Scrum, a revolutionary approach for design research

Imron, Tiffany and Duffy, AHB (2019) Scrum, a revolutionary approach for design research. In: International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference 2019, 2019-09-02 - 2019-09-05, Manchester Metropolitan University.

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DESIGN RESEARCH can be characterised as being dynamic, wicked, and multidisciplinary. To accommodate these characteristics, design research needs to be approached differently from other types of research. Existing design research approaches identifiable in the literature are deemed insufficient to address the characteristics of design research and furthermore, the current options are limited. In this paper, we offer a new approach, adapted from a new product development framework called Scrum. It is an iterative and incremental approach, based on knowledge as it is gained. This is beneficial to address the dynamic and wicked characteristics of design research. Scrum also allows the use of multiple research techniques, which can accommodate the multidisciplinary characteristic of design research. To exemplify the application of Scrum adaptation in design research as well as to identify its pros and cons, the Scrum Design Research (SDR) approach was employed in a Collaborative Engineering Design (CED) study that aimed at developing a socio-technical architectural model. The example application shows that SDR allows the model to be created in an incremental manner. SDR also facilitates continuous lessons learned and improvement throughout the research. It encourages gathering of multiple perspectives from multiple sources and techniques to increase objectivity. The application illustrates that the approach can potentially provide a more comprehensive (from iterations) and objective (from triangulation) research result.