I’m reading “Change by Design” by Tim Brown, the CEO of www.ideo.com. Reading through the following passages it occurred so profoundly that Agile Development principles, which i am able to relate with so intuitively (but honestly have struggled to get implemented at Srijan Technologies, driven by customer maturity and employee maturity constraints), seem to be an output of application of Design Thinking to the process of Software Development.
In contrast to champions of scientific management at the beginning of the last century, design thinkers know that there is no “one best way” to move through the process. There are useful starting points and helpful landmarks along the way, but the continuum of innovation is the best thought of as a system of overlapping space rather than a sequence of orderly steps.
We can thinking of them as inspiration, the problem, or opportunity that motivates the search for solutions; ideation, the process of generating, developing, and testing ideas; and implementation, the path that leads from the project room to the market. Projects may loop back through these spaces more than once as the team refines its ideas and explores new directions.
The reason for iterative, nonlinear nature of the journey is not that design thinkers are disorganized or undisciplined but that design thinking is fundamentally an exploratory process; done right, it will invariably make unexpected discoveries along the way, and it would be foolish not to find out where they lead. Often these discoveries can be integrated into the ongoing process without disruption. At other times the discoveries will motivate the team to revisit some of its most basic assumptions. While testing a prototype, for instance, consumers may provide us with insights that point to a more interesting, more promising, and potentially more profitable market opening up in front of us. Insights of this sort should inspire us to refine or rethink our assumptions rather than press onward in the adherence to an original plan…
The risk of such an iterative approach is that it appears to extend the time is takes to get an idea to market, but it is often a shortsighted perception. To the contrary, a team that understands what is happening will not feel bound to take the next logical step along an ultimately unproductive path. We have seen many projects killed by management because it became less clear that the ideas were not good enough….A nimble team of design thinkers will have been prototyping from day one and self-correcting along the way. As we say at IDEO, “Fail early to succeed sooner”
Note: The highlights in the quoted text are mine.