Time spent diverging and exploring seems not productive and a waste? Why do we try to efficiently build the wrong thing?
How much time do you spend on really seeking different solutions for a problem? How many paths do you explore before choosing the most fitting solution?
If you're like me, probably far too little. We are so used to working with deadlines, being productive and creating focus, that we don't take enough time to do some creative discovery. It is one of the bigger risks if you are working in a Scrum team. I see a lot of emphasis on quickly creating solutions, maximising output rather than outcome. A focus on efficiency in stead of effectiveness.
So, take time to unfocus. Explore, ideate, brainstorm around a problem before too quickly jump to a solution. Sketch, draw, cut, glue, prototype and test multiple solutions before converging to the most optimal one. Use set based concurrent thinking, design thinking, crazy 8s and other creative techniques. Set up design sprints. Even better, here's an idea: do this every sprint. Heck, yes, of course this is just proper Product Backlog refinement.
Yes, focus and flow are very important. Creating done increments is important. Only ask yourself: are we building the right thing? And how do we know?