Agile methods from innovation consulting
Innovation terms easily explained
We from EARLY BRANDS Innovation & Technology Consultants use a variety of agile innovation and creativity methods that were selected and customized to the needs and requirements of our client’s projects. But: What makes Lean-Startup, Business Model Canvas and Use Cases so popular? What are these terms about?
AGILITY AND LEAN STARTUP THINKING & ACTING
Currently, agility is one of the most popular keywords when we think about innovation management. Increasing speed and dynamic of our markets makes us rethink our habits: Inflexible plannings and project schedules are outdated and unrewarding. Market developments we see today, might be out-of-date tomorrow.
Today, innovation projects and new technologies need a flexible and quick development and realization. Thus, direct interactions with customers, close collaborations with employees and partners and minimum viable products + user feedback are essential: Think and act like lean, dynamic startups. Proactively and flexibly respond to fast changing customer needs. Create, develop and shape products, services and innovative business models with a step-by-step approach – adaptive and dynamic like a startup would do. Be open and responsive. Understand changes and setbacks as opportunities.
For further inspiration, we recommend ERIC RIES’ classic: The Lean Startup – How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business.
MINIMUM VIABLE SOLUTION
We from EARLY BRANDS support leading companies to identify and realize innovative business opportunities at early stages. That means: speed and focus instead of perfection. Practice-orientation instead of planned economy. Simplicity and clarity. That is exactly what Minimum Viable Products (MVP) / Solutions are about. Explore, test and realize minimum viable products and solutions with real customers at very early stages. It enables to consider customer’s needs and requirements from the very beginning. Solutions that appeal to customers can be further developed. Solutions that do not lead to success can be aborted prematurely. BUILD-MEASURE-LEARN from first prototype to successful innovation. That is what EARLY BRANDS realizes in the collaboration with clients and users: create and shape small scale prototypes for innovative business opportunities. Live tests in the market with real users. Successful feedback: Full throttle + launch.
SPRAY AND PRAY
Spray & Pray has its roots in venture capital. The main idea: have a variety of innovation opportunities in a pipeline instead of focusing only one big innovation activity. In our innovation consulting projects with leading companies, we from EARLY BRANDS successfully follow this approach: from scouting, to creative development of innovation concepts, we build dynamic innovation portfolios. A portfolio which contains a variety of different courses of actions from new income streams, productivity and quality edges to sustainability benefits. In this case, dynamic means to anticipate new market and technology trends on a pioneer position – proactively use valuable innovation opportunities for business success. With concrete initiatives and activities + continuous enrichment and enhancement of the innovation portfolio regarding new market and technology trends. Also, employee’s ideas, new scouting impulses as well as inspiration from startups and competitors were continuously be involved. Create dynamic courses of action for your business success in the digital age: SPRAY & PRAY.
To understand customers’ needs and requirements, you need to put their glasses on. Use cases are concrete applications of innovation ideas in customer’s language. It is an agile, easy and highly valuable method to not only describe customers’ requirements but also the values and benefits of it – simple, quick and straight to the point. Thus, requirements and functionalities of innovations become transparent.
To embed customers in idea and innovation development at early stages, secures market relevance and innovation success. We create uses cases in our innovation consulting with our expedition partners in many ways: from new business model development, to agile design sprints and workshops, through to derivation of unique value propositions for concept development. Thanks to a precise description of uses cases from customer perspectives, we build solutions that secure high value for both: for you + for your customers.
BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS
How can we quickly and easily develop business models? How can we determine and further develop success factors of our new business idea in a simple and well-structured way? How can we involve key stakeholders into business model development from employees, customers to tech partners? How can we successfully embed and combine different impulses and ideas? Our answer for these questions: In interactive, interdisciplinary business model work sessions. Use the business model canvas and determine key success factors of your new business idea. We from EARLY BRANDS successfully apply the business model canvas in the collaboration with our expedition partners. We use key elements from it and additionally embed specific demands and requirements of our partners. Tech companies for example, may have to think about “special ecosystem / tech partners” and “key technologies” in addition to core canvas elements like “target groups”, “channels” or “success metrics”.
KANBAN is a great method to organize tasks very efficiently and precisely. Like an “agile to-do-list”, KANBAN boards support cooperative and target-orientated working environments. To split up tasks and project steps into “to do”, “in-progress” and “done” in time frames of “today”, “current week” and “storage” is very valuable. Post-it notes with tasks and responsibilities can easily and agilely be juggled and shared within the team. In our innovation consulting, we make use of the KANBAN method for different internal fields of tasks as well as within the collaboration with our expedition partners. That enables us to agilely cooperate with our partners and teams, to precisely determine activity plannings and to coordinate and implement different tasks time-based and project-orientated.
Catch the Future …!