Delighting customers requires us to recognize that our work is to create operational value streams for our customers that are designed with them in mind. This requires design thinking on our part. Design thinking means to be empathetic to the customer, to first try to understand their environment and needs before developing a solution. Design thinking represents a fundamental shift from building systems from our perspective to creatively solving customer problems and, better yet, fulfilling needs they didn’t even know they had.
Design thinking is an exploratory approach that should be used to iteratively explore a problem space and identify potential solutions for it. Design thinking has its roots in user-centered design as well as usage-centered design, both of which influenced Agile Modeling, one of many methods that the Disciplined Agile® (DA™) tool kit adopts practices from. This is one reason why DA includes the Exploratory life cycle, which is specifically used for exploring a new problem space.