Grand Designs

Challenges Integrating Design Thinking and Agile Development Practices

Have you ever seen rabbits in the clouds? Or perhaps a face in the flames? Psychology dictates that in our constant search for patterns, humans look for context and meaning in the most insignificant of constructs.

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Can Design Thinking encourage out of the box thinking and integrate with our Agile development practices?

Think Again

One key concern with utilisation of Design Thinking is the premise that it allows definition of a full solution upfront. Locking in every requirement upfront, regardless of the published format, doesn’t allow for lessons to be learned.

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Design Thinking and Agile methodologies can encourage iterative design and development

Think How It’s Gonna Be

There is a common misconception that exercising agility means you are mindlessly react to new requests. Some think it is a reactionary journey, where teams take every turn on the route, rather than driving straight down the motorway. At times I have felt our journey has turned into blind country backroad turns taking us further into darkness.

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The Hills format designed under the IBM Design Thinking format does look rather familiar…

Think of Tomorrow

Designers are often the primary facilitators driving Design Thinking processes. A common challenge discussed online is how to foster collaboration between software developers and designers. Programmers, designers and business users alike all speak different languages. Nevertheless, early engagement with all three parties will establish the required communication channels.

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While formulating blue sky ideas, sometimes we need to keep out feet closer to the ground and focus on technically feasible solutions

Think it Over

We have been travelling down the Agile road for several years now. Clearly this is the start of our ongoing journey with Design Thinking. Musing over any identified obstacles in our software development has always helped us employ continuous improvement. Ownership of your process means we must strive to make things better.

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Be mindful of the walls being built between technologists, clients and designers, and break them down

Lead software engineer with a strong interest in Agile, UX and Usability. Lover of cooking, tea, photography and gin!

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