design thinking lean startup agile

many fall victim to the law of the instrument bias and after attending a one day design thinking workshop, load all of their eggs into that one basket, maintaining a firm belief that design thinking is the silver bullet solution for their innovation woes, but as i detailed in a previous blog post, design thinking is only one step in the process. the lean startup is used to rapidly experiment across problem, solution, customer segment, distribution channels, marketing channels, revenue models, cost structures, messaging and so on in order to complete the puzzle that underpins any idea for as michael dell put it, ideas are a commodity, execution of them is not.

to simplify, design thinking helps us come up with better ideas, the lean startup helps us turn those ideas into business models that work and agile helps us deliver the product to market in a fast, incremental way so that we get ongoing feedback, adapt and deliver precisely what the customer wants. by combining design thinking, the lean startup and agile, you are far more likely to not only come up with better ideas but turn those ideas into viable money makers and deliver them in a way that creates immediate value for customers, doesn’t result in cost and schedule blowouts – synonymous with innovation at large companies – and give your employees the opportunity to partake in more rewarding and fulfilling work. steve glaveski is the co-founder of collective campus, author of time rich, employee to entrepreneur and host of the future squared podcast.

i often get asked what the difference is between those terms. oh no, maybe it is the same?” and “ah ok, so you mean agile?” or “i think agile is a better word for it”. design thinking is an iterative process in which we thrive to understand the user’s pain, challenge assumptions, redefine problems, in order to create new strategies and solutions. the lean startup methodology was born in silicon valley in the 90s, but the use of the word “lean” has its roots to toyota’s lean production system.

using eric ries words: “the lean startup provides a scientific approach to creating and managing startups and get a desired product to customers’ hands faster. it is a principled approach to new product development.” agile is a way of working, based on an iterative development, incremental delivery and ongoing reassessment of a product. according to the 12 principles of the agile manifesto, “working software is the primary measure of progress.” deliver a rough draft, then revise based on your editor’s suggestions. never deliver the entire piece all at once! this feedback loop makes sure that no product is created without a purpose to the final user.

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