South of Fortinos
I live in Maple south of Fortinos, the “Italian” version of the Canadian grocery company Loblaws. (I’m still trying to make “SoFo” – South of Fortinos – a thing.) It’s a scandalously short drive and I sometimes walk to get small loads of groceries. As a consequence I’m in the store four or five times a week.
Many other people do groceries once a week, based on a meticulously prepared list and plan for what meals they’ll have before the next shop.
Consider Design Thinking’s main themes – get feedback from your users and iterate as frequently as possible to make sure you are on target. By this definition, I am more Design Thinker-y than the person who shops once a week. I bring this up as a way to explore if Design Thinking has diminishing returns – can one be too Design Thinker-y?
Pros and Cons
Design Thinking’s justification for frequent iteration is that less waste is produced. Certainly I find that is true with frequent shopping. I can react to changes in circumstance (someone visiting, eating out instead of in, too tired to cook) more nimbly and with less food wasted than if I gambled on predictions for the whole week.
The downside, the cost, is that I spend time to and from the store, sometimes use the car and take on those expenses, spend time in line etc.
There is a balance to be struck. Too frequent visits wastes time and money, but too infrequent visits does as well, in terms of food wasted and time spent planing fruitlessly.
I believe this balance applies to all Design Thinking. Too many iterations and you waste time task switching. Too few and you risk wasting resources on off-target investments.