Digital Reimagined

Top 5 Must Do's of Enterprise Innovation: Design Thinking (feat. Greg Ladas and Michael Pullen)

July 06, 2020 LeapFrog Systems
Digital Reimagined
Top 5 Must Do's of Enterprise Innovation: Design Thinking (feat. Greg Ladas and Michael Pullen)
Chapters
Digital Reimagined
Top 5 Must Do's of Enterprise Innovation: Design Thinking (feat. Greg Ladas and Michael Pullen)
Jul 06, 2020
LeapFrog Systems

Michael and Greg talk through the topic of Design Thinking, a must-do for enterprises who are looking to innovate in their transformations. 

Show Notes Transcript

Michael and Greg talk through the topic of Design Thinking, a must-do for enterprises who are looking to innovate in their transformations. 

Lisette Diamant :

Welcome to Digital Froggers, a podcast brought to you by LeapFrog Systems. I'm Lisette Diamant, LeapFrog Systems' Digital Brand Manager, and I'll be your host. Today's episode of Digital Froggers will take us into the first of five must-haves for innovation at the enterprise level. Design Thinking is a crucial component of innovation. You'll step away with a deeper understanding of this, as well as actionable ways to implement design thinking strategies. Joining me today in our remote podcast recording environment, is Greg Ladas and Michael Pullen. Welcome to you both.

Greg Ladas :

Hey, Lisette, hey, Michael. Looking forward to the session.

Michael Pullen :

Hello, Lisette and Greg, I think this is gonna be fun.

Lisette Diamant :

Awesome. So Greg is one of our Leads here in the Agile transformation work that we do and Michael is one of our Digital Business Consultant Leads who holds expertise in product design and design thinking approaches. So Michael, leading us off here into the conversation, how would you best define Design Thinking?

Michael Pullen :

Design Thinking is a approach that a company named IDEO and the Stanford Business School put together in order to help business people solve problems in a better way. People who are not designers go through a series of steps that allow them to understand the customer, to explore different ideas, explore the solution space, and be able to then take some time to sketch and learn how people react to those ideas that they come up with, so that they can drive to a better or a best solution for your organization.

Lisette Diamant :

Expanding on that a little further, what are those key steps to have in mind for this framework?

Michael Pullen :

With the basic starting of observing your customers. Trying to get yourself to the point of having empathy for your customers, being able to walk in their shoes. Traditionally, people would send questionnaires or do workshops where they bring people together. And when you do that with your your customers, they try to do their best to please you and give you the right answer. Observing your customer while they're living their life how they do on a normal basis allows you to see in and get some insights into how they think how they feel. And this is where people will talk about things like doing personas or journey maps. There are many different ways that you can group the information, but it helps you as a team to start doing some processing of what you're observing in with the users.

Lisette Diamant :

Hmm, those are some really great points. And one thing that really stuck out to me is I know a lot of businesses are centered on what is the ROI of this, in which ways can it really contribute to the greater whole of the business? Greg, in your experience, what have you found, adding in some of these principles into the work you do on the Agile front, to be able to better the work that you execute and better contribute to the business?

Greg Ladas :

When working with teams, it's really essential to, as I said in a previous podcast or Digital Froggers LIVE, is to go build things that are worth the building. It serves no purpose for teams to deliver something that doesn't have any value even if they deliver it well. If it doesn't have value in the end to the customer, then it's a miss. Your Product Owners are responsible for the squad in terms of writing stories, prioritizing stories. The Product Owner's the voice of the customer, and in many cases, Product Owners will believe they have the voice of the customer, when in fact they're not really sitting down and talking directly with the customer. And as Michael described, in Design Thinking, that provides such a great framework to do so. Product Owners can create stories and prioritize stories in many different ways. But we see using and leveraging design thinking to interact directly with the customer as a superior way to do it.

Lisette Diamant :

Michael, do you want to add anything to that?

Michael Pullen :

Well, I think that what Greg is describing is part of the challenge that product management and product owners have had for a long time. They're asked to come up with a set of stories or the business requirements as quickly as possible. What happens many times is these folks are experts in the industry, they know what has happened in the past, but they don't have the information right now in the current world. And so being able to go out and observe people now and see how they're interacting and what other applications they have, what other communications with other people they have, what is going on in their environment, how many computers they're using, the telephones that are going off, all those sort of fun things, the number of interruptions they have while they're trying to get their work accomplished; All should feed into doing the designs that you're looking for in order to deliver the customer a better solution. And so by having this information in hand, and identifying the solution, it's a lot easier to write stories from a solution that has been partially vetted, if you will. At least it's been put in front of customers and users where they can respond to it and you can learn from there. And really, when you're building out a product, and you're spending that much money on software developers and quality and the tools and the technology and then the release and all that, this gives you a better sense that you're going to meet that customer's needs in the end.

Lisette Diamant :

Hmm.

Michael Pullen :

From our perspective, we also see using Design Thinking as the way to get the organization or a group of people all on the same page at the same time about the solutions that you're going after. So this isn't a process of doing individual work here. This is actually a team oriented process to doing design that brings people from different areas inside the organization all into this process, which also allows you as the product owner to know that you have buy in to the potential solution that's going forward. So if you have people inside of your organization, which most people do, who are going to interact with your product for their success of their particular jobs, getting their buy in to the solution, many times can be a challenge along the way. And you get a lot pushback inside of an organization. Doing design thinking in this way, where you are actually having people participate and join in, it allows you to demonstrate the value of this solution that the customer is behind it, and people will buy into it because they participated in it.

Lisette Diamant :

One thing, Michael, you had mentioned earlier was ensuring that you're able to empathize with your end customer. What are some really smart questions you can ask with a design thinking approach?

Michael Pullen :

Well, because what you're trying to do with the design thinking is observe your users, the best questions that you can ask are the questions about what they're doing in that moment. So what is it that you're doing who is it that you are interacting with? Why did you just do this? Give them the opportunity to show you what is going on and perhaps it's a teaching moment if you're going in, even as an expert, with eyes wide open, you're able to learn a lot about how, at least that individual thinks. And if you do it many times over, you may actually learn something yourself about how the people that you want to bring your product and service to think, how they feel about things, and what kinds of stresses they have, or whatever it is that they're trying to do in order to get their work done.

Lisette Diamant :

Thank you for wrapping us up with that final thought, Michael. And thank you both so much for coming in here today to discuss the exciting work around design thinking. Thank you, Michael. Thank you, Greg. And let's build on this a bit further in next week's episode on prototyping.

Greg Ladas :

Thanks, Lisette.

Michael Pullen :

Thank you very much Lisette.

Lisette Diamant :

Wonderful to have you both. Digital Froggers is a podcast brought to you by LeapFrog Systems, produced by Taylor Hawkins. The music you heard was Do Ba Do, by Otis Galloway.