Lean vs. Agile vs. Design Thinking

What you really need to know to build high-performing digital product teams

Jeff Gothelf

Publisher: Sense & Respond, 2017, 42 pages

ISBN: 978-0-9994-47681-8

Keywords: Product Management

Last modified: Sept. 29, 2020, 12:31 a.m.

As companies evolve to adopt, integrate, and leverage software as the defining element of their success in the 21st century, a rash of processes and methodologies are vying for their product teams' attention. In the worst of cases, each discipline on these teams — product management, design, and software engineering — learns a different model. This short, tactical book reconciles the perceived differences in Lean Startup, Design Thinking, and Agile software development by focusing not on rituals and practices but on the values that underpin all three methods.

Written by Jeff Gothelf, the co-author of the award-winning Lean UX and Sense & Respond, the tactics in this book draw on Jeff's years of practice as a team leader and coach in companies ranging from small high-growth startups to large enterprises. Whether you're a product manager, software engineer, designer, or team leader, you'll find practical tools in this book immediately applicable to your team's daily methods.

  • Introduction
  • Agile
  • LEAN Startup
  • Design Thinking
  • So, Which Process Is Right?
    1. Work in short cycles
    2. Hold regular retrospectives
    3. Put the customer at the center of everything
    4. Go and see
    5. Balance product discovery with delivery work by only testing high-risk hypotheses
    6. Do less research, more often
    7. Work (and train) as one balanced team
    8. Radical transparency
    9. Review your incentive structure (and performance management criteria)
    10. Make product discovery work a first-class citizen of your backlog
    • Here's the bottom line


Lean vs. Agile vs. Design Thinking

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Very Good ******** (8 out of 10)

Last modified: Aug. 13, 2021, 8:52 a.m.

This is a small booklet, that manages to address the problems with the title subject matter and the practical approaches/interpretations that are prevalent today. Addresses partly DevOps, SAFe and Jobs to Be Doone as well.

Absolutely recommended reading, even though you need to have a basic understanding of the subject before even attempting to read it. But if you have, this is nearly mandatory reading.


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