In this episode, Blair Loveday and Kupe Kupersmith discuss the benefits of design thinking and show us how to apply design thinking for better business analysis.



After listening to this episode, you'll understand:

  • What design thinking is and how it applies to business analysis
  • The benefits and value proposition of design thinking
  • How to get started with design thinking

Show Notes

Design thinking is a creative approach to solution-based problem solving and innovation that puts people at the center.  It allows you to create solutions that customers truly want and need.

Design Thinking is quickly becoming a leading approach for product development, innovation, and problem solving.  Business problems are getting more complex and harder to solve.  Without innovation and a human centered focus, we will find it difficult to satisfy and delight our customers in the future.

A Design Thinking approach allows you to focus on tackling a problem with a people lens and a customer experience angle.  In the end, Design Thinking is just good business analysis applied the right way.


Design Thinking is the New Agile

Many organizations have adopted an agile approach to product and project delivery.  Most are now focusing on maturing their agile practices.  While Design Thinking has been around for several decades now, there has been a big push lately to develop Design Thinking skills.  It has been highlighted by research and training organizations as a major trend and “The Next Big Thing”.

There’s not one way to apply a Design Thinking approach.  It’s taking the principles of Design Thinking and figuring out what works for you.  Design thinking and agile go well together due to some of their similarities, but you don’t need to use an agile approach to apply design thinking.

A lot of the success in agile comes from collaboration and understanding what skills you bring.  Similarly, Design Thinking allows you to apply a number of lenses to look at problems in different ways, apply different skills and perspectives, and focus on solutions that address customer needs.

Design Thinking gives Business Analysts a ticket to get involved earlier to project conception.  It allows you to express an idea in a way that creates a shared understanding and develop that idea into something that the customer wants.


Design Thinking vs. UX Design

Many people have a misconception that Design Thinking is the same as User Experience (UX) or Customer Experience (CX) design.  While UX Design deals with how the customer will interact with the solution, Design Thinking comes before the solution is identified and ensures that the right solution is built.


Blair and Kupe’s five-step Design Thinking process

Design thinking approach


This approach is something Business Analysts should be doing anyway – just possibly using different tools.  The techniques of Design Thinking are not a big jump from what Business Analysis professionals do today.

People have a perception that Business Analysts work is exclusively in the domain of requirements.  Business Analysts have the skills to apply Design Thinking and find opportunities to get a seat at the table and involved earlier in shaping projects and solutions.

The Design Thinking Value Proposition

Design Thinking brings value to organizations by allowing you to innovate and create a solution that meets the customer’s needs.  This is predicated on the ability to understand who your real customers are and understanding their point of view.  You must get the right people in the room; and the right people are customers.


To be successful, focus on the customer and take them on your journey.  It creates a fail-fast-and-learn culture and helps you build products that our customers really want and will consume.

Listen to the full interview to hear all of Blair and Kupe’s advice on Design Thinking and how to get started.


Your Homework

Kupe’s Tip: Learn more about Design Thinking and how you can incorporate a Design Thinking approach into your work.  Don’t be afraid to try new approaches and learn.  Having a supportive network helps with this.

Blair’s Tip: Just do it.  Imbed something into your day to day routine, such as visualizations or adjust the way you facilitate.  Surround yourself with like-minded individuals.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Blair Loveday

Blair Loveday

Chief Designer at Redvespa

Blair thrives at the intersection of inspired design, business, and people. He has an insatiable curiosity for design and design thinking and combines his expertise and passion for business analysis, alongside a multi-disciplined design thinking approach to help clients to not just realize solutions, but design them.

Kupe Kupersmith

Kupe Kupersmith

President & Principal, B2T Training

Kupe has over 15 years of experience in software systems development. Kupe is a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®) and co-author of Business Analysis for Dummies.

Click below to get your guide to Getting Started with Design Thinking


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