Is it still worth to apply Design Thinking in a Project, or has Scrum taken its place?

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Over time, many innovations have been increasing since the inception of the technology. The work has been one of the areas that have benefitted from some of these innovations, and Design Thinking brought some improvements for a vast of companies.

In recent years, several approaches to solving problems in the corporate environment have emerged. In addition to helping to resolve issues, they help the company during its innovation processes and differentiate itself in the market.

Although you can find other tools that work well for a specific reason, Design Thinking is ideal for those companies and teams which use agile tools, like Scrum. So, how can you combine two worlds like Design Thinking and Scrum for your project, leadership, team effort, and improvement, etc?

In this post, you will see the correlation between these two tools in different teams and how you will be able to make them work together.

What Design Thinking is and how it works

The idea is to adopt the most comprehensive look of this professional, observing the needs of consumers. Furthermore, creative potential and empathy are also part of the whole process.

The purpose of Design Thinking, therefore, is to reflect on solutions that, in addition to being creative and innovative, get to the heart of the problem. All this puts the customer at the center of the process.

Thus, one of the pillars is always to be attentive and listen to what your consumer has to say. Brainstorming sessions with people who are somehow connected to the problem to be solved are common. In addition, you can use interviews to understand consumer opinions that are also part of Design Thinking.

What are the benefits of Design Thinking?

There are many reasons to invest in Design Thinking. First, it can be applied to companies of all sizes and industries. In addition, it allows you to solve consumer problems more accurately, as they will be heard.

Corporate innovation is another great advantage, as, with the use of Design Thinking, the company can find good opportunities to innovate.

Design Thinking respects and understands the needs of the end-user. In this methodology, the consumer’s opinion is fundamental to reducing risks in every project: when the result is focused on the client’s mind, respecting their experiences, desires, and challenges, the error gap becomes much smaller.

By involving all stakeholders – with their different expertise – in the process of creating and developing new products and services (design thinking stages), the strategy presupposes greater tangibility of ideas and concepts.

And it guides the company to enable, technologically and economically, what can be interesting for both the corporation and the end-user.

Is it still worth investing in Design Thinking?

Although still new to some companies, Design Thinking has been around for some time — its first use date back to the 1970s.

That’s why some people may wonder: isn’t Design Thinking outdated? Is it still worth investing?

It was not part of the process of listening to the consumers. Companies formulated many products or services based on what they thought would be beneficial to their audience.

In this context, Design Thinking serves to bring this mentality of placing the customer at the center of the process and understanding them and only then bringing solutions that are more compatible with their needs. This can serve both to improve a call center and to create a new product.

Therefore, Design Thinking can be considered old-fashioned. After all, this mentality must already be embedded in the entire context of the company and practicing it is no longer an option.

Applying Scrum in Business

Scrum revolutionizes the way to manage and develop businesses, with faster and more assertive deliveries. The tool is structured in sprints, which last, on average, 5 days.

During this period, the framework works from continuous improvement, finding and solving errors as they arise. This format minimizes risks, reduces rework, and makes project management more productive.

Concepts and phases of Design Thinking 

Design Thinking is a method that maps the greatest number of user challenges (through observation and information gathering) to make ideas tangible and find solutions. Each insight, raised by the people involved and centered on 3 main phases, is relevant to reach a clearer consensus.

  1. Immersion: Issues to raise and analyze. Take into account the perspective of the end-user and the company. In this phase, researches are carried out. Interviews, search for trends, direct observation, among others.
  2. Ideation: Phase in which the team involved performs the creative process and presents ideas for the problems raised.
    Prototyping: It is time to develop and test prototypes of the ideas raised in the Ideation process, pointing out and implementing improvements continuously.
  3. Important: It is noteworthy that the last phase can take place parallel to the others. As new ideas emerge, they are prototyped, tested, and validated. In this context, implementation becomes an ongoing process.

Concepts of Scrum 

Scrum is an agile framework that you can use to manage complex projects too, for example, small events.

In this methodology, collaboration is essential to achieve the established goals. It is also necessary to work with continuous deliveries, avoiding problems only at the end of the process.

In Scrum, the activities and their priorities and deadlines you register (product backlog) and relate from sprints. It represents the period in which a task (user story) to develop and deliver.

The size of each sprint is relative. Each company fits its tasks into a block of activities. It can take anywhere from one to four weeks. Ideally, break the project into smaller sprints.

The main characters involved in the Scrum process are:

Product owner:

A professional is responsible for directing the project. It defines which activities (requirements) will be part of the product backlog.  And the team must address it, in addition to representing the minds of consumers of the product/service to develop.

Scrum Master:

Someone who is the bridge between the product owner and the team. He is responsible for organizing meetings, monitoring the team’s workflow, and ensuring that the team does not have any impediments.

Team:

It is the team that works for the development of the project or product.

Why use Design Thinking and Scrum in project development?

Joining two methodologies that already work very well separately can be the best way to manage agile projects, and focus on the user’s needs. The most important thing is to keep in mind that the project scope based on several cycles, with closures and fragmented deliveries.

And the insights, produced by the involved team, serve as a basis for the process to complete with much more clarity.

Therefore, it is always important to know well the different stages of each of the tools, their concepts, features, and the role of the team involved in the project, ensuring more transparency in deliveries, and reducing risks.

GitScrum supports your team to better and understandable self-organization!

Set your workflow and board to guide your Agile team, assign Tasks, Subtasks and keep in charge of the whole process evolvements. Allow your Agile team to collaborate.

Test our User Stories features to do like these companies and satisfy the customer, first of all, communicate constantly to respond to their expectations ASAP, with collaborators easily interacting at the workboard.

Be able to adapt to workflow changes, use Kanban boards and Gantt Charts to monitor vital information and team performance.

Reach higher levels of efficiency, productivity, and deliverability with GitScrum. Work focused on prioritizing what’s valuable and tracking your flow to overcome results.

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Leonardo Salles

Copywriter for GitScrum.