There is a new hip word in town and it’s digital transformation. Everything is going digital and it’s hard to keep up. But from years of experience and learnings I understand that success depends on your teams ability to have a structured innovation process and a good team culture filled with feedback and creativity.
A simple way to get started is by the 5-step innovation jump. A simple but effective method to get it going that could be one day as a whole month. As a project lead within UX – this is one of a hundred ways you could do it.
1. Have a problem
Good innovation is often born from someone that wants to solve a problem. It’s human nature to want progress and strive for finding a way to reach it. All companies have small or big problems that you can quickly identify with the right data.
The intrapreneur is as important as the entrepreneur.
Setup a team of six passionate employees from different parts of the organization. Even if it don’t make sense to have Janet from accounting it’s good to have her perspective. Be sure to take time to do a P.O.D, ( Point of departure) a method for individuals and teams to define the structure, direction and first steps of a project.
Important to discuss
- Expectations on individual, team and organizational level
- Time frames and commitment
- What success and failure looks like on individual, team and organizational level
2. Fall in love with the problem
Start to research and understand the problems angles, causes and effects. A great technique is to ask the question why five times and dig deep. Take the learnings and ask coworkers how they feel about the problem. Add your own findings with your user research.
Try to define down the problem into one sentence. I often use the start “How might we” to get going.
How might we create more value to product X without adding costs?
3. Define the problem
When you have your problem definition it’s finally time to start ideate. There is a thousand ways to ideate and methods to use, but choose one that works with the problem definition. But don’t go creating solution directly. Creativity and innovation is developed in a certain mindset.
But easily explained the process looks like this; Try to expand and throw every idea out on the table then throw the bad ones back. Start working on the good ones and create new ideas on these. Start minimize again and removing the ideas that don’t clear all requirements.
But remember: There is no such thing as the perfect idea. It’s better to start prototyping
4. Prototyping your idea
Good prototyping is based on validation. So go out and test your prototype on future users, collect their thoughts and needs. Go back, iterate and ask new people on the version 1.1. Try to do this in a rapid pace and with consistent quality. After some time you will have enough insights to go into pre-production of version 1.x and preparing to show management your solution.
Also remember to trust your expertise. Innovation is not only listening to what people want.
5. Pitching it to boss
Presenting an idea is easy when you’ve done your homework. Go through the key requirements a last time and produce a beautiful and emotional presentation. Tell the story, show your hard work and be prepared on answering the question;
When can we start and how soon can it be ready?