When you’re developing a digital product for your business and you’re not sure which methodology or approach is best, it can be a good idea to analyse the different options in depth, compare them to each other and find the strengths and weaknesses of each. Considering lean vs agile vs design thinking, it is worth briefly explaining what these terms mean and what results they are able to deliver for your business.Whether you are developing yourself or looking for an experienced development partner, the question is not just what to develop, but how.
Characteristics of Agile
Agile is somehow an answer to the linear, traditional “waterfall” approach to software project management. Agile is predictably more agile, with an emphasis on flexibility, customer input and breaking down the development process into small-scale iterations.There are many different Agile frameworks – e.g. Scrum, Kanban. When comparing agile vs design thinking vs lean it comes off as flexible and transparent in communication. Transparency is essential in Agile, especially in communication. This transparency depends partly on the tools used by the team, but also on the structure of the team itself. Most Agile focuses on the needs of customers and users.
Characteristics of Design Thinking
Design Thinking is a structured approach to the innovation process. Usually, everything happens in stages here. The first step is to build an interdisciplinary team that includes specialists who can look at the problem from different perspectives. Design Thinking uses a structured process to get to the heart of customer and user needs, really understand them, and then apply innovative tools and techniques to find a creative (and highly appropriate) solution.
Characteristics of Lean
It’s worth noting at the outset that Lean Startup is not just for startups. This approach is suitable for new, entrepreneurial, innovative digital companies, but it also works for larger, more established companies looking to meet their digital product needs. As with Agile and Design Thinking, Lean Startup emphasises the importance of the end user of the product in a rigorous alternative to classic project management approaches.
Lean vs Agile vs Design Thinking – a conclusion
If you’re an entrepreneur and want to bring a new project to life then it’s worth summarising in a few sentences the 3 most popular approaches you can follow to achieve success. Lean Startup (prioritising testing and user feedback), Agile (creating a product in quick, targeted increments that allow for easy scaling) or Design Thinking (with a focus on building a diverse project team and a deep understanding of the end user of the digital product).