The Masters project started in early 2013 and will be completed in early August 2013.
The project is selected from a challenge bank and it is undertaken on a pro bono basis.
I undertake this professional project by working closely with the person who made the challenge: Beth Garner the Principal Consultant at the Canadian Transport Consultancy Group called MMM based in Edinburgh.
The Challenge Brief:
Once formed, travel habits are difficult to break. This is why we want to ensure the right travel habits are formed in the first place! Transition points in our lives (moving house, having kids, retiring) are key moments when new habits will be formed.
Our challenge focuses on the transition when individuals leaving university or college, and find their first job.
Whilst studying, many students have low budgets and relatively few travel requirements meaning they will walk, cycle and use public transport more than many other demographic groups. Also, many cities and universities have well developed sustainable transport strategies which may include reduced price public transport fares for students. Incentives like this, however, are rarely available once individuals start to work. Once students graduate and enter paid employment these travel choices can quickly become a distant memory – owning a car is suddenly much more appealing and feasible if incomes are high enough.
Having said this, young peoples’ attitudes towards cars and driving do seem to be changing. Some researchers believe that the car has lost its ‘cool appeal’ amongst certain groups of young people. Others think that virtual connectivity is replacing the need for physical connectivity. The rise of car sharing schemes (City Car Club or Zipcar for instance) is also reflecting the changing attitudes towards car ownership – perhaps the next generation of graduates will be content with sharing, instead of owning, a car.
The illustration above is adapted from A. Mendelow’s Matrix(1991) . It is a Power and Interest Matrix for Stakeholder Prioritization (a Stakeholder is a person who can affect or is affected by the service/project). It is a visual representation of the various groups involved in this service/project. By representing users, partner organisations and other stakeholders in this way the interconnection between these stakeholders can be analysed.
The Power-Interest Matrix is a great service design method that helped me to focus my efforts on the highest priority stakeholders while providing sufficient information to keep the less powerful groups happy.
Minimal Effort – less interested stakeholders in this service place few demands and less information but need monitoring.
Keep Informed – these stakeholders have a high interest in what I’m are doing, but relatively low power. These people need to be kept adequately informed to ensure that no major issues are arising. These people can often be very helpful with the detail of my project.
Keep Satisfied – these people with high level of power need to be kept happy bearing in mind the level of interest can change rapidly when a stakeholder becomes satisfied. These are the key users of this service.
Key Stakeholders – highly interested people are the ones who I must fully engage and make the greatest efforts to satisfy.