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A deep insight into design thinking with agile methodology

Organizations that pursue a more customer-centric innovation strategy often use one of two concepts: agile or design thinking. Incidentally, both strategies share a similar philosophy. Both ideologies are about an iterative design approach to software development that gathers customer feedback, inspires ideas, and helps teams avoid mistakes.

This development approach leads to better products, faster development and greater customer satisfaction. But these strategies are not interchangeable. This article talks about these two concepts, why they are important, and how they differ.

What is the agile manifesto?

In the 1990s, there was a time lag between customer requirements and the delivery of the technology, which ultimately led to the abandonment of many software projects. The waterfall model was unable to deliver software at the required speed and a new solution had to be developed.

The Agile Manifesto is a document that outlines the key ideals and practices of agile methodology, with the aim of helping development teams work more efficiently and sustainably. Aligned to uncover better ways to develop software, it has had a profound impact on software development for years and is still very relevant today.

The Agile Manifesto was developed in 2000 and 2001 by a group of thought leaders including Kent Beck, Arie van Bennekum, Jon Kern, Ward Cunningham, and Alistair Cockburn.

Read: What is agile project management software?

Why is agile development important?

The ideals of the agile manifesto offer companies the opportunity to strive for excellence. The manifesto promotes trust, openness, cooperation and customer participation. While software techniques may seem simple, it is always important to work with specialists who understand the value of creating a great product and keeping the customer happy.

The Agile Manifesto encompasses four key values:

  • Individuals and interactions through processes and tools
  • Working software with extensive documentation
  • Cooperation with customers through contract negotiations
  • Responding to the changeover according to a plan

What is design thinking? Why do we need it?

When working on software projects, you may often need to understand the customer’s needs, but you may be challenged by geographic restrictions, tight project plans, or limited budgets. Design thinking can help solve complex problems for which there is no clear solution.

Design Thinking is an empathetic approach and an iterative process that tries to align design and innovation with the wants and needs of users and helps your company adapt to technological developments and industry changes. It is an approach that enables you to better understand the customer’s requirements based on what is technically and economically feasible. Design thinking is a customer-centric process that can be used to develop products that are sustainable and profitable over their life cycle.

Agile vs. Design Thinking

Design Thinking is a customer-centric development methodology that provides a solution-based approach to solving problems to ensure the desirability, feasibility, and feasibility of the final solution. It is a methodology that uncovers real problems that need to be solved, brainstorms them, and finally offers innovative solutions to solve them.

Design thinking and agile methodology are not the same – they are two distinctly different concepts, but they complement each other. Feedback loops are one of the driving factors for the success of agile frameworks such as Scrum and Kanban. A sprint is a feedback loop that helps the team become more agile.

Agile is a problem-solving approach that addresses predefined problems. Design thinking, on the other hand, deals with identifying the relevant problems that need to be solved. This distinction is important because Design Thinking enables users to make better decisions about their path, not just about how to get there. Design thinking, together with agile, can promote innovation, increase productivity and increase profits.

Read: Best agile strategies for success

The five principles of design thinking

Design thinking depends on the following principles:

  • Compassionate – This is a phase in which behavior patterns are identified and questions are asked.
  • Define – This is the phase in which the problem is derived and the needs of the user are addressed and prioritized.
  • Designed – At this stage, the teams work together to resolve the problem, usually through a series of brainstorming sessions, e.g. B. by using discussion sessions, mind maps, whiteboarding, etc. Note that a layout for the architecture is also derived in this phase.
  • prototype – In this phase, the teams work together to create wireframes and working prototypes.
  • Check – This is the phase in which the ideas are tested among users to check whether the solution to the given problem is satisfactory. One result of this phase is a Minimum Viable Product that is created by learning from and working on the user’s feedback.

The agile manifesto: what has changed

While the Agile Manifesto preaches face-to-face collaboration as the most efficient way to convey information, in today’s world where teams are geographically dispersed – often thousands of miles apart – it’s not always good. In today’s world, face-to-face meetings are still held, but this is not always possible for geographically dispersed teams.

The way we work with customers has changed a lot in recent years – it has become more complex with the proliferation of communication channels such as video conferencing, social media, chatbots, etc.

In addition, a misunderstanding of agile can pose many challenges in promoting an agile culture in an organization. Additionally, it affects project schedules and hinders the flow of information and feedback that is essential for developers and teams to learn and improve over time.

The agile manifesto: what still counts

Agile Manifesto is still relevant in software development today and continues to influence other industries – here’s why. Some key elements of modern software practices have been identified that are still industry standards. It emphasizes trust, communication, and relationships, and recommends that business professionals and developers work together.

This is still true today when large software development projects are also being worked on. While daily standups may not be practical, developers and stakeholders should communicate frequently. There should be adequate communication between everyone – geographically dispersed teams should be able to communicate properly.

Trust is another point mentioned in the agile manifesto, which apparently still applies today. The Agile Manifesto emphasizes that you should get your work done by motivated people. They should make sure they are getting the necessary infrastructure they need and trust them to get the job done. For an agile team to be successful, there should be trust between developers, between teams, between customers and companies, and so on.

The agile manifesto is still relevant today as it relies heavily on relationships. Such relationships can exist between developers, between teams, and between everyone involved. To be successful, you should be able to build strong relationships among managers, developers, testers, and stakeholders that are spread over geographical distances.

Read: A developer’s guide to DevOps

Summary of agile and development and design thinking

The agile methodology helps your team with faster results and frequent feedback loops for better business continuity to success. It still influences software development today – even in large projects and in teams that are spread over geographical distances. If the agile ideals and principles are actively implemented during the entire software development process, they can definitely have a good influence on the product.

Use a hybrid approach by integrating principles from Design Thinking and Agile into your company. This allows you to generate new ideas and embrace innovations that can help transform businesses.

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