Harnessing the power of experimentation through design thinking and agile methods

Ahmad Beltagui, Andrew Bell, Marina Candi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Design thinking and agile thinking are approaches that have great value in product
innovation management. While they may be widely discussed in practice, it is unclear to
what extent they are understood and how they are applied. To answer these questions,
qualitative research was conducted with design engineers involved in product innovation.
Interviews focused on the type of iterative development used and the extent to which
experimentation, with a variety of media, contributes to design and innovation. The
research examines experimentation through creation of low-fidelity models. These include
mechanisms modelled using construction toys, or scale models created from materials
found in a workshop, to test and explore ideas. We use the concept of boundary objects to
explain the way that these low-fidelity models facilitate communication between
individuals who possess differing sets of knowledge. A variety of experimentation
techniques are identified, from hand drawn sketches to simple models, which contrast with
computer drawings and simulations. A distinction is revealed between those who trust their
own intuition and creativity compared with those who rely on objective measures and trust
computer models. A question over the extent to which design involves analysis and
synthesis is demonstrated in this distinction. The contributions of this research are as
follows. Firstly, it reveals the ways in which technologies – old and new – enrich the
armoury of the designer, by facilitating the exploration and communication of ideas.
Secondly, it provides insights into the role of experimentation in innovation by examining
the use of low-fidelity prototypes. And finally, it draws comparisons between design and
agile methods, finding opportunities for cross-fertilisation and suggesting how managers
2
may wish to support designers in innovation projects through agile methods and by
encouraging experimentation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Product Development Management Conference
Place of PublicationLeicester
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2019
Event26TH IPDMC: INNOVATION AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE - Leicester, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jun 201911 Jun 2019

Conference

Conference26TH IPDMC: INNOVATION AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLeicester
Period10/06/1911/06/19

Bibliographical note

© 2019 The Authors

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  • Cite this

    Beltagui, A., Bell, A., & Candi, M. (2019). Harnessing the power of experimentation through design thinking and agile methods. In International Product Development Management Conference