Design Thinking and Lean Thinking are methods for problem solving and innovating. They focus on the user and the continuous improvement, anchored in experimentation.
But how do they differ?
In Lean Thinking, the part of the brain that we activate mostly is the left side, because it is more anchored in rationality. It is a cyclical approach, inspired by industry and with the aim of maximizing efficiency, reducing waste. The focus is on work processes. In problem solving, it uses mostly quantitative data to test ideas.
On the other hand, in Design Thinking the part of the brain that we activate for the most part is the right side because it is more anchored in emotion. The Lean Thinking methodology assumes a definite beginning and end of design, is inspired by the work of designers, and aims to create value and have meaning for the customer. The focus is on the emotional value and meaning for the client through empathy. In problem solving, more qualitative data is used to understand users' needs before deciding which problem to solve.
And how are they similar?
In addition to the similar objectives, these two methodologies focus on the user and similar steps. They also use some similar techniques, such as the 5 whys, the Ishikawa diagram and the prototyping. With similar methods and purposes, but different approaches, these ways of thinking are increasingly important to organizations as they respond to the increasing demands of speed, innovation, and customer focus.
Beatriz Santos | Bright Concept Trainee