Leaders at innovative enterprises will gain competitive advantage by learning and experimenting to find what works for it and its customers — including leveraging design thinking, with its focus on the customer; lean startup as an innovation engine; and agile to develop technology elements that work well in combination.
This requires considerable flexibility in applying models, analyses and innovation processes, which will vary depending on the type of innovation. Leading EA practitioners leverage diverse approaches to help them use lean and experiment, including:
• Design thinking — This brings ideas and tools from the world of architecture and product design with a strong focus on human-centered design. It brings the customer perspective into the heart of the innovation process.
• Lean startup — This provides the iteration engine, building out a hypothesis for an innovation through multiple cycles.
• Agile — This keys into the lean startup cycle and builds out the supporting technology solution. In later cycles, and as an innovation scales, it works with other approaches, such as DevOps, to take the solution into core systems.
Design thinking, lean startup and agile are powerful approaches, with considerable flexibility. While there's a lot of great research in each area, they must be tailored to suit the needs of the organization. So, in a sense, each organization has to iteratively learn about the most suitable innovation approach.
For more details on this research, see: Gartner "Enterprise Architects Combine Design Thinking, Lean Startup and Agile to Drive Digital Innovation".