John Ruberto, Intuit, Inc
New product designers use a variety of techniques, blending art and science, to design the latest gadgets. Laptops, cell phones, kitchen utensils, and automobile dashboards are examples of products that have benefitted from the design process. My company uses a methodology, called Design for Delight, to create new services and offerings for our customers.
These creative methods also work for software process improvement. This paper shows how our team applied Design for Delight (D4D) for software process improvement. The paper will provide an overview of Design for Delight, tell the story how we applied it to improve a key software process, and describe the benefits and limitations of using Design for Delight for process improvement.
Our experience shows that D4D works well to identify customers of a process, work with them to learn the pain points, and identify improvements that focus on solving these pain points. The team is engaged and brings lots of creativity to problem solving.
On the other hand, we experienced several limitations of using this methodology for Software Process Improvement; for example, the results were highly dependent on the individuals selected as representative customers.
With these limitations in mind, our experience is that using product design techniques to improve software processes is a useful practice for applying creativity and innovation in software process improvement.