4 min read

Design Thinking and Scrum: union increases productivity in companies

Increase business and ensure competitiveness is among the biggest challenges in today’s market.

In this context, the combination of some innovative approaches such as Design Thinking and Scrum – one of the Agile Methodology frameworks – emerges as a strategy in business projects to increase team productivity and make valuable deliveries focused on the end customer.

By engaging teams even more and adjusting the companies mindset to the desires of this new consumer, these methodologies bring to light the collaborative importance at work for innovation to happen: the risks are smaller and the advantages, huge.

For this, you need to understand the benefits of each of these tools, separately, and how they can be applied together in your business, much more assertively.

The benefits of Design Thinking

Design Thinking respects and understands the end user needs. In this methodology, consumer opinion is essential to settle risks in any project. When the result is focused on the client’s mind, respecting their experiences, desires and challenges, assertiveness increases and the error gap becomes much smaller.

By involving all stakeholders – with their different expertise – in the creation and development of new products and services (stages of design thinking), the strategy presupposes greater tangibilization of ideas and concepts. And it guides the company to make it viable, technologically and economically, which can be interesting both for the corporation and for the end user. Among the main premises of projects oriented from Design Thinking are:

  • Raise qualitative data on user needs;
  • Generate meaningful insights that guide the project;
  • Create persona, from behavior profiles raised, which ensures a greater approximation of the final product with its consumers;
  • Manage and guide the progress of the project from its conception, in all its phases – immersion, analysis, ideation and prototyping;
  • Use support tools – awareness books, creating personas, generative sessions, co-creation workshops and staging, canvas, among others – to realize and instigate the collaborative process of the work team in developing solutions.

Applying Scrum in business

Scrum has transformed how to manage and develop projects, because it works deliveries in stages: this ensures a narrower margin of error.

In Scrum, the activities to be developed, characters and their priorities and deadlines are recorded in the product backlog and related from sprints – which represent the time span that a task (user story) will be developed and delivered. This concept of “divide and conquer” works perfectly, because the tool is structured in stages, which last an average of 5 days.

In this period, the framework establishes the importance of “continuous improvement”, identifying and seeking solutions to problems as they arise, allowing risk reduction and rework.

Scrum + Design Thinking

The union between Design Thinking and Scrum, which already work very well separately, may be the best way to manage quality projects, with focus on user needs.

The insights produced by the use of Design Thinking help in the best definition of scope, that is, the north to be used to develop the project. From there, the characters involved with Scrum complement the work to be developed, taking as a basis several cycles – with closures and fragmented deliveries – and ensure that the product has value from the beginning.

By working cohesively, Design Thinking and Scrum together ensure flexibility, adaptability, scalability, quality, productivity and improved communication. This facilitates and empowers all projects.

It is necessary to keep in mind to know well the different stages of each of the tools, concepts, features, and the team’s role involved in the project, to ensure more transparency in delivery and lower risks.

Design Thinking: the 3 phases

Design Thinking is a method that maps the greatest number of user challenges (through observation and information gathering) to tangibilize ideas and find solutions. Each insight, raised by the people involved and focused on three main phases, it is important to arrive at a clearer consensus.

Immersion: Problems are raised and analyzed, taking into account the perspective of the end user and the company. In this phase are carried out research – interviews, search trends (Cool Hunting), direct observation, among others – to understand the problem.

Ideation: The stage in which the team involved carries out the creative process and presents ideas for the problems raised.

Prototyping: It is time to elaborate and test the prototypes of the ideas raised in the ideation process, pointing out and executing improvements continuously.

Important: It is worth mentioning that the last phase can happen parallel to the others. As new ideas come up, they are prototyped, tested, and validated. In this context, implementation becomes a continuous process.

Scrum: Understand the concept

Scrum is an agile framework that can be used to manage everything from complex projects to, for example, small events. In this methodology, the collaboration of a predefined team (SCRUM characters) is essential to achieve the established goals. It is also necessary to work with continuous deliveries, avoiding that problems are only found at the end of the process.

The size of each sprint is relative: each company needs to adjust its tasks in an activity pack, which can take one to four weeks. The ideal is to break the project into smaller sprints. And the process is usually controlled in a framework, where you can see the tasks that are in development, those that have been worked on, but still need to be checked or tested, and those that are considered completed.

Main characters involved in the Scrum process

Product Owner (or OP)

Professional responsible for project direction. It defines what activities (requirements) will be part of the product backlog and which should be addressed by the team, in addition to representing the minds of consumers of the product / service to be developed;

Scrum Master

Scrum Master: Professional who makes the connection between the Product Owner and the team. It is responsible for organizing meetings, accompany the team workflow and ensure that it has no deterrent – tools or other requirements – to fulfill its function in a satisfactory manner;


It’s the staff that works for the development of the project or product.

Now that you know a little about each of these approaches, do you want to better understand how the Design Thinking and Scrum can bring more security and value to projects? Access our new Design Thinking and Scrum video in business.

Ebook - Design Thinking and Agile: in the context of Digital Transformation