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Are your Co-design projects still waiting for the Green Light?

If you follow the work we do here at Authentic Co-design, you’ll know that one of the things we are passionate about is understanding and supporting organisational readiness before jumping into a co-design project. Last year Susan Carter wrote a blog describing what ‘being ready’ looks like (click through to read Ready, Steady, Co-design) and this year we’ve taken that work even further by preparing a simple Traffic Light Assessment Tool.


Using this tool, we have been able to take 5 key areas of readiness (leadership, community, logistics, other partners, and evaluation) and key criteria associated with these areas and provide a detailed assessment of project readiness.


We provide a detailed assessment under each of these headings and then give a final traffic light score for each where:

· Green areas are completely covered and ready for co-design to commence (for example the timing within the project is right, and the organisation view the community as an asset to work with).

· Amber areas are where work has commenced but additional work is required before a project is ‘ready’ (for example, appropriate resources have been committed and there is a clear definition of what success would look like and how it should be measured).

· Red areas are those where work has not started or there are significant challenges to be overcome (for example a lack of remit or a community where there are significant issues with trust)


This assessment allows us to provide a quick visual interpretation that highlights exactly where further energy is required before a project is ‘ready’ as represented by the example matrix. This can be a valuable tool for presenting your case to boards or other organisational decision makers.

Through our experience, we’ve learnt that that it is not easy for organisations to know if they are ready or not for co-design. They might have lots in place but not ‘feel’ ready, which is completely normal - we often don’t ‘feel’ ready when we have never done something before. The opposite can also be true, an organisation might ‘feel’ ready but in fact they have not attended to some conditions that are crucial for doing co-design.


This is where our assessment tool comes in handy. We can provide an actionable plan for where you are ready and where things might need more energy. We can also identify areas that might have an amber light but are outside of your organisational control and may not need to delay the process moving forward. The benefit is in actively assessing your position and operating from a place of considering the full picture.


If you’re interested in giving our tool a go, you can get in touch by direct messaging me or by email; max@maxhardy.com.au . Or if there are other challenges you are currently experiencing, you may like to participate in our upcoming online free session entitled Exploring the Challenges of Co-design’ at 1pm AEST on 23 March. This will be an interactive session where we share the challenges we have come up against and provide you the opportunity to do the same.


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