A myth about agile and other iterative development techniques is that they let people work faster. That's not necessarily true, but good planning will let you deliver business benefit sooner, so your time-to-market is lower. A good design thinking methodology will help you understand what parts of your product will deliver business benefit so you can prioritize development and delivery of those pieces.
- One of the biggest benefits of following an iterative development approach is reduced time to market. Often people misunderstand that to mean that iterative development builds the same amount of code in less time. That's not necessarily true. What it does is builds the most important bits of code, the ones that deliver the most business benefit, earlier. That code with just the most important pieces in gets released earlier than if you'd wait until every part of the product was built. The team then fills in the spaces around that core product in subsequent iterations.
So the time it takes you to put something out in front of customers is reduced with iterative development. But what is that something? Well this is one of the lovely benefits of design thinking. Because you've been listening to real customers and because you've already tested your prototype ideas before you start building the real product, you can get a really good idea of which areas of the product are likely to give you the most business benefit. And you don't have to wait until you ship the product to see if you were right. You can conduct ongoing usability tests and even start pilot user groups to measure how successful the product is likely to be while it's still in development.
This early feedback helps you work out whether you're on track and let's you see what type of course corrections you might need to perform. Even after you've shipped the minimum usable product with a core business benefit you can continue gathering metrics and performing user research to work out which other parts of the product are worth building and in what order. Rather than creating everything and then finding out it was only part of it that was worthwhile you get to pick and choose the pieces that will really add value for your customers and your business.
This is all music to executives' ears. They get to reduce the risk of the project while it's still in development. They can be more confident that it will deliver business benefit when it's released. The time to release is much shorter than using traditional techniques. Then the overall project duration can often be cut because some of the less important features that customers wouldn't use just don't end up getting built. This is also great for staff morale. If you've ever been on a project that was counseled before it was released, or worse still, one that failed after release, you know just how bad that feels.
This way you know much earlier whether the ideas that you want to implement are likely to work for customers and to provide business benefit. So you can change direction of cancel the project with a lot less investment. And because you're working in a user centered way it's much less likely that you'll have to cancel it. Much more likely it will be successful when it launches.
In this course, Chris Nodder explains where design thinking fits into product development and what it can help you achieve. He describes each step in the process, from identifying the problem you want to solve and brainstorming solutions, to prototyping, development, and release. Learn about the pros and cons of this approach and how to overcome challenges such as organization inertia and silos. Done right, design thinking can start your organization moving toward broader user-centered design techniques such as information architecture, content testing, usability testing, and marketing research.
- Agile, lean, and design thinking
- Preparing to sell design thinking to your organization
- Finding the real problem
- Correcting course
- Offshoring and outsourcing
- Getting past organizational inertia and silos
- Tracking your success