mapping between an individual action in NEXT and the Design Score, all best practices captured by the Design Index are represented in the application. If a team follows the advices given in the app (e.g. execute tasks, follow hints on how to create outcomes), the project will end up with a good Design Index score.
If you are uncertain about a score in a specific project despite following all best practices, please reach out to NEXT Support and we’re happy to loop in our Data Analytics and Customer Success team.
Under the hood
The Design Index is the result of year-long research to quantify our Business Design expertise. Before, experts had to review individual projects, often leading to inconsistent results. In contrast, NEXT's machine learning model can consistently analyze and score millions of projects in realtime.
The NEXT Data Science team developed and refines the underlying computation model based on two factors:
- Machine learning analysis of 100s of successful and unsuccessful project across many different company sizes, industries, and project scopes.
- Expert input from our Customer Success professionals who work daily with dozens of leading companies
Based on these factors, we're training our model that predicts the likelihood of project success.
How does time impact the Design Index?
The Design Index captures how well the team mitigated the various risk factors. The Design Index does not capture how long the team took to do this.
Example: If 5 user interviews are done within 1 day or spread over a month: the team would end up with the same level of market/customer understanding - and therefore same Design Index score. In contrast, doing only 1 user interview would seriously reduce their customer understanding, leading to a lower Design Index score.
How do custom tasks impact the Design Index?
Doing additional custom tasks won't have a significant impact on the Design Index in itself. Doing custom tasks instead of standard tasks will lead to a lower Design Index.
Example: If a team does additionally to its user interview a custom task, won't have a significant impact on the Design Index. In contrast, if the team does a custom task instead of the user interview, it will lead to a lower Design Index because the best practice of interviewing users isn't followed.
The outcomes collected during a custom task are treated similar to outcomes captured during a standard task.
Example: The team captures the pain "My user feels forced to buy unhealthy snacks to motivate itself for a walk outside the office." during a user interview. The same pain captured from a custom task will be considered equally valuable by the Design Index. In contrast, the pain "Laziness" will lead to a lower Design Index because it will be less helpful during the Creative Question step.