Saturday, January 26, 2013

Design thinking -- agile for not-software?

"Design Thinking" is a term of art. Many are accredited with its coinage: early on Herbert Simon writing in The Sciences of the Artificial in 1969, but probably most prominently by David Kelley -- founder of product design firm IDEO.

A really good comparison of 'design thinking' and traditional management thinking is given in the slideshare presentation embedded below. Some really good insight is given on pages

However, you might also want to hear it directly from it's most articulate spokesman, David Kelley: here he is in a recent 60 Minutes interview making these key points: (and, take note of the agile-like envisioning, story-like requirements, and user feedback shown in the interview)
  • Design thinking incorporates human behavior into design
  • Diversity of talent and experience is required on teams... arts, engineering, science
  • Teamers have to be good at building on other's ideas
  • Requirements are developed by observation of user behavior/actions
  • Emphasis on prototyping; focus on what's intuitive for human utility
  • Empathy for the human need is key to everything
  • Applicable to tangible products, environment experience, processes, and other
Steve Jobs was IDEO's early client that really drove the company to excel. The mouse was on of the prominent early products in the Apple-IDEO collaboration.

In the slideshare below, we learn that abduction, a logical complement to induction and deduction, is what really makes design thinking go.

When you put all this all together, it's pretty obviously agile for non-software!