Archives par mot-clé : lean start up

Why are they more innovative than you?

Startup Stock Photos

In your own company or outside, you meet people that have always something new to present, a new product to sell, a new project running/starting/ending… Why are those people more innovative than you? They have in mind and managed to implement in their environment those 8 characteristics which make their actions more innovative. Let’s discover them and see how you can leverage them.

  1. Listen to your customer. Outside and inside the company. Ask for feedback, what’s good, what’s wrong, what should be changed or improve. Listening to your customer is something that will always, ever, pay off.
  2. Created a momentum and more important, keep the high pace. Innovation today is more a question of pace and speed than a question of size, engineering capabilities or so… Install an innovation momentum from the start of your project, stimulate your team to creative thinking.
  3. Kick-off lazy managers. You don’t need any manager in your projects just to look and steer. Focus on actions. Ask those managers to come and join. Innovation is a game but also a war. Invite them to share their knowledge and drive the other wild dogs to the success.
  4. 3 words: Team, Team, Team. You can’t innovate alone. With your project team you are on a mission ans thus you will be able to innovate better and faster. Let your team embrace the project objectives and make their. Let them decide where and how to go. You will have astonishing results
    Startup Stock Photos
    Startup Stock Photos
  5. Use Creative Problem Solving. Being creative and innovative is a process. Creative Problem solving is a very good tool to help you getting new approach and ideas. It works on organisation, process and technology.
  6. Structure your approach. use canva and testing methods, use tools to validate your hypothesis and evaluate the value creation.Management support
  7. Encourage versatility. More ideas and insights come if you encourage your team to switch position or change their habits. allow your team to visit customers, talk to clients, go to some place to inspire them…
  8. Prepare the business. The most important part of your job: insuring that your deliverable will be included into the business and create value for you and your customers. Prepare the hands-on with production team, with sales team etc…

I hope those 8 tips and good practices I have identified will help you to innovate more in practice. Let me know in the comments section if you see some more.

Improve your Lean Start-up cycle

eye-1560x1107Customers have their eyes on your products. Their feedback is one, and may be the most, important aspect of the Lean Start-up. However lots of company don’t get the most of it.

Let start with a fact: do you read all customer feedbacks?

I have been surprised to see lots of start-ups I follow or company deploying Lean Start-up setting the whole process with lot of care and when running almost ignoring the customer feedbacks they had under their eyes.

That’s a major mistake. Customer feedback is THE most important way to learn about your MVP and to change things if needed, even to pivot when necessary.

Engage your all team (if not your all company)

Getting and analysing customer feedbacks are the most important tasks of your journey to product or service design. Everybody should be focused on getting and analysing it.

Engage your all team to customer Feedback process is key. This is the good way to:

  • have all employees being aware of the maturity level of the MVP
  • have them « feet on the ground » about what they do and have the necessary step back
  • be aware of the work still to do

How to engage everybody?

One moto of Design Thinking and Lean start-up is « go live« . Develop and test. Send your development team to the field, give them the mission to look at customers or clients and see how they use the MVP, what they say they love and hate. Confronting your all team to the field truth is the only way to have them fully aware of what is going on there.

One solution I have personally experiment and which works quite well is organizing Customer feedback sessions (after a test event for example) and let a team member conduct the interview. It works well and empower your team mate to have the issues solved.

I also strongly recommend to have regular feedback sessions, not less than every 3 to 6 weeks.

In one word: Send your team to face the truth of the field.

Do you have some more hints to engage your whole team to take customer feedback seriously? Tell us in the comment section.

 

Choose Wisely your innovation KPIs (hint: we help you)

KPI

So important for your activity, to track its performances and weaknesses, your KPIs must be wisely chosen to serve your strategy and objectives.

Let’s start at the beginning (it is much better).

What kind of KPI?

  • composite KPIs ==> helps to track complex activities within your company and aggregate different indicators to evaluate their performance
  • Measuring KPI ==> quants KPIs helping to follow the activities and performances of your company
  • Quality KPIs ==> Specific KPI to measure Quality, Clients satisfaction, emotions etc…

Choose them wisely

An error when casting your KPIs can have tremendous impact on your activity. here are some steps to help you find the right one for you.

  1. Set the Direction: Define clearly your objectives and strategy
    Yes, your employees and your company deserve clear objectives and strategy. It will definitely help later to chose the right one if you know where, when and how you want to drive your company.
  2. Chose your vessels: Define the tactic
    Lots of people misunderstood Strategy vs tactic. Tactic is how you get where your strategy is aiming you. Each tactic plan has a given objective (gaining clients, selling more, increase the revenue per client, developing more cutting edge technology, Patenting more etc…). It should give access to a quantified results and participate to the company strategy.
  3. Do it! Elaborate your action plan
    Your action plan is your daily reference document. It contains all actions and activities necessary to achieve your goals. Each line should have a given KPIs helping you to drive your actions and evaluate their results.
  4. Drive: Follow and adapt
    Build, Test, Learn, the magic words.
    Follow your performances, line by line, set targets and thresholds and even more important, learn why your actions have the given results, get feedback from customers or clients, and adapt your tactics. Your clients are not reacting the way you thought, learn why and adapt your actions. That’s the only way to be successful.

KPIs and Innovation

Oh yes, I couldn’t finish this article without having a word on Innovation. There are good KPIs for innovation. Depending of your targets, objectives, strategy and tactics of course. But there are bads any way, whatever you like to achieve. Here they are:

  • Number of patents…. So easy to write a patent. Is the company needing it?  Is there a market out there?  If yes, does the investment worth the sales? Answer those question (and some others incl do the owner get money when filing up?) to be sure patents are necessary but anyway it is so easily deviated…
  • Number of ideas per employees. First my personal opinion is that suggestion or idea boxes are killing innovation and collaborative innovation. Don’t start an idea box to innovate. Start it for continuous improvement, for employee engagements whatever you want but you will never innovate with an idea box. especially with a quantified « per employee » number of ideas. It kills the dynamic (if you managed to have one), overflow the process… If you had the chance to have one good idea, now you are sure to miss it.

Tell me if you have some more deadly KPIs for Innovation in the comments.

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)

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On My Shelf – My 8 preferred books on Innovation and Innovation projects

Innovation books collection

Lately a friend of mine asked me about what kind of books I would consider if asking about « must read » dealing with innovation: Here is my selection of 8 books that are, at the time, the ones I consider as the most valuable.

This is Service Design Thinking

This is Service Design Thinking
This is Service Design Thinking

More than any other books even more than any other website or TV show speaking about IDEO, this is how I have discover Design Thinking and especially SERVICE Design Thinking. Still one of my favourite reference and reading. A comprehensive and useful website is available.

Lean Start-up

Lean Start-up by Eris ries
Lean Start-up by Eris ries

Is there really a need to come back to the Lean Start-up by Eric Ries? Nope. I have been deeply inspired by this book to develop my own approach of Lean Start-up in corporate, used in my company with wonderful results. If you had to choose one…

Business Model Canva and Value Proposition Design

Business Model canva et Value proposition design
Business Model canva et Value proposition design

The sister’s books that worth the reading. I have used and then spread it all around in my company. Benefits? Having a dedicated and common framework and vocabulary to speak about business model and value proposition and more than that, having engineers thinking about business 😉

The Standard for Portfolio Management

Standard for portfolio managementDealing with Innovation projects is nothing else but managing a portfolio of projects. Thus the standard from the PMI(c) is fundamental because before being « innovation » they are « projects » a must be properly managed. pmi.org

Innovation Jugaad

Innovation Jugaad
Innovation Jugaad

In a time where money is missing and when you have to be more and more effective to be sure that every € you put inot innovation will produce some more € as a business, it is vital to do more with less. That’s what Innovation Jugaad is teaching!

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

Réussir une négociation
Réussir une négociation

Here is the French version of the famous negotiation book from Roger Fisher and the Havard Negotiation Project. A very useful book for Innovators and for everybody as we all have to negotiate one day or another. Most true for innovators who deals everyday

Les systèmes de suggestion en révolution (idea management in revolution)

I don’t know about the english title of this book but as it has been written by the wonderful Bernie Sander it was originally in english.  A very interesting book for those who have to run an idea management system.

Les systèmes de suggestions en révolution
Les systèmes de suggestions en révolution

Do you see some more to add? Leave a comment!

Your next product idea is right here, in front of you.

Well, exactly it is in front of your future customer but as you are customer oriented you are in front of them so…

I have been asked lately about one product manager of my company about how to have great products ideas. I told him that I had no direct answer for him but I could try to help anyway.

To find good product ideas, follow the steps: 😉

  1. Talk to your customers.
    They will pay for your product so ask them what they want, what are their concern, what should be « Whahou!! »
  2. Find a problem to solve
    That’s key. No one will pay an extra € or $ for something that fix… nothing. So try to find an issue and solve it. An important issue of course. An issue for which people are ready to spend some money to avoid it. Pierre Valade, the founder of Sunrise, tells that he is focusing on everything that takes more than 5 min a day.
  3. Know your market
    What are the exisitng product? What are the leaders? Why? What are their advantages, their limits? Read online merchant website to know what people think about it…
  4. Focus on User Experience
    That makes sense. Focus on what will your customer feels when he/she will use your product. That’s key.
  5. Test it, refine it, reTest it (and rewind)
    testing is key for product development. Getting feedback is so more important that it should be your fist concern. By getting feedback you can adjust your product to your market needs and identify your market. Do and redoing it, both parameters will be assessed: market and product design.

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?

Lean Startup: the steps for a successful pivot!

The Lean start-up is all about testing and your abilities to pivot. It is a wonderful management tool to innovate, both for start-ups and for corporate. However, in order to maximize the chances to find a good resonance within a particular area of the market, one has to be really taking care to several steps.

  1. Go to the market often
    To pivot you HAVE TO have the feedback of your potential customers. If not, no pivot is possible. The Minimum Viable Product is key (link in french). In some cases, A/B testing is really really powerful. A/B testing is all about giving to the market 2 different PMV and see which one generate the best response.
  2. Have a vision
    giving your team the direction, the moto, the final stage. It will gives you the opportunity to make assumptions, those assumptions will then be tested with your clients.
  3. Stay passionate
    This is your adventure, your dream, your future . If you don’t believe in it, nobody will. Believe in it even when you pivot because…
  4. …Pivoting is a success
    Adapting and modifying your MVP to your clients is not a fail. It is answering to your clients needs! Do fall in love with your product. Your only goal is to find a market, to find people ready to trust you and your product and eventually (no, not eventually, actually) buy it.
  5. Stay open
    Look around, stay tuned. Pivoting is also about knowing what is going on outside your team.
  6. Speak to your client
    Don’t sell your MVP. Deliver it, speak with your customer, ask them about your vision, listen, gather informations… That’s gold for your development.

This will help you to optimize the « Build-Measure-Learn » cycle.

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Lean Start-up for established company

Since Lean Start-up showed up on the landscape of innovation methodologies, it became an accepted way to drive a start-up and foster innovation for early stage company.

However, examples of lean start-up within an established company were missing. that  is why an example of from the inventor of the Lean methodology is so interesting.

Lean Startup Comes Home