Friday, November 22, 2019

Design Thinking and Simplicity

Philosophically, simplicity is the source of complications, and complications are the source of simplicity.

Simplicity means or is related to too many things such as responsiveness, availability, robustness, manageability, scalability, flexibility, reliability, sensitivity, or comprehensiveness, etc. The forward-thinking organizations understand how things such as design thinking and simplicity, etc, can fundamentally change organizations and their societal impact on things such as strategy, manageability, sustainability, and social responsibility. The art of digital management is not to complicate things, but to eliminate unnecessary complications, and leverage design thinking to fine tune modern organizational structures and functions for reaching the next level of organizational maturity.


Simplicity is the design of looking for what is common for maximum reuse: Reuse is about creating simple building blocks that can be applied over and over to minimize design cost and maximize business value over the Lifecycle. Reusability will bring in required simplicity at an enterprise level and it is related to so many wanted digital business qualities such as robustness, availability, responsiveness, reliability, or manageability. It means less structure, fewer rules or regulations, changeability, and high maturity.

In fact, reusability and simplicity compliment each other to a certain level of granularity within the organization. Reuse is necessary, but it should be a natural reflex, and find the “tipping point.” In practice, if you want to build reusable components, you must define all the reusability cases at the design level and build different components based on it; focused on real reusable cases instead of building something in a generic way. The art of reusability is about architectural design thinking; the science of reusability is related to in-depth analysis and governance to achieve business results such as cost effectiveness & productivity, etc.

Design Thinking is very reliable at producing valid and simplified solutions: Designers prefer validity and get the right results. It’s important to apply design thinking to decode complexity, keep things simple and optimize the business from functioning to delight. The forward-thinking leaders understand how things such as design thinking can fundamentally change organizations first by demonstrating wins on simple products, services or solutions, and then, on things such as strategy, sustainability, and social responsibility.

 In a corporate world, you will find the attitude of complicating things in procedures or systems. It takes the Lego approach by integrating multiple and specialized commercial software components into customer-tailored solutions. Keep things simple, but not simpler. Engaging customers by providing simplified and intuitive products/services on an ongoing basis to see how their goals are achieved is a good way to design a people-centric digital organization.

Follow the “simplicity” principle for modern enterprise design: Due to the “VUCA” (Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) business new normal, information is growing exponentially and there are a multitude of complexity in the corporate scope such as information complexity, hierarchical complexity, collaboration complexity, governance complexity or ecosystem complexity. The master designers decode complexity and make it simple but purposeful. 

Simplicity is the building block, grasp the essence of design philosophy and follow the simplicity principle for developing delightful products or services with “easy to use” features from customers’ perspective; simplicity means fewer layers and high fluidity from an organizational structural perspective; simplicity also means intuitive and delightful products or services with "easy to use" feature from customers’ perspective, etc, to name a few. The digital management should set “simplicity” as the digital principle, really advocate clarity and transparency, apply design thinking to re-imagine the better way to do things.

Philosophically, simplicity is the source of complications, and complications are the source of simplicity. Logically, leveraging design thinking to simplify the complicated thing is an optimal and smart choice. Organizations have to leverage design thinking, sharpen the skills for managing complexity by following the “Simplicity Principles,” to push the boundaries of sophisticated business mix and keep optimizing organizational structures and functions to improve business quality, effectiveness, and maturity.

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