Innovation methodologies explained

Gartner’s view on innovation methodologies

Gartner visualizes how methods like Design Thinking, Lean, Design Sprint, and Agile flow nicely from one to the next.

Innovation methodologies explained

In reality, where one methodology stops and others start is not that exact as most techniques are overlapping each other as visualized below.



Innovation methods explained

Design Thinking

can be used to better understand the problem space and identify potential new Business Models. Design Thinking usually starts by diverging and gathering lots of insights through talking to stakeholders, followed by converging these insights into clusters and identifying key pain points, problems, or things needed to be done (Empathize & Define). The second part of Design Thinking is usually to ideate a large number of potential solutions before prototyping and testing the most promising ideas.

Lean Startup

is a good starting point if there is a good understanding of the problem space. Lean startup considers everything to be a hypothesis or assumption until validated. Assumptions are prioritizing and proving according to the highest risk for the entire product. The process to validate assumptions is creating an experiment, testing it and learn whether the premise still stands.

Design Sprint

strength is to share insights, ideate, prototype and test a concept all in short timeframe. Design Sprints only focus on the part of the solution and works great with a partly validated Business Model.


helps development teams having a validated Business model to start development without having every detail of a product up-front. Assumptions are verified by the creation of a Minimum Viable Product that is potentially deployable to production. Agile development revolves around a define and prioritizes the backlog of value to be delivered within short sprints that end with testing the value provided in each cycle.

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