• Maniza Dewan

Are you satisfied with your innovation results?

If not, maybe you need to use agile innovation to create disruptive delight.

Ask any CEO/ business owner in today's market place to list the three most important elements for survival , chances are one of them would be innovation. In 2017, innovation is akin to having financial statements in an organisation. But if innovation is so unanimous, why are such few businesses satisfied with their results? As per a study by Harvard Business Review, 70% to 90% of new products continue to fail. Why should this be?

There are many factors that lead to poor results, lack of commitment and dedicated effort towards innovation, not knowing what areas to innovate in, limited understanding on how to measure innovation. However, I think a large part of the reason for this is that business continue to use traditional approaches towards innovation. Innovation is not enough to meet the changing demand of customers, the speed and agility with which innovation is delivered to the customers is the winning ticket.

This is where Agile methodologies comes in. Agile is not only a newer approach to creative thinking, but also a holistic system on how to overcome obstacles in the process of innovation. The success of agile methods are multi-fold. The Standish Group study - CHAOS 2015 noticed 84% increase in team productivity, 79% increase in team morale, 77% faster go-to-market and 76% reduced project risk.

Agile differs from traditional approached in 5 major ways:

* Focus on partnership with customers versus sticking to signed contracts - This means understanding what the customer needs and delivering it with speed. The teams focus on understanding where the customer derives value from and tweaks specifications to deliver it.

* Allow for flexibility in the planning to manage for quick response to change - The teams create visions and plans, but plan in detail only for elements that they know will not change

* Encourage experimentation and working with prototypes versus excessive documentation - Make projects simpler and less rigid by adopting ‘plan, do, study and act’ loops.

* Focus on collaborative discussion among teams versus rigid process and tools driven interactions - Minimise bureaucracy and empower team members to create an environment that is safe and fun.

* Study what customers value the most develop the product service with that in mind - This entails being connected to customers and reiterating what is important to them. Look for their insights, not just their feedback.

Though Agile is currently the buzzword, there are certain things to consider before implementing the methods. Knowing which functions to use the methods on is an important element. Not everything works with agile. Also, completely changing the way you work based on the principles of Agile might not be the best move. Starting small and gaining experience is the key to building it in the overall scheme of things.

Some examples in the real world are when Adobe consulted its insights community before acquiring stock photo company Fotolia. The customers help define the interest in the market and their willingness to pay for the products. Also, Modelez has launched mobile futures initiative that is a vehicle to collaborate with mobile start ups to transform their consumer engagements. This helped them launch 9 brands with pilot marketing projects within 90 days.

#Agilemethodology #Innovation



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