BI-students think outside the box: “Don’t worry, BI happy”

This blog post is contributed by Elseline Senave, Nick Baeten and Stef Breuls, students of the bachelor program Business Informatics

It goes without saying that it has plenty of perks to be a BI student. You get to explore some of the most compelling subject-matters, to tackle cutting-edge challenges and to forge a connection between what is and what shall be. But wait, it gets even better: on the seventh day, we created something called “BI-day”, which basically means that we get to dive right into the action whilst the other university students get to follow classes from dawn to dusk.

Topic of the day: design thinking. After a brief introduction to the subject, we were divided in small groups and got to devise our own projects to improve the university’s relations with its various stakeholders. Luckily, we could count on the experienced service designers of JBC and Superlab to guide us through this cumbersome process.

We started out by trying our hand at a stakeholder analysis, in the form of a stakeholder map. In doing so, we were encouraged to keep some of the less obvious stakeholders in mind as well. After each group had chosen a stakeholder they wanted to work with, we received some time to gain more insight into that particular stakeholder. What are their goals and needs? How do they experience their key moments?

Later on, every group member had to come up with some ideas to offset the stakeholder’s negative experiences while leveraging the positive ones. This was accomplished using an alternative way of brainstorming: you take a piece of paper and fold it into eight squares. For each square, you get one minute to come up with an idea. There are only two rules to keep in mind: do not fret about the quality of your ideas just yet, but do make sure that you are able to explain them to your team members later on. The morning was brought to a closure by choosing the two ideas we would be working on for the rest of the day.

Finally, lunch time, the moment we all had been waiting for! Although most of us had already eaten a lot of chocolate, candy and cookies throughout the morning, we were still hungry for some delicious pizza. During lunch, we had time to share and discuss our ideas with our fellow students. It was also the perfect occasion to relax for a moment in the calm before the storm, because in the afternoon we would have to pitch our project in front of the whole group.

Tension built as the pitch drew closer ever so steadily. Surely when a number of preliminary discussions with our peers revealed the constraints and risks of the project, feedback that still needed to be incorporated. After all, we would only get one shot at presenting our idea to the public and we had found the competition to be fierce.

Our fellow students became both our judge and jury at the moment of truth, as we presented the concept, goals and risks of our project. The elected winners all received a gift voucher for Coolblue, as well as the winner of our social media competition (hence the ‘Don’t worry, BI happy’ and ‘To BI or not to BI’ posts popping up left and right on the different platforms).

This entry was posted in Education, Team by Marijke Swennen. Bookmark the permalink.

About Marijke Swennen

Marijke Swennen is a PhD student at the research group of Business informatics since 2011. Next to teaching and performing research about process mining in the light of operational excellence, she recently started working on an education project titled "Agile project management in higher education". In this project, the principles of agile project management will be applied in different courses throughout Hasselt University.

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