Design Thinking, Lean & Agile Processes

Mindsets and processes to build products and services that people want, as quickly and efficiently as possible.

These processes and toolkits help teams frame their approach, and build human-centered solutions.

While each of these processes are different, they are heavily related. Each process takes a complex long-term process and breaks it down into bite-sized pieces

→ Design Thinking and “human-centered design” practices come at the earliest steps of the product development or startup process, often before there is even an idea of the solution. It revolves around the core aspect that the customer is the foundation of knowledge, and so should be consulted at every stage of the product development process.

→ Lean Startup methods can apply to all aspects of the startup process, from product development, to marketing, to business model design, and even internal issues such as HR and organizational development. The main emphasis of the “lean” method is letting data drive decision-making as much as possible.

→ Agile Processes generally refer to the actual product development process. Whether manufacturing physical products or building software, agile methods encourage more iterative development, getting customer feedback (explicitly or through observing and measuring user behavior), doing more frequent releases, and adapting to user feedback in ongoing ways throughout the product development process.

All three methods seek to reduce the risks associated with developing products by getting user feedback earlier, and thereby giving greater confidence that whatever is getting developed, is what the customer actually wants.

These methods should be combined with other organizational efficiency methods such as “sprints”, OKRs or other productivity methods (such as burndown charts and efforts to measure team “velocity”) to help build strong, efficient, responsive organizations.

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Our work in these fields is in active development, and we welcome collaborations and support on these efforts. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact us.