Lean thinking started our day, specifically taking our ‘problem’ and turning it (quickly) into something to show people our thinking – creating our minimal viable product (MVP). Our mindsets for the day were set in learning as we go…
Our task was to refine the problem with a succinct question. With the help of Jules from the council’s employment and skills department, we agreed our project description:
How might we engage SMEs in Birmingham to deliver valuable experiences for young people (16 to 20 year olds) who are able to engage.
We spent a little time defining what we mean by valuable experiences and identifying current solutions tackling the same question. Jules’ insights were once again greally welcomed! Groundwork done, Tim and Laura hit the streets to understand the ‘pains and gains’ of young people in gaining work experience and jobs.
The insights were invaluable, particularly 21-year-old Michael who spent two years looking for work and undertaking work experience before finding a job. Michael said his work experience in retail, warehousing and telecommunications provided him with transferable skills which he now uses in his customer-facing role.
Meanwhile back at base, Stuart and Simon (a welcome addition to the team), undertook a desktop research exercise to identify existing technology and trends.
Using all our collected insight we began ideation and clustered our thoughts into our ‘lean canvas’, comprising our customer segments, problem, solution, unique value proposition and key activity. This gave us the basis for our concept and first prototype – a focused sharing platform for ‘experiences’, for both young people to find work and skills opportunities, and for small businesses to offer opportunities whilst being useful for them. At the centre is recognising that experiences could be anything from a conversation between a young person and a local business owner, to a young person helping out with a specific task need of the business.
By the end of the day we had our prototype (hurrah!) and headed back to Chris at Ideal Birmingham (a skateboard shop in The Custard Factory) to present our ideas. His feedback was positive – our first local business is on board! A few barriers were identified which we’ll discuss as a team tomorrow.
Finally we were thrust in front of a feedback panel to pitch our idea in 3 minutes – no pressure! Really useful to get their feedback and further avenues of exploration. Looking forward to taking our prototype through iterations of testing in the days ahead.