Making of Innovative Solutions: Lean Start-Up and Design Thinking Practices

Content :

I will showcase Real Case Study on how Innovative Solutions can be developed using a mix of tools and techniques from Lean Start-Up ,    Design Thinking, User Story Mapping and Lean & Agile Development.

- Lean Canvas is 1-page document that describes Business Model.

- Design Thinking is an iterative innovation approach to develop the “Right Product”. Various phases of DT are 1. Understand 2. Observe 3. Define 4. Ideate 5. Prototype 6. Validate.

- User Story Mapping helps teams get a common understanding of requirements from the user's point-of-view and facilitates creation of clearer backlog items.

- Lean is right way to reduce waste and to efficiently and rapidly deliver high quality products.

Summary :

How the tools and techniques from Lean Start-Up, Design Thinking, User Story Mapping and Lean Development helped us in developing Right Innovative Solution in the right way.



Outline/Structure of the Case Study

  • Theory - Lean startup , Design Thinking & User Story Mapping Concept
  • Showcase of Real Case study using Customer Development Approach
  • Supporting Videos

Learning Outcome

Key Takeaways :

You will learn how a mix of tools and techniques from

  • Lean startup
  • Design Thinking
  • User Story Mapping
  • Lean & Agile Development

Can be applied to develop innovative products in the right way.

Target Audience

Product Development

schedule Submitted 6 years ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • Naresh Jain
    By Naresh Jain  ~  5 years ago
    reply Reply

    Manik, thanks for your proposal. We love the idea of a Case studies. Lean Canvas, Design Thinking and Story Mapping are all important topics. I would be really keen to hear from you a quick summary (a para or two) of what were your key learnings applying these concepts on your real project. 

    • Manik Choudhary
      By Manik Choudhary  ~  5 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hello Naresh,

      My key learnings were

      • Get Empathy of the End Users
      • Avoid Waste - Do not develop a product if nobody wants - Achieving Failure = successfully executing a bad plan .
      • Take Early Decision  - Proceed/ Invest/ Stop!
      • Pivot is the Key
      • Fail Fast

      Regards, Manik

      • Ajey Gore
        By Ajey Gore  ~  5 years ago
        reply Reply


        what about stake holders? business owners? why only end users? if you are making a mass attracting product then most probably empathy from end user might make you more comfortable?


  • Tathagat Varma
    By Tathagat Varma  ~  6 years ago
    reply Reply

    Manik - could you help describe the problem statement - what exactly were you trying to address or solve (rather than applying Design Thinking and Lean Startup practices). It will help reviewers and the audience understand what was the specific problem that you were addressing, and what conventional tools/methods did you use to address it and what were the results of which, which prompted you to look at Design Thinking and Lean Startup practices. Also, it will be very helpful to understand what were the final results as this is a Case Study. 


    • Manik Choudhary
      By Manik Choudhary  ~  6 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hello TV,

      I will showcase a Real Case Study, how we have developed an Internal Tool(knowledge base) called “Method Store”,  using methods of Lean Startup, Design Thinking, User Story Mapping and Agile. 

      Method Store” is a knowledge base to Search(like Google) for proven Lean/agile or design thinking methods and best practices for the same. It is an internal tool being used by Scrum Masters / Lean & Agile Mentors / Design Thinking coaches.

      Why We developed an internal Tool “Method Store” ?

      During Agile Meetings or in Design Thinking workshop often we have to choose best Practices / Methods which we want to use. For example – How I can use Lean Canvas? How to use retrospective in the distributed environment? What is a minimum Viable Product? So, we have been using “Method Store” to search for the best Practices / Methods as mentioned.

      Who is the customer?

      Internal Scrum Masters, Agile & Design Thinking Coaches


      This Knowledge based has been developed using methods of Lean Startup, Design Thinking, User Story Mapping and Agile. 

      Why we applied these Methods?

      We wanted to avoid waste. We used lean canvas to document the hypothesis ,  used Design thinking to validate the hypothesis , used user story Mapping to define the Product Backlogs for the first release using concept of Minimum Viable Product and at last but not least we used Agile to develop the tool.

      My focus would be more on “how” we have developed this knowledge base-Method Store rather than “what” is a method store.

      Regards, Manik


      • Jerry Rajamoney
        By Jerry Rajamoney  ~  5 years ago
        reply Reply

        Hi manik,

        Nice to see you have used many technique / tools for your solution. I am interested in knowing the reason for choosing these 4 different technique to solve your problem. Because I see the reason for choosing these different techniques is not clear to me. The problems you have mentioned can be solved by the existing tool readily available in the market.

        Also you have mentioned "During Agile Meetings". could you explain Agile meetings? I am not clear on this. Also you have mentioned " we used Agile to develop". Could you explaing this part too?



        • Manik Choudhary
          By Manik Choudhary  ~  5 years ago
          reply Reply

          Hello Jerry,

          Here are the answers

          Question - I am interested in knowing the reason for choosing these 4 different techniques to solve your problem

          Answer -  

          If you want to develop a solution you have two options

          1.      Use Agile / Scrum and start Development

          2.      Do Research, Do Experiments, Get Empathy, Fail Fast, Apply Build-Measure- Learn Concept and then do the development.

          We used option # 2 to develop “Method Store”, and Reasons are the following

          1.      When we had an idea of developing “Method Store” as a tool, that time we were not sure about customers’ requirements. Both the problem and Solution were not clear.   

          2.      We wanted to avoid Waste. Also, we wanted to make sure that solution which we were developing will be used by scrum masters / Design Thinking Coaches. The only way to avoid waste is to do experiments and follow the Lean startup concept. Also we wanted to validate our hypothesis by doing experiments.

          3.      So after writing our hypothesis on Lean Canvas, we used Design Thinking to validate the hypothesis. We did 15 problem interviews , did prototype and validated the prototype. Once we got the insights / Vision, we used User Story Mapping to come with Minimum Viable Product for the First Release. After that we use Scrum to develop the tool.

          Question - The problems you have mentioned can be solved by the existing tool readily available in the market. 

          • I am not aware of any such tool. You have only option to “Google” the key words. Even though external tool is available (?), we did not use because we wanted to build INTERNAL Knowledge Base according to our needs.
          •  Once again, “Method Store” is a knowledge base (like Google) for PROVEN  Lean/agile or design thinking methods and best practices for the same. It is an internal tool being used by Scrum Masters / Lean & Agile Mentors / Design Thinking coaches.

          Question - The During Agile Meetings". could you explain Agile meetings?

          For example

          • During Sprint Planning Meeting scrum master wants to know how to use planning poker ?
          • During Sprint retrospective meeting scrum master wants to know which game can be used for retrospective.

          So for above such queries Scrum Master will go to “Method Store” and Enter the Keyword . He will get the search results by explaining the Process and Methods, Books to Read, Rating of the Search result, To whom to contact etc for the keyword given. These features you cannot achieve with an external tool developed by somebody else.  

          Question  - We used Agile to develop". Could you explain this part too?

          • Yes we develop the tool using Scrum. Execution ( Development) of tool was done using Scrum.

          Regards, Manik

  • Prasad
    By Prasad  ~  5 years ago
    reply Reply

    Give more insight on the case study. A first look provides a theortical based treatment



    • Manik Choudhary
      By Manik Choudhary  ~  5 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hello Prasad,

      Please refer to the following link (slide from 30 - 42 for the Method Store) . This slide deck is from my German Colleague.

      Language of Slide Deck is German.

      I can provide my slide deck for the Method store to the Reviewer Team on Request.

      Some details about the slide deck

       Slide # 31 - Problem Statement  

      Slide # 32 - Lean Canvas

      Slide # 33 - Teaser Landing Page to check the interest.

      Slide # 34- Started Developing the solution only when 30+ interests received. 

      Slide # 35 - 15 Problem Interviews with Scrum Master / Design Thinking Coaches

      Slide # 36 - Synthesis & Target user pivot*

      Slide # 37 - Ideation of "Method Store " using Story Board 

      Slide # 38 - 15 Solution Interviews with Scrum Master / Design Thinking Coaches

      Slide # 39 - User Story Mapping and MVP

      Slide # 40 - Story Line for the Method Store 

      Slide # 41 - Actual Product UI after the MVP . How the search result will look. Search Result for "Keyword - Retrospective"

      Regards, Manik 


  • pradeep panda
    By pradeep panda  ~  6 years ago
    reply Reply


      One query from my side.

         For what kind of projects do you recommend to have all the processes you have mentioned. Point here is, for a takt of 2 weeks or 4 weeks, do not you think so many things are going to be an overburden. Do you think backlog grooming with very well defined Backlog is not good enough for a smooth execution? 

    • Manik Choudhary
      By Manik Choudhary  ~  5 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hello Pradeep,

      Here are my answers

      Q. What kind of projects do you recommend to have all the processes you have mentioned ?

      Answer –

      1.      For Disruptive Innovation

      2.      When Problem is Unknown & Solution is Unknown

      According to Eric Ries

      "If we’re building something nobody wants, what does it matter if we accomplish it: On time? On budget? With high quality? With beautiful design? Achieving Failure = successfully executing a bad plan ."

      “Building something nobody wants is the ultimate form of waste.”

      Q. Point here is, for a takt of 2 weeks or 4 weeks, do not you think so many things are going to be an overburden ?

      Answer -  No . Talk duration (2-4 Weeks) has nothing to do with innovation. You should define your MVP and release the Product to the market and follow the Build-Measure-Learn Concept.

      Q. Do you think backlog grooming with very well defined Backlog is not good enough for a smooth execution?

      Backlog grooming, will help. But from Where well defined Backlogs will come ?

      Use Business Model Canvas to check if it is worth investing in the project. First you have to make sure that solution which you are developing will generate a profit. After that Use Design Thinking to Validate the Learning and after that User Story Mapping will give you backlogs. Define the MVP and go for execution using Agile/Lean.

      Regards, Manik


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