I can’t agree with you more. An example will best illustrate my point:
So I was working for this fortune 500 company and they wanted a prototype for an application and outsourced this assignment to a tech firm. The tech firm had 2 developers, a scrum master, a UX person, and several QA ppl. They were deeply into Agile as a process and so do regular 2-week sprints but they only focus on the process and felt as long they follow it, success would come.
However, 3 months later and a million dollars spent, the prototype was only partially completed. The design was not well-liked by many of the users and the performance was extremely slow. This was disaster in the making and many things started unraveling like too little tasks assigned for each sprint and lack of understanding in basic coding principle or the technologies they were using. They also did not collaborate with the in-house UX team and so did not follow company design guidelines.
I was hired to take over this disaster and as their last day of the contract came, I was on the call for their morning scrum and found it comical that they each congratulated each other on work well done when their client thinks otherwise. I guess somehow they believe if they follow all the rules of the Agile book, they done great work.
A valedictorian speech comes to mind when I think of this disaster. In the speech, there was a story about two extremely bright engineers that invented a highly innovative piece of machinery but could not get it work during a demo. They recalculated all the equations and went thru all their documentations and look thru all the circuit boards until they realized it was not plugged in.
Oftentimes, things are not that complicated. Putting another brand or term for something doesn’t make it all that different. We don’t need “Design Thinking” but just common sense. Here’s some common sense: given there will be ppl using the application, why not just ask them what they want? Simple. Done.