Computational Simulation as an organizational prototyping tool

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Dosi, Clio; Iori, Manuel; Kramer, Arthur; Vignoli, Matteo
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Section: Design management
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


This case study deals with a redesign effort to face the overcrowding issue in an Emergency Department (ED). A multidiscinary group of healthcare professionals and engineers worked together to improve the actual processes. We integrate the simulation modeling in a human-centered design method. We use the simulation technique as a learning and experimentation tool into a design thinking process: the computational descrete event simulation helps explore the possibile scenarios to be prototyped. We used the simulation to create a virtual prototyping environment, to help the group start a safe ideation and prototyping effort. Virtual prototyping injected into the organizational context the possibility of experimenting. It represented a cognitive low-risk environment where professionals could explore possible alternative solutions. Upon those solutions, we developed organizational prototyping tools. Top management and head physicians gained confidence for a more grounded decision making effort and important choices of change management and investments have been made.

Keywords: Simulation, Decision making, Organizational processes


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