Discovery Channel

Hi guys, what’s up? Been wondering what our Best And Brightest (B&B) have been doing over the holidays? DigiKoolAid is right up to speed.

They’ve been doing Discovery. If that sounds like fun, great, but what could it be? Let’s get our KoolAid goggles on and peer into the murky depths.

@leisa from your DTO says that “discovery is where we discover”. She’s worried that sounds trite, but claims it’s the best description we have. Shopping is where we shop, cooking is where we cook, and discovery is where we discover. Thanks, we all get the idea. By the way, discovery is definitely not cooking or shopping, which are completely separate things. Leisa has a video to share about this complex relationship, and she describes how to Do Discovery.


It’s roughly like this; but catch her on YouTube for the full complexity.

  1. Get your whole gang together and go on a visit someplace where you’ve never been, like a Commonwealth department
  2. Ask loads of guestions about everything you can think of, whatever comes to mind first: yes that too – don’t be embarrassed
  3. Write stuff on stick-it notes
  4. Head back  home and stick them on a wall, and tweet a photo
  5. Get your gang and the DTO to wildly RT your tweet
  6. Have an open day and show da stick-it thing


Sure, it’s all a bit like discovering Black Mountain by hiring a bus, filling it with your mates and asking a Canberra resident for directions. Maybe that way you could “discover” Black Mountain too. Fun trip, great view, but the next bit is even better.


Then after you’ve “discovered” Black Mountain your team will draw a map to Black Mountain, so you can validate it. But wait, wait: you gotta wait! Don’t validate it just yet. That comes later. You have to be patient. Jumping ahead isn’t allowed. Baby steps first  – OK? Here’s your map.


Leisa says, “It’s important to note that this is not the same as user experience mapping”, which we guess is maybe like that selfie we took halfway down Northbourne waiting for the lights to change. “If there are any obvious technical, legislative or other constraints relating to the service these should be noted in the discovery phase too”, but nothing that’s not really, really obvious could be that important so don’t worry a lot. The idea is to have fun on the Discovery, and remember what you don’t know won’t ever hurt you.

Leisa knows that “Support from subject matter experts and other stakeholders throughout the Discovery is also a lot of help”, so maybe having people around who already know where Black Mountain is before you discover” it could help. Plus nobody on the bus can do anything else while we are driving. “It’s important that the team can commit their full-time to the Discovery”: that’s no open-houses, showing-da-things or that sort of stuff.  And when the bus gets back to base we all have to keep in the same places forever. We must “retain the same team members (in the same roles) throughout all Service Design and Delivery phases”. Guys, you can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave.

The Discovery stage will help the team to challenge their preconceived ideas of what the problem and solution might be” … which won’t be too hard given that nobody on the bus has an idea at this point, or a preconceived solution. ideas That’s maybe because none of the gang has ever been to Black Mountain before. It’s all kind of new, if you know what I mean. When they get there they will “frame their understanding of problem and solution ” and “clarify the government’s policy intent for the service so that you are able to align the policy intent with user needs”, which might sound like Alignment KoolAid, so check the web site.

And the next bit is tricky, so brace yourself …


You’ll need to understand how the service is currently being delivered, looking at the existing business processes, the technology that supports them, and how data flows through the service.” Sure, that’s sort of like understanding Walter Burley Griffin’s design, Canberra ecology and weather patterns, the engine of the bus and how the fuel flows out of the tank at the back to the motor up front when you go up hills.

 Take away? Leisa says discovery is not about prototyping and testing: and we think driving up Black Mountain is not about cooking lunch on the b-b-q there. You’ll do that in the Cooking stage. That’s up next … can’t wait


Heads up guys: Leisa Reichelt is a qualified designer with an award from the Sydney University of Technology. As far as Digital Koolaid can “discover“, like other people at your DTO she escaped from the GDS in the UK.  Give her a chance to catch up, and lend her your KoolAid Goggles.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: