I am asked again and again whether you always have to go through the whole process of Design Thinking. In my opinion, no, you don’t have to. Let me explain this question in a little more detail in the following sections.

First of all, for me Design Thinking is not a process. It is much more a mindset and a working attitude of questioning things and tackling problems or issues. Of course there is the classic approach where you put a team together, put them in a room, set up a chellange and then try to solve the problem or improve a product. Yes that’s true and that’s how you can do it but for me there is much more behind the topic.

Design Thinking as an individual

Some time ago I wrote an article in which I took up the question if you can use Design Thinking for yourself. As a mindset and work attitude I mean yes, because it changes the whole way we deal with tasks and problems. Are we asking the right questions? Do we know the problem well enough to be able to make a statement or express criticism.

Only what gets me ahead – is that possible?

To come now to the real question. No, I think you don’t have to go through the whole process as such again and again. I am quite capable of taking individual steps or phases out of this process and applying them to a question or problem formulation. Do I simply want to understand a topic better? Then I can apply the steps provided for this? Or do I have an idea and want to collect feedback on it? Then I apply the ideas and methods of prototyping and thus collect my customer feedback. There are countless possibilities available to me.
So I don’t have to go through the classic process to derive advantages for myself and possible products from Design Thinking. It’s also ok to only take what will help me in the current situation. At a meetup we talked about how NewWork can be compared to a suitcase full of methods and ideas. Me that this can also be applied to our Design Thinking. Design Thinking is a method box and a suitcase full of ideas. I take out what I need and apply it.
In the end, what counts is the right mindset, what good are the greatest methods if you don’t enjoy them and you have no interest in the success of your own approach. The mindset and the working method must fit then adjust to the inventors. Then I am already in the middle of it.

To answer the question

In conclusion, to return to the question No, I don’t have to go through the whole process from top to bottom.
I would like to add that the Design Thinking process is considered an iterative process. A process in which I can jump forward and backward as needed. So why not skip or skip steps. If it brings me closer to my goal then that is also a possible way.
Maybe it will help some people as an impulse to further advance the topics and products with the help of Design Thinking, for themselves and for the company.