Building User Centered Design Capabilities in Agile Teams

Case Study

How might R&D Agile engineering teams better empathize with customers during their product development process?
Our customer is the R&D subsidiary for a tech giant chartered to accelerate the integration of digital media technologies into new products. Our customer competes across a wide landscape of offerings including: video and vision, mobile communications, cloud and business solutions, health and environment, energy, and materials and devices. Eager to add another approach to their established Agile development process, they asked MO Studio to develop an educational experience that would address understanding the intersection of end users and tangible solutions and product strategies

MO Studio developed a custom two-day Design Thinking workshop for software engineers, developers, marketers, leadership, and support staff. The workshop was designed to guide participants through the fundamentals of human-centered design, and then quickly apply these methods and tools to a real-world challenge around designing for the future of workplace collaboration through experiential learning. The learning experience included in-field research with potential real users in diverse user contexts, brainstorm sessions, prototyping, and presentations of solutions to company leadership.

The learning experience showed the power of user research, how quickly it can be done, and how to use human-centered design to add additional value to their Agile development process. Additionally, workshop participants converted into advocates for their customers, actively educating their internal business partners and customers on the tangible value of human-centered design to better understand customer problems and act on them.

“A side benefit of the session was the team building experience. Many never worked with each before and it was great to see new ideas and skills being leveraged. Some new expertise was exposed to the benefit of the individual and the entire team as well.”
– R&D Lab General Manager