Adding Scrum-style project management to an advanced Design Thinking class

DS 91: Proceedings of NordDesign 2018, Linköping, Sweden, 14th - 17th August 2018

Year: 2018
Editor: Ekströmer, Philip; Schütte, Simon and Ölvander, Johan
Author: Dobrigkeit, Franziska; Wilson, Molly; Nicolai, Claudia
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: Hasso Plattner Institute
ISBN: 978-91-7685-185-2


Design Thinking has become popular as a methodology that produces innovative and creative solutions in different industries, e.g. in the software industry or in product development. As such the methodology is taught in institutions around the world, e.g. D. Schools in Stanford, Potsdam, Paris. While Design Thinking already provides a process along with various techniques to use at each step of the process, it lacks project management techniques. In project-based classes this can become a problem, when student teams feel overwhelmed by open tasks with deadlines. We aim to solve this problem by adding project management techniques from Scrum to the Design Thinking toolbox, because we believe the planning and reflection techniques used in Scrum projects are easy to understand and implement and fit in with the general Design Thinking mindset. Scrum is the most popular agile software development methodology and has recently found its way into other industries as well. It provides a framework that allows a team to plan and implement their work in smaller cycles, called sprints, that last between 1 and 4 weeks. In this paper we explore the addition of Scrum techniques to a project-based Design Thinking class. We provide a description of how we added Scrum techniques to the existing curriculum of the Advanced Track at the School of Design Thinking at the Hasso Plattner Institute at the University of Potsdam. We will present which methods were introduced and how we taught them to the seven teams enrolled in the class. We will analyze and discuss our findings from observations with the seven teams, two group discussions with the coaches involved in the program and questionnaires with the students and the coaches. Based on these findings we will discuss benefits and problems we discovered along the way, as well as the usefulness of the specific techniques from Scrum for DT our class. Our paper contributes to Design Thinking education by providing a list of useful techniques for students and coaches in existing Design Thinking classes and describing ways to introduce them into the class

Keywords: Design Thinking, Scrum, Higher Education, Agile Project Management


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