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Author's profile photo Sharath M G

Are we allowed to do “Design Thinking” ?

Hello All,

Design thinking, a new term which was introduced to me in one of the training’s of UI5. The presenter said, we need to start do design thinking and UI5 is the need of the hour.

“Design Thinking 😕 . Damn, that sounds so cool. And SAP and cool, there’s something really interesting.”(Tongue in cheek 😀 ).

My understanding of Design Thinking:

  • Involve the customer from the beginning
  • Try to understand the actual needs of the customer and separate from what the customer wants
  • Demonstrate the possible solution to customer at his place

Finally, hail, the Customer.

It all seems so surreal. In fact, it all seems so unreal.

In this real world of cut-throat competitive world, are we even allowed to do “Design Thinking”?

The concept, is pure, noble and the right-thing to do. However, we rarely do the right thing. If you dis-agree, lets open up our code and check for comments in our code.

If my generalization of the situation is offensive and arrogant, then I speak with a sense of frustration and anguish.

In my experience( inclusive of my current project ), the teams are focused on customer at the start of the project. The honeymoon period of the relationship. We are all nice to each other. Apart from bringing flowers when we meet, we do everything possible to take care of their interests. We become the loving and caring husbands.

( Caveat: My reference to husband and marriage is just as an example and not about being male/female chauvinist. If offensive, you may choose to skip this blog 🙁 )

Slowly but surely, the customer demands increase in terms of project requirements. The vendor( most org barring the exceptional ones, for example, hmmmm maybe Apple ) instead of confronting the customer begins to behave like a submissive housewife. “Lets just say Yes to everything,else we may lose the project.”

Few more weeks, vendor is beginning to see his profits from the project and less about the VALUE to the customer.

The customer keeps coming back with changes. The vendor has very little time to spare for discussion. He just says “Yes” but does not mean it. A loving husband gone bored and dis-interested.

Finally, when we have to deliver, we start the fights. We begin to blame the customer in front of the team members and the development teams in front of customer. We start recalling all the moments when we agreed for the impossible to make it happen. ( Like the Mars mission )

Finally, we negotiate at the break point, to just give whatever is possible.

Then, if there is question about the Quality of the code, we are politely asked to take a walk and return to normalcy. Its the real – world not the discussion forum.

In the end, we look forward to only one thing: To dump a solution on the customer and run away. Let someone else come and fix it.

Why do we do the same thing, over and over again? Why do such bright minds end up in the same soup?

At the heart lies the adherence to truth. The truth to customer is considered, Anti-Organization.

We break down in the face of pressure. Instead of facing the fear and confronting the customer with truth, we tend to throw a blanket. But the tiger int he blanket( reference to Life of PI) will be out soon. Is there anywhere to go when you are stuck with a tiger int he boat?

In the midst of all that pessimism, there is hope. Life is hope. The power to regain sanctity is in our hands. If each one of us, in our own capacity decides to break the pattern then it will bring in the transformation in our thinking. And may be we can also realize “Design Thinking”.

Thank you.



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