Translated title of the contribution: Thoughtworks: Agile Innovation in the Digital Era

Research output: Other contributionCase Studies


This case describes the challenges faced by Thoughtworks China (hereinafter "Thoughtworks") and Yuelong Automobile (hereinafter "Yuelong") while working together on the development of a digital tool for Yuelong car owners: What did they aim to achieve through innovation—beat the competition or meet consumer needs? Was this digital transformation project beyond the purview of Yuelong's New Retail Department, with General Manager Wang Jie championing it directly? Was market research needed to explore innovation opportunities? Should they consider all users' pain points and needs or focus solely on key issues? What issues should be prioritized—high-value or high-risk ones? Should the company adapt to market change after the launch of Minimum Viable Products (MVPs)? Which department should manage this innovative digital product? How should they transcend temporal and spatial boundaries to replicate such an innovation product?Clues can be found in Thoughtworks' agile innovation process. As described in the case, only one month after release, the app co-developed by Thoughtworks and Yuelong, the result of intense debate between the pair, was well-received by the market. In January 2021, Zhang Min, Chairperson of Tengfei Group, Yuelong's parent company, invited Wang Jie, Yuelong's General Manager, Li Chuang, Yuelong's Director of New Retail Department, and Zhao Xin, Thoughtworks' Chief Project Manager, to discuss how to replicate the app's development process and apply it to other Tengfei subsidiaries. While the digital age continuously demanded innovation from carmakers, Zhao knew these subsidiaries needed to understand their market position and priorities before introducing new tools rather than simply following the latest digital trends. This case may spark further discussions about the difficulties with product innovation, helping students understand the characteristics and applications of Thoughtworks' agile innovation methodology.
Translated title of the contributionThoughtworks: Agile Innovation in the Digital Era
Original languageChinese (Simplified)
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

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Case normative number


Case type

Field Case

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Published by

China Europe International Business School


  • agile
  • agility
  • approach to innovation
  • digital transformation
  • digitalization
  • innovation
  • lean

Case studies discipline

  • General Management
  • Strategy

Case studies industry

  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services


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