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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Feb 22, 2019

In this week’s episode of Agile Coaches’ Corner, Dan Neumann brings on a colleague of his at AgileThought to explore the topic of design thinking Chris Spagnuolo. Chris is one of the Product Specialists at AgileThought, serving as Principal Consultant of Product Management and Innovation. He has a deep background in a lot of things from a products standpoint and is incredibly passionate about all things related to design thinking, Lean Startup, and Agile.


Dan and Chris give their insight on what design thinking is, where it came from, its core elements, and how to incorporate it into overall delivery. Chris also gives his advice around design thinking and where he sees it developing in the future.


Key Takeaways

What design thinking is:

  • Designing products with people in mind
  • Focusing on understanding the problem that you’re solving and understanding the person that you’re solving it for, and then building a solution
  • A fluid process with a loose methodology
  • Building a product, having the real end user test it, and incorporating their feedback

The five core elements of design thinking:

  1. Empathize: get to know your customer on a personal level (who they are, what they do, and what they’re trying to do)
  2. Define: looking at how you can start to frame the problem that your customer has
  3. Ideate: coming up with as many ideas as possible that can solve that problem
  4. Prototype: create lots of low-fi prototypes to see if these solutions solve the problem
  5. Test: give the customer the solution, test it with them, and collect the feedback without bringing your own biases or opinions in

And remember: you don’t have to go through these core elements in this order; you can go back to any of them at any time to get it right

Chris’ advice around design thinking:

  • Small batch things and solve small parts at a time
  • Support continuous discovery
  • The more feedback the better; don’t make false assumptions about how to go forward

How to incorporate design thinking into the overall delivery:

  • Getting feedback from real end users to incorporate
  • Start up an input committee and get real customers that well-represent the end users to sit on the team
  • Get feedback on each iteration
  • Make sure there’s somebody holding the vision and focusing the feedback back into the iterative process

Where Chris sees design thinking being applied in the future:

  • Escaping the realm of product development and instead permeating business in general
  • Being brought into the organizational level for better engagement
  • All decisions within the business


Mentioned in this Episode:

Chris Spagnuolo (LinkedIn)

Stanford Design School

The Five Core Elements of Design Thinking (Visual + Definition) “What is Design Thinking and Why Is It So Popular?”

Podcast Ep. 12: “The Importance of Embedding a DevOps Skill Set into Your Team”


Chris’s Book Pick

The Birth of Loud: Leo Fender, Les Paul, and the Guitar-Pioneering Rivalry That Shaped Rock ’n’ Roll, by Ian S. Port


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