I have been introduced to the “Design Thinking” methodology in the last few months. I should reframe this statement and say that I have been formally introduced to it. When I first heard about it, I wondered what it was. But after reading about it, I realized that it was something I did every single day in my work as a Director of Web and Software Development. I also tended to think that way in my side hustle as an Innovator. It literally is just how I have done things.
That intrigued me. I decided to keep looking into it, and really I was hooked pretty quickly. This is a simple sort of mindset that anyone can participate in with no college degrees, certifications, or other hurdles to leap over. (I am looking at you MBA things!) The reason it is so very accessible is because it is basically just human thinking. If you’re human, you can participate. Thus most of us qualify. 🙂
It is important for me to point this out right away. I said it above but you might of missed it. Design Thinking is not a process. It is a mindset. This means you will still need a way to organize your workflow for the actual work, but you can do so under the umbrella of this mindset.
If you like Lean, or Agile, or Waterfall or your own flavor of project management styles – you can also use Design Thinking along side of it. In my work, I facilitate the production of software that runs on the web along with some mobile development. So my process is a very customized Agile approach with some iterative development, some waterfall development and some projects which are hybrid in that they are waterfall up front and iterative after. (I will endeavor to write posts about all that REALLY EXCITING stuff…)
To quickly describe what kind of mindset Design Thinking is, I like to say that it is a, “Factually human-centered creative problem-solving methodology.” I say this because while it centers on human need, it also backs it up with data. Hence the factually human-centered. Simply put, this reminds the organization, team or person to put the person they are creating a product, service, solution or process for at the very center at all times. Think “Customer Centric”.
It is an excellent mindset moving into the world we now find ourselves where we are faced with our humanity and technology. Self exploration and awareness of those around us. Diversity and Inclusion. We have so much going on that demands our expansion into the future and what technology can do for us, while at the same time requires us to remember that we are humans and we have needs that must be met.
I think that is really helpful to explore things you are learning by explaining them to others. So, for my own benefit and hopefully that of one or two other people in the world, I am going to describe my journey of formal learning of Design Thinking and my attempt to implement as a grassroot movement within the company I work for.
I hope you will enjoy and find these posts useful. Names have been changed to protect the privacy of all involved.
Last modified: December 30, 2020