Design Sprint v/s Design Thinking v/s Agile

Nowadays as businesses get more competitive, cost optimization, reduced turn-around-times, and customer satisfaction are some of the important metrics for an organization. Nowadays most of companies have started using advanced project management methodologies to help develop a useful product for their customers. Some of the popular ones are the Design Sprint, agile, lean methodology, and many more. We shall be discussing some of these in this article. If you plan on implementing methodologies or concepts such as Design Sprint and DevOps in your organization, Mindbowser can be your consulting partner.

What Is Design Thinking?

What is Design Thinking

Design Thinking is a philosophical concept or mindset that is used by designers to solve a problem at hand efficiently. The iterative steps involved in a design thinking philosophy start with empathizing and complete at prototype testing and implementation. It can be used to solve problems ranging from small scale problems to large business decisions by discovering unique and innovative solutions.

It is used when there is a lot of time with the developers to brainstorm a lot of ideas and then strike out the impractical ones. It is best utilized when the scope of the problem is huge and a lot of innovation is needed. There is no time boundary on this process.

What Is A Design Sprint?

The design sprint process

The Design Sprint is a methodology that is implemented based on the design thinking concept. Unlike design thinking, it is not an iterative process. It is a systematic step by step process which spans across 5 days.

The Design Sprint is usually the next step that we consider after design thinking. After we have narrowed down our feasible solutions, we define the important tasks to be achieved within the deadline of 5 days. At the end of the workshop, we have a working prototype ready for our customers.

Design Sprint is used when we have narrowed down our problem to a limited scope and we have less time in hand. It helps us prepare a working model and validate it with the user within a fixed time range. Mindbowser can help your company with Design Sprint solutions.

What Is Agile?

Agile Project Management is a methodology based on the agile manifesto which aims at delivering the best output to the customer by being adaptive throughout the process. It is an iterative process that involves collaboration between cross-functional teams and helps deliver quality value in a short time. It always results in a final product at the end of the cycle. Two of the most widely used agile frameworks are Scrum and Kanban. A representation of the Scrum framework is shown below.

Agile Project management can be usually implemented for greenfield projects where there is a lot of innovation needed. The project should be flexible with the timeline and budget. Usually, such projects involve more involvement from the product owner side to ensure a high-quality end product.

Design Thinking v/s Design Sprint v/s Agile: A Comparison

We shall be comparing all these concepts based on a few parameters.

  • Basic Structure

Design Thinking and Design Sprint involve cross-functional teams work together to unleash creativity. While design thinking has a lot of tools to work out the problem, the Design Sprint usually has fixed tools for each phase. Both use rapid prototyping which involves validation from the user to ensure the right direction.

The Agile methodology also involves highly collaborative teams working together but there is usually a finished product at the end of the cycle.

  • Timeline

Design Thinking can take up a lot of time to brainstorm ideas with a wide variety of tools and methods. It has no fixed timeline. A Design Sprint is usually finished in 5 days with a fixed set of methods and exercises for each phase.

The Agile methodology can take up to weeks or even months with a systematic approach of defining sprint lengths within the timeline. The timeline is usually flexible.

  • Purpose

Design Thinking usually helps in answering broader questions by involving a lot of stakeholders and involving multiple techniques. Design Sprint is useful in answering just a small portion of the entire problem. It is helpful when the problem at hand is well defined.

Agile is the final step of the development process. Once an organization gets its answers by employing Design Thinking and Design Sprint in its process, it can develop a timeline for the final project using the Agile framework and develop an end product for the customer (Medium).

As we can see that the methodologies which we discussed above are unique in their ways. They are usually applied as per the requirements of the business at any given point in time. Companies have to carefully assess the situation and then apply the appropriate methodology for desired results. The Design Thinking market is growing to witness robust revenue growth globally. North America is going to be the largest market for Design Thinking (PrimeFeed). If you plan on initiating development methodologies such as DevOps and Design Sprint in your organization, Mindbowser can be your solutions partner.

Vishvajit Sande

Project Manager

Vishvajit comes with a rich experience of working with the startups and has helped 20+ startups build their products. He leads UI/UX at Mindbowser and has been successfully running the Google Design Sprint for the 5+ years.

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