Design thinking is defined as a solution-focused, action-oriented methodology that designers use to solve complex problems in a way that their clients will love. Design thinking has long been lauded as a key component of a successful project. However, there was a lack of faith in how reproducible those benefits could be. Did the results hinge on a celebrity designer, rockstar design team, or something more mercurial like the winds of a fad?
Thanks to IBM and Forrester Research, we have an economic impact study that lays bare the influence of design thinking and—SPOILERS—the results are big money and fast results for implementing it.
Design Thinking Is a Process for Creative Problem Solving
Design thinking is a process that focuses on the people they are creating for and making human-centered decisions the cornerstone of the project. This is a focus on asking a lot of questions so that you can find the right focus and ask the right questions that best define what is either holding a project back or best defines what a project is trying to achieve. It is a mindset of hunting for the correct solution.
Design Thinking Gets You to Market Twice As Fast
The landscape is changing everywhere at a rapid pace. A window of opportunity that you see today may be closed before you’ve gotten your team assembled. Design thinking aligns teams in a way that allows faster ideation, production, and delivery.
Forrester has determined that teams that are applying IBM’s design thinking practice and are adequately staffed with design talent are getting to market twice as fast as without. These teams are also seeing up to a 75% reduction in design and development time.
Design Thinking Increases Profitability
Design thinking aligns teams towards a goal and promotes a faster pace of work. The teamwork involved reduces developer turnaround and testing time. Using human-centered design improves product outcomes and lessens the risk of costly failures, with both having a direct impact on a project’s bottom line (and success).
Refined strategic prioritization enabled investments in solutions that were less likely to fail. Better design increased average product profits. IBM helped expand design thinking at the organization over three years to penetrate one quarter of the entire portfolio, enabling $18.6M in increased profits.
Design Thinking Reduces Risk
Everything is getting more complicated, especially in business and technology. Cross-disciplinary teams need to be working in lock-step towards a common goal. A design thinking approach helps a team align, prioritize, and work together.
More than 80% of business leaders surveyed reported their teams were more aligned and focused, and 37% cited higher employee productivity through design thinking. Ultimately, businesses are finding this increased alignment leads to lower risk of project failure.
Where to Find the Report and How to Get Started
We suggest downloading the reading the full report to see the numbers.
2X faster time to market; 75% reduced design time; 33% reduced development time
When you’re ready to get started with design thinking—or you’re just curious to learn more—get in touch and we’ll help inspire you.