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Implement Projects and Give Findings to Partners


There are many ways that your teams can implement your ideas or share your findings to help partners make an impact.

  • Implement your idea: Teams can hold an event to test a prototype or service. Even implementing something for a day is the first step to building a sustainable solution. Teams can use events to get feedback on ways to improve services, to get data on how many people may be interested in a solution, and to make a quick impact in users lives!
  • Pass off your idea to partners: Teams can pass off working prototypes to partners to community partners to support users. For a pass-off like this to be successful, your teams will need to consider how much extra work a solution may place upon community partners and the added benefit to the partners' core services. Successful partnerships typically happen when a solution makes it easier for the partner to do their job and has limited added cost to the partner.

It is very important to show your partners gratitude and give something tangible and helpful to your partners as a way to thank them for their support.

All teams should be able to pass off the insights and lessons they have learned from working on the project.

  • Sharing the user research that teams conducted can help their partners understand the reasons behind their work and gives a better chance of adoption. Quotes and stories can help partners think about their own ideas or challenges and help the team’s research and solutions continue to create impact past their immediate involvement with a project. A simple way to do this can be giving partners the teams’ midterm and final deliverables.
  • Make sure teams ask their partners for take-aways or next steps that would be helpful to further team’s solutions. Small wins and making simple things partners ask for advances the relationship tremendously. 

Effective ways to do this include:

Ask teams that have validated solutions from user testing:

  1. Are there opportunities for you to run a temporary installation?
    • What support from your partner or the studio would you need to complete your installation?
  2. Are there ways to give your partner the solution to implement quickly now?
    • What has your partner's initial reaction been to your solutions?
    • Why would your partner be excited about sustaining your solution?
    • What support would you need to give your partner to help them implement?
  3. What other ways will your team thank your partner for their support?

Ask teams that DO NOT have validated solutions from user testing:

  1. Have you asked your partner what takeaways from your project would be helpful for their work?
  2. What are the main insights you have found from user research this term?
  3. What other ways will your team thank your partner for their support?

Network Best Practices

 Develop tools that can be used by a variety of partners like DFA U Alabama

In Spring 2015, DFA U Alabama worked on a project focused on improving functional literacy in their local Tuscaloosa, AL community. Partnering with the Tuscaloosa Public Library, the team devised a solution that compiles various information, such as tax info or nutritious suggestion, accessible station complete with children books. As of Fall 2015, the LitLink team is still working with TPL and with Birmingham Education Foundation to further the project and create more community connections! 

Package your prototypes in a form that’s best for your partners like DFA Rice

DFA Rice worked with Avance, an organization that serves the needs of low-income families, to provide them with a fun and effective activity to get children and participants in their Head Start program more practice in recognizing the letters of the alphabet. This is a crucial developmental step in learning how to read. During a meeting with the DFA team late in the solution development process, Avance mentioned that they were planning on holding a community-wide event for parents with Head Start-aged children. The DFA team recognized this big opportunity and worked hard to produce packets of their activity to be distributed at this event. The biggest change they had to incorporate was creating a Spanish version of their activity. See the final product and more about their project here!