Each approach brings something to the party but each team is usually not 100% aligned.  Your tech teams most likely focused on velocity, product teams on minimising waste and design on researching end designs to help discover the right things to work on. You need to bring them into aliment to maximise value creation.

Agile, has changed the game for many development teams and whether it’s SAFe or Scrum teams, a few key elements are worth pointing out. The value of responding to change over following a plan, the value of DevOps and continuous build has changed the nature of software making into something that is dynamic and real time. Why is it so many old school CTOs think software engineering is like building a car, or worse still a house? With so many options to solve, coding solutions are more like painting a masterpiece.

Lean Startup is one of those books that when you read it you suddenly think ‘OMG I need to relearn my job!’ The concepts of experimentation are at its heart and asking great questions like: “Can we build it?” or “Should we build it?”. Furthermore, if we should can we build a sustainable business model around it? Sadly the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) as a concept has been misrepresented by many, because its really a tool to deliver validated learning not the first version of a solution.

Design Thinking is all about building empathy with the customer, asking: what are their core needs and how do we address them? Popularised by IDEO in the 1990s but around for decades before. It features a number of tools and approaches but, in particular, it helps you understand how what you’re building generates value to the customer. You can think about design thinking as: “What is? What if? What Wows? What Works?”

10 Key Takeaways you should apply in your teams:

  1. Work in small batches or sprints
  2. Strive for continuous improvement / not just best practice
  3. Improve though regular retrospectives
  4. Customer-centric in everything you do
  5. Get out of the building 20% time – Continuous Interviewing
  6. Focus experimentation on high risk hypothesis balance with delivery  (growth and value hypotheses in particular)
  7. Continuous Discovery/Research in small batches (design spikes) and put it in the backlog
  8. Be truly cross-functional (train and work as a single team)
  9. Consider the growth hacking approach.
  10. True Transparency