Archives par mot-clé : corporateinnovation

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.

 

 

INNOWEO’s creativity cards deck is out!!

 

INNOWEO Card deck

INNOWEO just issued its first creativity cards deck. Join our community to download it for free.

IMAGE-IN cards deck is a 68 cards deck that will provide your with inspiring pictures from Nature, Technologies or Abstract arts to help you think « out-of-the-box ». With the IMAGE-IN booklet, you will have 3 wonderful and easy exercises to use your IMAGE-IN cards. Also available for free for INNOWEO’s community members, a 40€ value!

So join our community to have our very own deck and enjoy our special contents. In addition, INNOWEO’s community members will be the first to have some more news about the coming soon specials we are working on at the moment. So join us now.

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The Art of A/B testing

THE ART OF A_B TESTINGA/B testing seems to be the holy graal of start-upers. It might seem easy at the first sight. But actually is a real science which combine marketing, design, statistics and… chance.

What is A/B testing?

Very simple indeed.

Let’s say that you have a product. whatever product it is of course, however A/B testing is mostly used for webdesign and inbound marketing as you can easily test and learn at high speed. So you have a product. You have 2 possibilities regarding this product:

  • A version = orange coloured
  • B version = blue coloured

However before launching the production you want to know which one will be sold mostly and thus product the one that people wants.

To do that you have an audience Z that you split into two groups:

  1. Z(A) will be proposed with the A version (orange)
  2. Z(B) will be proposed with the B version (blue)

And you wait until you know which of A or B version has been sold the most. That’s it you are done.

Of course A/B testing is based on an assumption that nobody will be able to prove. It stays in the fact that people in the Z(A) group will react exactly the same in front of your test and Z(B) people does… So to be sure that your test worth value, you have to achieve a certain amount of visitors to « average » some particular behaviour. So the most people visit your website, the most trusted your A/B test.

A/Z testing for INNOWEO

Imagine now that I want, on INNOWEO, to do some A/B testing. I have around 150 visitors per day. I would like to optimize the people joining my INNOWEO community (more than 100 members, join !!). I have several option to test:

  1. Put at the bottom of each post a invitation to join (A)
  2. Put on the side bar an invitation to join (B)
  3. Have a pop-up that invite you to join after 10 sec on the site (C)
  4. Have it highlighted in flashy green (D)
  5. …..

Lots of possibilities.

So I could do as the following:

  • One third of my audience will see the A version
  • One third will see the B version
  • One third the C version

That’s A/Z testing where you test multiple variables. I just have to check what produces the most members.

As for an information I have tested A and B version with greater results for B version, the actual one on INNOWEO. I have never tried the other. Should I?

Multiple variable testing

Let’s know imagine that you want to test the shape and colour of a button, sounds and image. You are now entering the world of statistics and combination. 4 buttons, 3 sounds, 3 images give 36 possibilities. You can manage it iteratively or test it statistically to reduce the testing time. Up to you. A good experiment plan is however a valuable help.

The marketing side

Of course if you A/B test your product it is because you want to know which version is the more suited to your goal. That’s marketing.

So before launching a A/B test campaign prepare it to be sure you will reach your goals:

  • define precisely what to test (color, size, media, shape…)
  • select what kind of testing method you will apply (that’s key because you will have to perform different tasks)
  • Select your comparison factor (sales, new members, click…)

This should be in full accordance with your ultimate goal.

Dangers of A/B testing

Lots of dangers in A/B testing. Some are listed here below.

  1. Testing something not relevant (don’t test everything, focus on UX)
  2. Stopping too early (A/B test should be statistically significant)
  3. Stopping it too late (you are loosing time)
  4. Awaiting an increase in sale (you are not trying to sell more but trying to understand how to communicate)

What to test first

I would say test whatever will give you some more information about your audience and how it reacts to your value proposition and communication channel:

  • test a landing page with a video (it is proven that video is highly engaging)
  • test testimonials (social proof)
  • test writing (is a « join now! » button more efficient that the « join for free » one?)
  • test super fast loading of landing page
  • test super short sign-up form
  • test value proposition (a xx$ coupon or a free shipping?)

Let’s go, just try as I am doing it now. You didn’t notice? 😉

Oh yes I forgot about the chance in that… Well you’ll see…

 

If you do that 6 things, you kill your innovation program…

Kill ideas
you kill ideas!

Yes, you kill good, very good may be disruptive ideas. And you even don’t realize it.

  1. You have a suggestion box (or a so-called « idea management system »)
    I haven’t say that for all long time. But now that I have some lessons learned about the suggestion box, that’s clear: That’s the n°1 idea killer. Usually organisation don’t anticipate enough, both the flow of new ideas to evaluate and the needed effort to implement them. As most of the time suggestion box comes along with an « idea per year » objective, the disaster is guaranted. No feedback from the process, never, no news, never, nobodies know what is your idea, where it is, if it has a chance to be deployed: a disaster. Ideas are our cheered eyes. no taking care of your employees ideas is the best way to aknowledge innovation as another management mantra.
  2. Don’t celebrate failure
    You are risk adverse. Your whole organisation is shaped to avoid taking risks… How do you want to innovate? Innovating is taking risk. It is allowing people to fail, to step again and fail again, until they manage, for the wealth of the organisation. So celebrate failure as success (a bit more for success)
  3. Don’t put innovation as a running task
    You can’t innovate on demand. One can think it is cheaper, less risky, but it is not wealthy at all. And really often even not efficient. You will never sustain innovation mindset by asking to innovation on the fire.
  4. Legal, accounting and purchase at first
    For sure that’s done. Put Legal, accounting and purchase on the front when dealing with ideas and you are done. Giving care to ideas is protecting them, taking care of them. There will be legal issues and financial issues with new ideas. For sure. Well intentioned killers are around in the organisation. Create a dedicated process where legal and accounting and purchase will have the look but protect the ideas there.
  5. You think outside the box…
    Believe me. I have never seen a company which is lacking of ideas. You have ideas all around your organisation. You don’t need to « think outside the box ». you need to recognise the good the perfect idea when it shows up. Sustain innovation by harvesting, evaluating, testing, testing and testing and of course measuring the impact. That is one of the key.
  6. Innovation come by itself
    Innovate is not a natural outcome of most of the organisation. Our organisation are designed to deliver things they know. Not the unknown. As most of the insights you will get from all sources you could have will tend to threaten your current business model they will not be taken as opportunities but as risks. in reality they are the fuel to innovate.

To innovate wisely one has to put an innovation-friendly organisation in place. That’s a hard job. As a leader or CEO it is of your responsibility for the long term success of your organisation. One has to put innovation as reflexes, kept in mind of all employees by the top management.

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