The Base22 Academic Initiative: Closing the Gap Between Academic and Industry

We knew that great things were bound to happen after beginning the Academic Initiative partnership at Base22.

The idea was to give back to the Academy everything we’ve received through the years: knowledge and experience.

The difference we have found between the classroom and the project trenches are gaps we always try to reduce in our workforce. A partnership could not only help Base22, but the whole community.

In a nutshell, the Academic Initiative is a long-term relationship with universities that helps to bring visibility about market trends and career roadmaps focused on paths that we believe are the cornerstone of a good HCI – Human Computer Interaction – Design.

Focus Areas:

  • Planning & Strategy
  • Architecture (Solutions and Information)
  • Design & User Experience
  • Copywriting & SEO
  • Web Development (Back-end & Front-End technologies)

Our strategy covers different initiatives like hosting events inside Universities, creating workshops with students, working on philanthropic projects, and other tailor-made solutions.

When we were discussing the initiative with one of the biggest Universities in Mexico – the Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) – they proposed a new approach that resonated like a charm:

Why not understand the current approach at ITESM by talking with teachers to find out the best methods for tackling the problems that a modern university faces?

What is the best way to prepare students for the 21st century and the new student profile that arises?

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”
Albert Einstein

Our first engagement was a workshop for ITESM teachers on Design Thinking Methods for Software Development. The idea was to show how Base22 and our FLUID methodology works in a software development environment. We accomplished this with case studies and tasks that would help everyone understand how to improve lectures, the connections students can make between different classes, while also highlighting some techniques that could be used in the classroom to define a problem and how to create solutions specific to that problem.

After a full week of workshops, we completed the initial engagement showing the Base22 approach to tackling simple and complex projects. We also spent time showing how we connect design and engineering to create outstanding experiences. At the end, we certified 28 teachers on Design Thinking techniques and discussed a variety of software development models (Spiral, DRA, Prototype-driven, and Agile), how to connect the product discovery phase with the assembly line, and also how to manage the entire effort.

FLUID Methodology:

Over the last 15 years, we have planned, created, tested, and deployed world-class digital solutions, and our experience has shown that successful projects, in reality, should be more FLUID than the current model often used by companies. After realizing that, we started to create a methodology based on many years of combined experience through a wide variety of professionals that have played an integral role in delivering successful solutions to world-leading organizations. Imbued within the methodology are hard-earned principles and practices that have resulted from real-world experience on projects spanning a variety of industries and levels of complexity. Our history and experience is an important part of our continued success and something for which we hold great pride. As a result, we created Base22 FLUID – a service delivery methodology with a formal system of processes and methods used in the delivery of consulting services and solutions. Every project Base22 engages in is managed with the FLUID methodology.

FLUID avoids hard gates between phases, and instead seeks fluidity in a two-fold way:

  • We value, obtain, and promote talent that has cross-domain experience and ability (for example, design-centric developers and tech-savvy designers)
  • We plan and manage to keep open lines of communication and interaction between project domains (this enables agility and is reflected as “fluid” regions where phases cross one another).

The methodology has several different layers, and the first approach was to show the overall methodology and explain our detailed approach for the Design phase – where we use our experience from previous projects and other best practices collected from Google Ventures, Ideo, Nahman, and IBM. We understand that all methodologies are pointing to the same direction, with some structural differences. So based on our experience and our methods we designed an approach that takes advantage of best practices from each one of these design giants. The result is a toolkit with more than 40 different techniques, methods, and processes that empowers creative thinking to solve complex problems.

Our multidisciplinary team worked with ITESM over a whole week in a discovery workshop that:

  • Presented the toolkit, its methods, tools, and process
  • Showed how to interact with the toolkit in an Agile, Lean UX world
  • Detailed how to connect design and discovery with other parts of the Delivery Lifecycle

With lectures, activities and a lot of co-creation, ITESM teachers collaborated with Base22 experts to discover the real problem, understand the user and how to create empathy design based on User Centered Design philosophies. All teachers from the computer science engineering courses were involved, and the journey continues with them in order to connect all classes in a holistic way that doesn’t just connect teachers, but offers a seamless learning experience for students as well.

”Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens”
Jimi Hendrix

Besides teaching our methods for service delivery we also received useful feedback about the methodology and how it fits in an academic environment. In the end, it was an unforgettable experience for all teachers and Base22 Agents as well!

If you believe your university can take advantage of one of our programs, please send us an email to alysson.franklin@base22.com for additional details.

475 316 Rafael Trujillo
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