Design Thinking Enhances Culture, Speed, Efficiency, Customer Experience and Profitability

A recent Forrester Total Economic Impact Study found that Design Thinking practiced across diverse portfolios of products and services helped clients reduce costs, increase speed, and design better solutions.

The purpose of the study was to evaluate design thinking’s financial impact for both individual projects and a grander organizational transformation. Forrester interviewed over 60 executives who have employed design thinking at their organizations. These organizations turned to design thinking to address a variety of challenges:

  • Refine business strategy to invest in solving the most promising opportunities while mitigating the risk of bad investments.
  • Remedy an inhibiting ‘No’ culture by energizing and empowering employees to think creatively without fear of failure or retribution.
  • Design better products to improve customer experience (CX) and sales.
  • Speed up project design and execution.
  • Streamline processes to reduce overhead.

Interviewees found that Design Thinking practice successfully address these challenges and enhance culture, speed, efficiency, customer experience, and profitability. The following risk-adjusted quantified benefits are representative of those experienced by the organizations interviewed:

Organizations slashed the time required for initial design and alignment by 75%. The model demonstrates cost savings of $196K per minor project and $872K per major project.

Project teams leveraged better designs and user understanding to reduce development and testing time by at 33%.This equates to cost savings of $223K per minor project and $1.1M per major project.

Design Thinking practices helped projects cut design defects in half. Projects were more successful in meeting user needs, thereby reducing design defects and subsequent rework to save $77K per minor project and $153K per major project.

Faster time-to-market enabled increased profits from net-new customers and the higher present value of expected profits. Faster time-to-market increased profits by $182K per minor project and $1.1M per major project.