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Updated: Jan 4, 2021

What is Enterprise Design Thinking?

Design Thinking has been an iconic tool for many companies in efforts to keep pace with the growing competency in the market. The technique is designed to establish a consumer-oriented culture within an organisation. Enterprise Design Thinking steps away from the traditional Design Thinking process seeks to achieve a model more suitable for big enterprises. It should be noted that the conventional design thinking model is more applicable to the small and medium-sized enterprises than the big enterprises which are built on complicated processes.

The Design Thinking Model is built on three principles: user-centred outcome, multidisciplinary collaborative efforts and the loop process that involves iterative reinvention.

Enterprise Design Thinking

User-centred Outcome

Enterprise Design Thinking as it is also known puts the user needs first on its list of priorities. This means that every decision-making is embedded in the ultimate satisfaction of users. The model is skewed towards attaining a complete understanding and empathy for the consumer. Good Design Thinking is achieved from the client perspective.

Collaborative Teams

The collaborative principle aims at incorporating scalability in a model to attain complex solutions to complex problems. The scalability of the model is founded on three techniques: hills, playbacks, sponsor users.


Hills are designed to gather teams around a common goal embedded in human needs and desires. Grounded on a shared understanding of success, the units are granted autonomy to go out on a solution finding escapade.


A playback technique is designed to bring these groups to a similar alignment directed towards achieving the project target, which is ultimately centred on the user's needs. In a nutshell, playbacks are platforms of assessment and feedback that ensure everyone is aligned around a set of high-value scenarios knit in three most iconic playback milestones: goals defining playbacks (Hills playbacks), solution defining playbacks (reproduction 0), progress measuring playbacks (delivery playbacks).

Sponsor Users

This technique involves real users from the extreme ends of the targeted user spectrum in the Enterprise Design Thinking process. Working with real people grounds the design experience on the reality of the user needs, unlike the imaginative approach. This co-creation with sponsor users increases product value in a rather painless Design Thinking process.

The Loop

A loop is an iterative process, a rotational process whose end marks another beginning. The Enterprise Design Thinking loop represents a process of continuous reinvention that forms a road map of the company’s Design Thinking process. The loop specifically seeks to discover user needs and endlessly prototype solutions for a better future. The circle is completed in a three-point process involving observation, reflection and making:


Take a closer look to notice the easy to miss consumer needs and verify their expectations against your ideas.


Reflection is aimed at consolidating the knowledge acquired, developing a solid point of view and designing a solid plan.


Transform ideas from the abstract into reality.

Elements of Enterprise Design Thinking

Below are the vital aspects of Enterprise Design Thinking:

  • One) Personas

Seek an understanding of your target group.

  • Two) Empathy Maps

Having defined a representation of your target group based on the more specific user group.

  • Three) As-is Scenario Maps

This is a task-oriented scenario map that documents steps taken, actions, thoughts and actions.

  • Four) Design Ideation and Prioritising

Develop as many ideas as possible regardless of the flexibility and the ability to implement.

  • Five) To-be Scenario Map

The scenario map reflects on the likely impact of implementing your ideas.

  • Six) Wireframe Sketches

These are designed to help you develop a better sense of the anticipated outcome.

  • Seven) Hypothesis-Driven Design

Create a set of measurable and testable hypothesis on whatever you design and deliver.

  • Eight) Minimum Viable Product Definition

What is the smallest thing that you can build and deliver quickly for the purpose of testing.


Like the traditional Design Thinking model, Enterprise Design Thinking model is still rooted in problem definition and brainstorming solutions. The hills, playbacks and sponsor users are iconic components whose application results to a more scalable model. This Enterprise Design Thinking has become the fastest way to generate ideas.

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