There are a few ideas that have become fairly common in the worlds of product development and IT work in the past few years:
- Start with understanding the problem to solve rather than getting fixated on an arbitrary solution.
- Discover that problem by understanding your customers
- Use iteration to learn from what you build
- Product development or IT work is best done in a cross functional manner.
These are all primary concepts of design thinking. Yet as happens with all “big ideas,” the key ideas that can really help you get lost in hype, or the big idea gets misconstrued due to misinterpretation.
This week I share some resources about design thinking, including a post on the aspects that are particularly important for product owners, business analysts, and product managers. Hopefully you’ll find that design thinking reinforces a way of approaching product development that you may have already been following and that you pick up a couple of new techniques from the world of design.
Design Thinking in HBR
In an article for Harvard Business Review, IDEO CEO Tim Brown shows how thinking like a designer can transform the way you develop products, services, processes—and even strategy.
What product people should know about design thinking
Design thinking is an approach to solving problems that is human centered, cross functional, iterative, creative, and practical; and you may already do it.
What is design thinking and why is it so popular?
“Some of the world’s leading brands – such as Apple, Google, Samsung and GE – have rapidly adopted the design thinking approach, and design thinking is being taught at leading universities around the world, including at d.school, Stanford, Harvard and MIT. But do you know what design thinking is? And why it’s so popular?” Rikke Dam and Teo Siang describe what design thinking is and why it’s so in demand.
Design thinking and product management
Product management and design thinking overlap in several ways. Design, lean startup, and customer development may seem like different disciplines at first, but all three teach the same concepts:
- Learning and discovery
- Direct observation
- Fail fast
- Test your assumptions
- Deliver iteratively.
Rajat Harlalka describes how you can enhance key areas of product management with design thinking to develop products that customers love.
Why product managers should use design thinking
As a product manager you’re in the problem-solving profession. The best way to approach this work is to start with a focus on your customer’s problems, needs, or wants and then think about the things you can create to help them. Shaun Juncal explains how design thinking can help you approach your product development in this fashion.