When designing for complex environments and systems, as most of us do in the for-purpose sphere, what we think will work isn’t always what actually works in the real world, when exposed to the myriad factors that influence success. We need ways to probe, sense and respond to find optimal solutions. Iterative project management and delivery models (such as agile and Lean Startup management techniques), matched with human-centred design principles, provide a powerful toolset to find optimum solutions, while providing a solid foundation to work through the necessarily periods of ambiguity in the innovation process.
Reduced time to market
Regardless of the context, we rarely have all the resources we’d like to have to apply to the problems we are aiming to solve. Strategically applied human-centred design methods, within an iterative/agile delivery process, can radically reduce the time it takes to get ideas to market, enabling the critical learning necessary to determine optimum solutions.
Cost effective delivery
Reducing time to get a minimum viable product into the hands of the communities we wish to engage enables us to determine their effectiveness early and often, so that investment is targeted at the most effective solutions. A number of the methods that we employ are lo-fi, enabling us, and our clients’ teams, to explore ideas—internally and with community—at a very low cost and very rapidly.
These benefits combine to lower project and organisational risks. They help ensure investment is directed towards effective solutions and avoiding wastage through investment in ineffective ones, and minimise the risk of solutions resulting in adverse effects.