Archives de catégorie : tools

Project review? Prepare the good scenarii

Image result for business meeting

I have just attended to a meeting regarding one project of my running program. This kind of meeting is called « Project Meeting ». Initiated by the project manager, it aims to discuss with the program manager and other selected stakeholders some important facts about the projects before the official Project Review. It aims to deal with important issues and collect options from important sponsors beforehand.

Really often the project team uses those meetings to announce:

  • a budget exceeding,
  • a delay

What I realize today is that in most of the meeting I have participated to, the project team forgive to bring important information that are keys to their counterparts: a plan.

Explaining that budget is going wild, planning is dead and gold-plated deliverables are everywhere is in a sense not really interesting to take decision about the project. What the project team should focus on are its strategy to take the project on track according to the available options:

  • Budget should remain unchanged
  • Planning should remain unchanged
  • Scope should remain unchanged

According to those 3 different strategy the team should provide scenarii to their stakeholders in order to have clear direction.

What is the plan to keep the budget unchanged while our scope is booming or delay is out of control?
What are the consequences if we keep the original planning (i.e. deliverables dates) regarding to the scope (descoping) or budget?

When experiencing troubles on projects, project teams should of course understand the reasons and act to stop the deviation but also work on alternative and scenarii about the future of its project. If not, the decision taken during a project review could be somehow definitive.

Do you see other things to focus on in that case?

 

thanks for reading.

 

 

Mindmapping, the swiss knife of your innovative life

Mindmap your life!

Do you know mindmapping? That wonderful technique is a way to keep organize your thoughts whatever you are doing.

Trying ot innovate? Mindmap your thinking to find the right problem.
Trying to solve this problem? Mindmap it to make a clear statement of the situationTrying to find agood technical solution? Mindmap your opportunities to rank them
etc… etc…

My last one? Trying to find a new job? Mindmap your career to find your strength and weaknesses and define a good strategy (this is really a wonderful tool to realize how many things you can do 😉 )

Mindmapping is one of the most powerful tool to set up and visually organize information and thoughts

What is mindampping?

According to Wikipedia

A mind map is a diagram used to visually organize information. A mind map is often created around a single concept, drawn as an image in the center of a blank page, to which associated representations of ideas such as images, words and parts of words are added. Major ideas are connected directly to the central concept, and other ideas branch out from those.

Mindmapping will allow to organise visually and with a clear hierarchy all your ideas.

How to mindamp?

First be sure you have enough space on a blank sheet of paper. grab at least 4 makers of different colours.

One can summarize mindmapping by those steps:

  1. Write down the topic in the center of your sheet
  2. From the center, write keywords that come to your mind around your central topic,
  3. Connect keywords to your central topic with lines. if keywords have a connections together, connect it also but with a different kind of line (dotted as an example)
  4. Use different colours either for different branches or different concepts of your maps
  5. Use the radial construction to show a clear and good hierarchy
  6. Shape your map in order to make the most powerful concept more visible.

Start with something easy to handle. I did my first mindmap with « dog » as the central topic.

Examples

Here are some examples I grab on the net.

You don’t need to be an expert in drawing. Those maps are much more beautiful than the most beautiful one I have ever made or seen.

Tools

Lots of tools are available on the internet to draw a mindmap.

  1. Xmind, my favorite
  2. FreeMind, a very good tool too
  3. Mindmeister, often recommanded I personnaly have never used it
  4. MindManager

A quick search on the net will give you even more possibilities.

Thanks for reading.

FabLab Corporate, retour d’expérience (1 an après)

DB12E2B128

Il y a un an nous avons installé un FabLab au sein de notre organisation. Après 1 an d’utilisation il est temps de partager les principales leçons de l’installation d’un tel espace dans un corporate.

  1. Installation et mise en place

L’installation et la mise en place d’un tel espace n’est pas un gros challenge. Pour un budget relativement limité, une structure de bonne qualité peut être mise en place. [un autre article sur le sujet Creative workplace for a budget]. Nous avons mis en place un espace d’innovation plus qu’un FabLab pur et dur. L’option prise est d’avoir 2 espaces distincts mais complémentaires :

  • Un espace dit d’ « innovation » qui permet aux équipes de se retrouver dans un environnement différent favorisant l’innovation. Dans cet espace, les outils utilisés sont principalement des méthodes de créativité, le business model canva, du brainstorming, des ateliers de Design Thinking etc…
  • Un espace « maker » qui ressemble plus à un FabLab et équipé de matériel pouvant permettre de prototyper des concepts imaginés dans la partie « Innovation ».
  1. Motivation

Comment faire venir les personnes dans le Lab et comment les motiver à utiliser ces moyens qui sont forcément en rupture avec la culture d’entreprise ? Nous avons mis en place plusieurs actions pour embarquer les personnels dans cet outil.

  • La réalisation de démonstrateurs
    Nous avons réalisé quelques démonstrateurs pour démontrer tout l’intérêt de venir prototyper au Lab ou imaginer les services et produits de demain. Pour cela nous avons mis en place des projets et des réalisations utilisant l’impression 3D et le prototypage électronique (sur base d’ARDUINO).
  • L’identification de « Champions »
    Grâce à la communication interne réalisée sur le sujet, très rapidement des personnes sont venus spontanément utiliser l’outil. Parmi eux, des « champions » qui utilisent le Lab dans l’esprit et avec de bons résultats ont permis de mettre en avant de premiers projets et de communiquer sur des réalisations concrêtes.
  • La banalisation de l’utilisation de la partie « Innovation »
    Un travail interne auprès des managers et des chefs de proejt nous a permis très rapidement d’utiliser de manière intensive la partie « innovation ». toutes les séances de créativité, tous les workshop de brainstorming, toutes les actions contenant une notion d’innovation ont été relocalisées dans le Lab. Cela a permis à de nombreuses personnes d’appréhender le lieu et ses possibilités.
  1. Résultats

Après un an d’utilisation, les résultats du Lab sont très positifs. Nous avons réalisés de nombreux MVP pour nos projets d’innovation, de nombreux workshops d’innovation se sont tenus dans les locaux du Lab. Cela a également ouvert la voie à l’expérimentation du Design Thinking et du Service Design. Un certain changement dans les méthodes de développement et dans les projets est en cours, accordant plus de place à l’innovation et aux actions innovantes. A noter la très bonne prise en main par les équipes opérationnelles de deux outils spécifiquement développé pour une utilisation dans le Lab (même si cela n’est pas une obligation) :

  • Le One Hour Problem Solving qui est une méthode de résolution de problème en équipe, visuelle et collaborative qui permet d’adresser un problème en une heure avec un plan d’action concret en output.
  • Le ui a été largement déployé dans nos équipes et qui profite du Lab via un Canva XXL

 

 

(cet article n’engage que moi)

.

A Physical space to innovate? A lab In a way

innovation lab

A Lab but more a physical space for innovation. Meaning not necessarily a FabLab but an innovation Lab.

Having an Innovation Lab instead of a FabLab only is much more powerful especially in corporate. It allows also to innovate on several aspect of the business including technical (with some « Fab » possibilities) and business with, just as we do at our Lab’In Lyon, the Business Model Canva and value proposition.

It gives also the possibilities to have « innovative » meeting: one can « relocate » a meeting in house. That’s a powerful way to change the state of mind of participants while staying at home.

At our Lab we have set two spaces that allow us to have on one side meetings, creativity sessions, Design thinking / service design workshop, business innovation sessions ect… and on the other side a FabLab with 3D printing capabilities, electronic mock-up capabilities, IoT and UX/UI prototyping. It gives very good results with a lot of MVP issued already this year, imagined on one side, made on the other one.

Physical space for innovation

 

INNOWEO article on Lab’In Lyon FabLab (in french)

Reshaping Business Model canva facilitation with a card deck

carddeck2

For a couple of months now I am testing the Strategyzer Business Model Design Space card deck.

It is a nicely quality printed car deck to help you make the point on what is going on on your business environment to prepare your business model innovation. It helps to understand the forces that act on your model, uncover trends, weaknesses and opportunities for a new and innovative business model.

This is not a tool to facilitate the business model canva itself but more to make the business model generation more reliable and innovative.

The goal is to map out physically around your business model canva all the forces that act on it. Thus, visually you have a representation of those forces around your business. Just as it is in real life.

The deck itself

Nicely printed on quality paper, it is composed of 5 categories of cards.

cardeck8Each card is a set of questions that one should ask to the group. Each card has a title and a subtitle that allows understanding clearly the meaning and the aim of the card.

 

  1. The “how-to” cards
    Frankly speaking this is most of the time missing in the cards deck one can buy to facilitate workshop (see IDEO design cards). Those 6 cards explains you the goals of the workshop, how to implement it, the materials, the groupe, what outcome should be awaited and what are the possible next steps. Very valuable to start.cardeck3
  1. The “Industry force” family
    Those cards aim to describe what is going on regarding the industry (competitors, new entrants, substitute, stakeholders…cardeck4
  1. The “market force” family
    They address everything related to the market tectonic: issues, demand, segments, costs…

cardeck5

  1. The “Key trends” family
    Technology, regulations, society… are seen herecardeck6
  1. The “Macroeconomic” family
    Those cards will focus more precisely on global market conditions, capital, commodities and resources etc….cardeck7

For each family you have 4 cards on each topic with about 5 questions. Once you have answered all the questions you have a nice overview of the particular topic.

Reshaping the business model canva facilitation

I have used the deck to facilitate 3 pre-workshop so far, mainly for small businesses (as pro bono facilitator). Unfortunately I have no pics of our very funny, very productive WS.

The deck opened my eyes about Business Model canva facilitation. Before I was jumping right ahead into the canva itself, neglecting in a way the entire environment in which the business was done. Even if we were pretending to take it into account, we weren’t. The visual display of the environment that allows the deck helps a lot during the business model making process itself. And some errors can thus be avoided.

Now I use a new process for Business Model Innovation:
process V1

All those workshops can be actually performed sequentially the same day, even during the same workshop. However I think it is important to have them all. I am still wondering if Actual BM workshop should be after the Environment one (please leave a comment if you have a proposition), however, the steps are here.

Having those workshops at different times and locations is of a huge interest and I really advise to do so. It helps people to fully think, aggregate and compile the data and the results of each WS in the meantime. That’s key and provide a lot of value if you plan a 30min “back-to-previous-results” slot at the beginning of the subsequent WS.

As usual, if you plan a Business Model Innovation, be sure that you work in detail and with a lot of care on the composition of the group. This is somehow the most important preparation step.

Any comments? Please feel free to leave a comment below of to contact me: baptiste@innoweo.com / @BaptisteLeSueur

 

Which country is spending the most on R&D?

 

 

OECD
OECD

I was lucky enough to go through this document about R&D and science within the OECD. An interesting reading for those who want to know more about R&D and Innovation trends with the organisation state members.

Interesting also to see the effort in R&D according to GPD and the international comparison esp. with the US and Japan.

Israel, has we all noted in the start-up world, is pushing hard. In Europe, France and Germany are not on the top position as the Nordic countries lead the field.

Visual Project Management: why you should give it a try

 

In the Last issue of PMNetwork from the PMI I have been really interested in an article called: « Now you see it » about the advantages of visual modeling in project management and moreover in gathering requirements.

A short experience

I have myself used Visual Project Management to manage a Continuous Improvement project this year.

Mur Pit Stop visual management
What you can’t realize from the pic is that this tool helped us for:
  • Planning
  • Risk analysis
  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Cost management

We did not use it for requirement analysis but know we have seen that we could do that visually too.

The main interest is as everything is represented graphically, with dedicated colours, with earned-value indicators, and positioned within time (just a funnier and more complete Gantt chart). So you can really see each morning what is late, what you should have on your desk, what is the next task/deliverable/risk to be mitigated…

You have your project under your eyes at a glance. And not only you as project manager. But the whole team. Everyone gets more involved, responsible and accountable for his tasks, in a gentler way that usual Project management tool. That’s one of the most impressive effect of Visual Project Management: Team involvement.

Where should I look to find visual project management tools?

Lost of tools exist and are already mastered into your company. don’t try to reinvent something that your organisation masters. However some new tools can enrich this approach for the best of your project.

  • Continuous improvement tools
    Such as Ishikawa, Value Stream Mapping, Process Workflow and so on can be used to gather requirements, find interactions and lean-ify your project
  • Visual management
    Of course Visual Project management is first of all… visual management so please take a look at your dashboards and see what could be useful for your projects.

Those first two are kind of classic. However I would like to mention one family that is of a big interest for my actual projects

  • Design thinking tools
    Yes really. Design Thinking. Customer journey, Blueprint, persona etc… are very good tools to manage a project and model its interactions, requirements and deliverables. Planning can be fined tuned using Customer journey. Give it a try!

Of course most of the tools that helps you to analyse a situation or predict scenarios can be helpful.

What for?

More than just tools, Visual Project Management will have a major impact on your project. A faster agreement on requirements is done using a Ishikawa like diagram called « features diagram » or « features tree ». You can build a better common understand of the project and its deliverables using the Customer Journey. Project monitoring is easier when leverage on Visual management tools and techniques.

As a conclusion

You should really try the Visual Project Management. Definitely. After my first experiment of it I use it every day to manage my R&D/Innovation portfolio together with more classical PMP processes. It helps me to leverage the portfolio approach while giving me the opportunity to better understand and model the interactions among the projects, esp. the resources, and to communicate at the easiest with all stakeholders.

Structure your hypotheses validation

Testing its hypotheses is key to the Lean Start-up. By doing so you open the possibility to pivot and find your true market.

However when one is trying to find out its true market and testing, testing testing, one should have a clear idea of what is going on and what one is doing.

I personally use my own canva (Strategyzer got one interesting too), esp. during my pro bono consulting with starting businesses. My canva is built around 3 areas:

  1. What hypothesis are we working on?
    Very important and should be consistent with the Hypotheses list that you have certainly made at the beginning of your adventure. My personal advice: Don’t try to test one hypothesis with one test card. try to validate each side of your hypothesis to be sure that your test is relevant.
  2. What is our plan?
    Basically, what we do to test our hypothesis…
  3. What do we measure and thus what is our key factor of success with its associated level?
    Knowing what we will measure is important but don’t forget to tell in advance what will be a success.

Do you haveyourself a canva to test your hypothesis?

Portefeuille de Projets Innovation: Le bon Mix

protefeuilleEn Innovation comme dans toute gestion de portefeuille Projet, la gestion du risque et des opportunités est clé. Cependant en innovation une dimension particulière rentre en jeu : L’horizon d’innovation. Je reviendrai prochainement sur ce sujet dans un article (en anglais) sur la stratégie des horizons en innovation.

Les 4 types d’innovation

En dehors des risques classiques liés à tous projets, les projets d’innovation s’inscrivent dans 4 grandes catégories qui définissent également un profil de risque pour l’entreprise.

  • L’innovation incrémentale. Largement rependu, le concept d’innovation incrémental est compris et appliqué par de nombreuses entreprises. Il s’agit d’améliorer à la marge, des produits existants en optimisant une fonction ou en rajoutant de nouvelles. C’est sur ce segment que la plupart des entreprises que j’ai accompagnées investissent la plus grosse partie de leur budget.
  • L’innovation Business Model qui est connue mais beaucoup moins appliquée. Il s’agit là de réfléchir non pas à développer de nouveaux produits ou services mais bien de penser à une nouvelle relation, une nouvelle expérience avec son client. C’est un mode très important car cela permet souvent de trouver des relais de croissance à moindre cout et à risque faible.
  • L’innovation de rupture est également largement connue. Il s’agit là de révolutionner complètement le marché auquel l’innovation s’attaque. L’innovation de rupture présente bien entendu un profil de risque bien plus élevée.
  • La Spin off qui consiste à externaliser (ou acquérir) les produits/services, nouveaux ou non pour attaquer un nouveau marché ou un nouveau segment. Ce type d’innovation permet de diversifier ses marchés et donc de limiter les risques business.

 

Déterminer le bon Mix

Bien entendu chaque entreprise, chaque compagnie, aura son mix parfait en fonction de plusieurs facteurs qui sont à prendre en compte dans la gestion et la détermination du portefeuille :

  • La stratégie globale de l’entreprise. Aucun besoin de revenir là-dessus, toutes les actions d’une entreprise doivent être en accord avec sa stratégie. A noter cependant que l’innovation peut être justement un moyen de modifier fondamentalement la stratégie pour changer d’une stratégie de protection de part de marché vers une stratégie agressive de conquête ou une stratégie de développement sur un nouveau segment.
  • L’environnement économique. Bien entendu, la santé financière de l’entreprise et les marges de manœuvre qu’elle procure influe fondamentalement sur le mix du portefeuille innovation.
  • La maturité innovation de l’organisation. Si une organisation est incapable de prendre en main une innovation réellement de rupture et d’en tirer le maximum de bénéfice, aucun intérêt à trop investir sur ce segment. Si au contraire l’organisation sait vraiment en tirer la quintessence et même sortir ces innovations de l’organisation actuelle (ou la modifier en profondeur) pour développer tous les potentiels alors il semble intéressant d’appuyer sur ce segment.

Bien gérer son portefeuille

Qui qu’il en soit, il est bon de noter 4 conseils fondamentaux dans la gestion d’un portefeuille d’innovation :

  • Toutes innovations qu’elle soient, les projets restent des projets et les risques projet ne doivent jamais être en retrait pour favoriser le mix du portefeuille
  • Le mix portefeuille est dynamique. Il varie dans le temps selon les résultats, le contexte etc…
  • Même dans les cas extrêmes il est toujours nécessaire d’avoir des projets dans au moins les 3 premières catégories (Incrémentale, de rupture et business model) car ce sont le cœur de l’activité de l’entreprise qui est en jeu.
  • Une trop grande disparité dans les arbitrages est un risque important qui doit être jaugé (tout comme dans un portefeuille d’actions, on cherche à maximiser les chances de réussites en diversifiant les investissements).

 Et vous, pensez-vous que votre mix projet est bon?