Design thinking is a methodical approach to develop innovative ideas for products, services or business models, taking into account the needs and motivation of customers. Starting even with a rough idea, solutions to complex problems can be developed in an iterative process, making them visible via prototypes and optimizing them with feedback. The widely popular Scrum method is an agile approach like Design Thinking and also used to develop innovative products and services in an iterative approach. In contrast to Design Thinking, a specific product idea already exists and in the Scum project the team works out how to implement it. Both Design Thinking and Scrum are strongly customer-centric approaches and use prototyping and team cross-functionality for more successful solutions and integrate customer and stakeholder feedback at an early stage of development.
Design Thinking can be described as a creative problem-solving technique usually with these steps: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. In the first step we EMPATHIZE, we approach the customer, trying to understand their needs and wants. Step into your customer’s shoes, observe what they do, do what they do, experience what they experience. Now DEFINE the unmet needs by evaluating the information you gathered. Then the next step IDEATE is a brainstorming stage which marks the transition from identifying problems to exploring solutions. With PROTOTYPE we pick ideas which seem best to solve the customer’s problem and start building them and use storytelling to describe our solution. In the TEST phase we go back to the customer and get their feedback on our solution visualised by our prototype. This feedback will be integrated in the next iteration of the process. Repeat until your testing customers are happy.
Why do we work with prototypes? An idea is more convincing when it physically exists or is visualized even as a model. It is also important to design it yourself. This approach adresses multiple senses, depending on the type of prototype you build.
We offer a prototyping training for those who want to find out more on how the method can enrich their innovation development. In this training we give participants an introduction to agile project and innovation management with Design Thinking and the Scrum method and to learn the methodology with practical, iterative prototyping exercises. The required theoretical background is presented, with the focus of the training on exercises in which an idea is visualized and iteratively optimized. In this way, the methodology is clarified and tangible.
In this training participants develop an understanding of the advantages of visualizing ideas using prototypes and of iterative processes for optimization. Creativity, feedback culture, change of perspective, teamwork and the idea of team diversity will be fostered.
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