ThoughtWorks presents Continuous Design and Delivery
April 9, 2012 3 Comments
Design Thinking Drinks 2012 kicked off with a bang!
On Wednesday 21 March, ThoughtWorks was the hosts for the evening and took everyone on their Continuous Design and Delivery journey, ie to shorten the innovation pipeline and respond faster to customer needs.
Deborah opened the evening welcoming all the guests.
Jason Furnell, one of the Principal Consultants then took centre stage and started by introducing ThoughtWorks, calling the organisation a ‘cult’. In some ways, that’s true. They have their rituals, values, belief structures, cultures, luminaries, etc….He also talked about the Agile Manifesto (which he calls the ‘Old Testament’) and the “New Testament’ coming from the new Messiah himself – Eric Ries. This man has a huge following after the release of his book, The Lean Startup, which is all about Build, Measure and Learn. Jason’s key take-out from the book – ‘STOP WASTING PEOPLE’S TIME’. ThoughtWorks is filled with ‘nerds’, ‘nerds with words’ – words like ‘rapid’, ‘continuous’, ‘iterative’, ‘lean’, ‘cycle time’, etc. So all these words are a reflection of how they work better, smarter to ensure less waste.
Jason also talked about his interpretation of Design Thinking. He believes that Design Thinking is a process and journey you take people on, it’s a creative process that you as a designer can create. It’s about becoming a better facilitator to teach people to think like the designers and harness the power of groups.
More from Jason’s introduction. (video)
From there, we had 3 case studies to make all this abstract stuff more tangible and real.
Kate Linton, another one of the ThoughtWorks Principal Consultants presented her case study on ControlShift. They created a campaigning tool and through collaboration and creating ideas through divergent thinking with the team, testing with users and learning and evolving, they build the site in less than 3 months! Their first paid customer being GetUp!.
More on Kate’s case study. (video)
Aundray Cheam, their guru UI Developer stepped in to present the second case study on another one of our social justice projects, Live Below The Line. The problem. The clients needed a campaign platform that they can build upon over the next 3-5 years. In under 3 months, with about 5 weeks of development time and a distributed team across the UK and Australia, the global website went live! Design was treated as a continuous activity throughout the process and the motto ‘just enough, just in time’ was key to their success of not overdoing too much but ensuring they do just what was needed.
More on Aundray’s case study. (video)
And lastly, Jason presented the realestate.com.au (REA) case study, specifically on the iPhone mobile app. 12 weeks from inception delivery, the results are outstanding. Number 1 property website, 7 million unique visitors, 800,000 downloads in 2 years, 10 times ROI event compared to the web! To achieve this was to ensure that there was total buy-in from all the stakeholders; from a sketch board to creating a prototype, start testing, and refining cycles.
Throughout Jason and Aundray’s presentations, Kate displayed her amazing illustration skills through sketch notes.
Jason closed off the presentations by saying that all designers start as a pair of hands, doing what we can, being told what to do, with aspirations of moving up the scale – becoming a expert designer. What we don’t want is to end up like the ‘Hated Design Princess’, often working in isolation, frustrated with the lack of buy-in in their designs. He highlighted and reiterated that becoming a better facilitator is a fertile area for growth. Start being an expert at finding the right problems to solve & balancing business, technical and user needs, an expert at a collaborative process.
More on Jason’s case study and closing. (video)
Each presenter gave away the Agile Experience Design book, written by a couple of ThoughtWorkers, which is excellent for anyone starting on the new Agile experience design journey.
The night didn’t end there. Lots of food, drinks and conversations kept the guests around for while.
Overall, a great night.