How can a design process impact an overall corporate performance? Design Thinking really is a mindset or a paradigm of how an organisation works with human-centered problems; it is the soft skills that make the execution successful. And working with improving performance and governance, successful execution of such an initiative is often more about the human adaptation where the mindset and behavior are tackled better and where creativity, collaboration, and iterations are factored into the approach. It does require buy-in from the top management, but also requires buy-in from the contributors. Succeeding with strategy is more than a single person working differently.
According to Jen Sheahan, Design Thinking should be perceived as a “mindset”; a way of approaching problems that are human-centered, but as such is nothing new. Design thinking has some interpretations associated, however, when we apply it with information management and strategy to execution, it can be boiled down to the following solution elements:
Let’s go through these to understand why Design Thinking is considered a wise approach that may seem “lightweight”, but often also shows faster-to-market, cheaper and with higher chance of reaching the targeted outcome. As such Design Thinking is agnostic to technology, however, it does put requirements on technology to support the rapid developments embedded in the new mindset. This way we have chosen to work only with predefined technologies that support the mindset of Design Thinking.
One should look up the pretotyping manifesto by Alberto Savoia. Where prototype is about developing an “early” product, pretotype is about testing the idea before building anything. And this concept can easily be applied to strategy execution and architecture, simply to support fail-fast and ensure validation of the outcome is done all through the learning curve of implementation; in other words, secure validation is constantly part of development – not left entirely to testing at the end.
One should look up the talk to yourself hat, by Kate Hartman to value the perspective, that architecture is not meant for architects; likewise, strategies are not meant for strategists. The entire idea of the execution is to provide a solution that interacts with people to support the collaboration and democratization of data. This is often the hardest requirement on supporting technology where BI tools and EA tools often come short with heavy clients that allow only collaboration within specialized sub-communities.
To tackle improved business performance, Gartner operates with a market guide called Enterprise Business Process Analysis (EBPA) which is the discipline of business modeling aimed at transforming and improving business performance with an emphasis on cross viewpoint, cross-function analysis, and strategic decision support aimed at improving business outcomes. The fundamental principles of this performance improvement are short-cycled delivery, lightweight but robust modeling, and governance that provides frequent updates like Dev-Ops and many of the agile concepts. This is fundamental for providing constant delivery.
In the discussion around agile (which to a large extent may be categorized as short-cycled), there is typically a need to structure epics and use-cases into sprints, simply as to communicate and focus development in a larger picture. The structuring of work into Sprints is key to align with management and stakeholders to provide “planning”. Management should focus on the agility and changes of the environment, hence, the ubiquitous purpose of sprints is to support the strategic planning to be prepared.
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