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Systems Leverage Map

System Leverage Mapping gives us a framework for differentiating our concepts for design intervention by their potential to provoke change in systems. The framework is informed by theory and principles foundational to systemic design.

To guide alignment on a north star to anchor project planning around, our team adapted Adam Grove’s Systems Leverage Map, an inspiring framework that among other things, graphically represents a portfolio of services offered and programs administered by an organization in a systemic context. Our adaptation focuses on surfacing a suite of potential design interventions within a singular program, as opposed to a portfolio of programs and services.

You can adapt this generic framework to your project context to:

  • situate a design intervention at scale: show the scale of system leverage being addressed by a proposed solution; as well as the likely effort needed to bring it to fruition

  • situate an intervention over time: show where the impact of a proposed intervention might be felt within the time-based context of a person or an archetypes service experience

  • show how proposed design and service interventions relate and interrelate with one another

  • show how programs or portfolios of services build-up to and upon one another in a sequential or nonlinear manner

Adapting this framework enabled our interdisciplinary project team to chart and discuss the nuance, tensions, gaps, opportunities, trust-deficiencies, and enablers that come to bear in a person's service experience over time. By graphically representing potential interrelated opportunities within streams of work and the different scales at which organizational impact and effort would manifest--in the context of a person’s service experience--we assessed and aligned around where to move next; which north star to focus our collective, aspirational gaze.

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Design Institute for Health
Catalyzing systemic change in health through design
We see a new future for health and health care, one that turns complex systems inside out and puts people at the center. This radical collaboration between a new academic medical center and a college of fine arts embeds design in health.

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