Scrappy Design Thinking – Simple Rules, Practical Tools

In another article I rambled on about how design thinking’s powerful combination of tools and techniques produces outcomes beyond the predictable. Here I’ll share an approach that integrates key elements of design thinking with a Scrappy Project Management© style. Using this approach will generate new possibilities that you’d never discover using traditional problem-centric approaches. 

Scrappy Design Thinking Overview. Both design thinking and Scrappy Project Management© share an obsession with “the customer”. And both start by “thinking from the future” rather than getting stuck in the current situation, hampered by self-limiting beliefs about what’s possible. Rather than using the classic design thinking model of Empathize – Define – Ideate – Prototype – Test, let’s use a cycle that’s a bit easier to remember: Why? – Who? – What? – How?

  • Rather than instinctively jumping to HOW to solve a “problem”, start with WHY – Why is this project important? Why work on this? 
  • Next explore WHO – who cares, who’s impacted, who’s involved, and who’s judging the success of your project? 
  • Then move on to WHAT – what outcomes would go beyond “solving a problem” to surprise and delight your stakeholders? 
  • Then, and only then, design and prototype HOW to achieve these outcomes and delight these stakeholders. 
  • Go through the entire cycle again, expanding, revising, and refining your prototypes repeatedly, until you collapse in an exhausted heap, worn out, but with a self-satisfied smile on your barrier-shattering face. Hmmm . . . perhaps I overpromise. Let’s see what happens.

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How to Create a Seamless Experience with Your Business

Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Customer experience is always the number one focus for companies, and for good reason. Brands face global competition and an increasing pressure to cater to the unique identities of each and every one of their customers. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend a fortune in hiring individuals, and instead rely on algorithms. We have come very far in AI processes and machine learning, and, while we are nowhere near yet to artificial sentience, the AI that currently exists is perfect for improving customer experience.

How a machine handles your customers, however, isn’t enough. Customers need to be treated well online and in-store, and in order to accomplish this you need to provide them with a seamless experience:Continue reading

The Qualities of a Successful Business

Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

A successful business requires a lot of work. For your business to be well off, you must first understand what that means. Even with products and services that are popular, there is a need to innovate continuously. That is why it is important to be creative and unique and continue to do so at every stage of the venture. Secondly, as the employees are the heart of any company, the type of people that you hire will greatly affect the end-results. This, in turn, will also alter the company culture, and will thus continue to make it appealing to the right type of prospective employee. You can’t forget about a good online presence so that everyone can find you, the power of emotional marketing, financial stability, a good strategy and taking a look at what the competition is doing. After all, you always want to aim for better. Persistence and adaptability are the final two points to consider.Continue reading

3 Things That Digital Agencies Don’t Tell You About Your Marketing Budget

Contributed article in our entrepreneurial series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

4814995807_86e74a6dae_oDigital agencies are service providers. Just as all service providers out there, you will find that many of them have things that they do not want you to know about the work that is done for you. While a certain degree of transparency has to exist, this does not actually mean that you will be told everything. Many digital agencies hide things from you and it is really important that you consider the following facts.

Sometimes Services Are Outsourced

You pay a specific company to take care of your digital marketing needs. Some of those that you find online will not actually do the work. They will act as an intermediary. That is usually the case when dealing with really large agencies, those that have offices in many places. Their prices are a lot higher than the small firms and they get clients because of the reputation they have.

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Simple Ways To Motivate Your Company’s Employees

Contributed article in our career series. Enjoy! – Kimberly


During the normal life of a company various problems appear, and as the going gets tough it is vital that employees remain motivated. The problem is that motivating a firm’s employees is a lot more difficult than many believe. You cannot simply offer some money and expect great results. Also, there is a huge possibility that you do not have the cash for bonuses since motivation problems usually appear when funds are low.

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Goals You Should Consider With Business Web Design

Contributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Web design - 1A business website is a critically important part of the operation of a modern company. If a company does not have an online presence, the desired success is much more difficult to reach. The choice of web developer has a huge impact on the success of a website. It is important to plan the purpose and approach of your website properly before creating the site. Planning ahead ensures that your company will be much more successful. A lack of planning increases the possibility of failure.Continue reading

5 Great Marketing Ideas to Make Your Business a Failure

Contributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

Failure - 1Like a shop tucked away up a side street, or a new restaurant hiding in a country lane, your business will fail unless you get it noticed. Without some kind of marketing strategy to get to as many people as possible (and as often as possible), your business could go to the wall within months. However, if you decide that this is the best way forward for your new business, here are a few ideas to help you stumble to business failure like so many other new businesses. Meet Stan, and his outdated views.Continue reading

Profitable Hobbies That Could Become Your Little Start Up

Contributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

ideasIf you are tired of your day-to-day routine and would rather be spending your afternoons doing something you love rather than sitting at your desk, staring out the window wishing you were doing anything but your job, then you should consider turning your hobby into a stream of income. This may seem impossible, but in many cases it is far from it. Here are five hobbies that can be extremely profitable.

In recent years blogging has become not only a very popular hobby, but also a very popular profession. Some people write mostly on their own blogs with the occasional guest post on other popular blogs in their niche. These people generally are making money from advertising, eBooks and other online streams of income while they write and improve their own blog. Another option is to get paid to guest post on other blogs, and many of the high traffic blogs will not only pay you but allow you to link back to your own blog to bring in traffic. Continue reading

What Should You Wear to a Business Conference?

Contributed article in our entrepreneurial business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly

biz casualConferences come in all shapes and sizes. Some are relatively small affairs designed to bring together a small group of people from a niche profession or business. Others are huge global events that take place over several days and attract big name keynote speakers. Whatever the size of the event, if you are a member of a profession or you work in a corporate environment, there will come a point where you are invited (or coerced) into attending a conference.

For a lot of people, conferences of one sort or another are a bit of a ‘jolly’. It’s an excuse to spend a few days out of the office, catching up with people in your industry or field, networking, and generally having a good time. Yes, you are there (in theory) to listen to some interesting speeches, but once the boring stuff is out of the way, it’s party on baby!Continue reading