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  • Writer's pictureСергей Павлов

Design thinking, Lean startup и Agile. Как это все работает вместе?

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Design thinking, различные методики Agile, ведение бизнеса в стиле Lean startup. Все эти слова мы стали слышать все более часто, особенно в 2020 году. Все это рекомендуется компаниям для роста бизнеса, выхода из кризиса и восстановления позиций. Нашел очень интересную и полезную статью на эту тему. Хочу поделиться с Вами (

Design thinking, Lean Startup, Agile

If you have been walking around in the world of Agile and Scrum for a while like me, you might have run into this Gartner (2016)diagram a few times before. At least I see it being used in presentations more and more often. The diagram combines ideas from Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile, and to be honest, on the first impression I liked it. Looking at it the first time, I was really glad to see a major player like Garner embracing the combination of different approaches and practices instead of contrasting them. With this first impression, I missed the underlying danger this diagram can provide when executed by inexperienced executors or could even be used (un)intentionally to make a charade of the organizational transition it is supposed to support and become a waterfall in disguise.

What’s wrong with it? Reading the diagram it leads from ideation on the left to execution and delivery of the shippable product on the right. Being sliced into different phases it can give the executors of this overall process a misunderstood idea of a sequence of different sub-processes. Each sub-process with its own specialists that work (all in their own silos) on internal feedback loops of continuous improvements. If the organization and implementation of this end-to-end process are set up wrong, only at the touchpoints there will be a collaboration between the sub-processes. Or even worse, the first sub-processes are staffed with“ Thinkers” and the last is staffed with “ Do-ers”. 3 pitfalls to a waterfall approach

  1. This gives the suggestion that the problem-solving phase can be done before execution and with that gives support to the typical waterfall paradigm of a big plan upfront.

  2. Working with functional silos, one for each sub-process associated with a different Agile approach, and hand-overs between them support a Waterfall approach.

  3. By choosing these specific approaches, (Design Thinking, Lean Startup and Agile), this view of Gartner can give the impression that just these (and only these) approaches will work out fine in every situation for every company. Something we can remember from waterfall lead projects. ( by the way, about choosing ‘Agile’ as a method I have specific objections that I will add at the bottom of this article.)

How can the Scrum framework help? The essence of Scrum is a small team of people. The individual team is highly flexible and adaptive. These strengths continue operating in single, several, many, and networks of teams that develop, release, operate and sustain the work and work products of thousands of people. They collaborate and interoperate through sophisticated development architectures and target release environments. Cross-functional teams have all competencies needed to accomplish the work without depending on others not part of the team. The team model in Scrum is designed to optimize flexibility, creativity, and productivity. The Scrum Team has proven itself to be increasingly effective for all the earlier stated uses, and any complex work — The Scrum Guide 2017

  1. When working with Scrum, or any other applicable Agile practices that deliver the intended value, we work on discovery and understanding of the problems as a team together. Including all roles and disciplines. This co-evolution continues until a solution that answers the objective is jointly discovered and developed together.

  2. Scrum promotes co-creation to minimize hands-over and delays, to take advantage of the diversity of ideas and multiplicity of points of view, and to enable fast feedback loops across functional silos and separate teams.

  3. Lean and Agile suggest starting with Minimal Viable Products build by teams who are capable to build these features end-to-end. This approach will support in a continuously evolving and adapting the release of better products based on learning through experimentation, experience, and feedback.

Only if the approaches like presented happen to be just the right solutions, at the right time, for the right company, and these approaches are collectively co-created by the teams that collaborate and communicate as one entity I believe this diagram will deliver what it promises… Final objections about the use of “ Agile” in this diagram. Although an interesting idea, in my opinion, Design Thinking(DT), Lean startup(LS), and Agile can not be linked completely like shown in the diagram. In my perspective, in this view Agile is oversimplified as being a method. Agile is just anything BUT a method or framework, it is a mindset in which every method or framework that is contributing to an environment of collaboration and communication is welcomed with open arms. In that context, DT and LS are two of the multiple ‘practices’ in the Agile toolkit. Two interesting and potentially very valuable tools, but that also counts for tools like Scrum, XP, DSDM, eg..

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