From AGility to ZERO STRESS

Our EARLY BRANDS team toolkit for successful innovation

AGILE MANIFEST 1. People and interaction are more important than processes, tools and methods. 2. Functioning solutions stand above a detailed documentation. 3. Cooperation with customers and partners is more important than contract negotiations. 4. Responding quickly to challenges is much more important than creating rigid plans down to the last detail.

BUSINESS CASES Initial assessments of the value potentials behind a business opportunity are essential in the agile design of new business ideas. How high are potential revenues? What are potential earnings ? What are expected revenue streams? Business cases make it possible to make new opportunities tangible so that innovation ideas can be evaluated and prioritized very quickly.

CUSTOMER JOURNEY Nothing is more important than making customers happy customers. That is why constantly improving the customer journey is essential. The Customer Journey is a very helpful tool to detect pain points and white spots early + to find creative solutions for them. Whether digital or analogue, slip into the customer’s shoes.

DESIGN THINKING as a method creates innovations and new business ideas that are closely oriented towards the user and their needs. Agility in six iterative steps – understandobservedefinefind ideasprototypingtesting. The aim is not to create everything detail, but to experiment and collect new insights – in order to place the user and his needs at the center. Super important for innovation in the digital age.


Illustration / Scheme Experiement Board by Coobeya


FACE2FACE INTERACTION: Whether with users, partners or employees. Face2Face interaction generates very valuable qualitative feedback. This makes it possible to understand needs – and to integrate them into the design of innovations and new business opportunities at an early stage. This ensures customer and market relevance right from the start.

GREAT BUSINESS MODELS CANVAS… a very helpful tool to make the cornerstones of the business model tangible at an early stage. It allows you to illuminate different perspectives of your business / innovation idea. From target groups, key performance indicators to value proposition, WOW-factors or key technologies.

HYBRIDE PROJECT MANAGEMENT Have you ever heard of Scrumban? Agile innovation tools also include to agilely combine them. Whether with elements from the “classic project management” or “agile + agile”. It is important to use the methods and tools that are most appropriate for the individual team and the the individual project.

INSPIRATION & IMPULSES are the starting point for agile innovations. Thus, a cross-market and cross-industry view + plenty of room for creativity and “thinking outside the box” is needed. Leave comfort zones and start to creatively “recombine” ideas and impulses. For example; spin the Cross Industry Jackpot, take a look at what people are currently working on or be inspired by cross-market scouting impulses.

Agile scouting team in search of innovation

Innovation & Technology Scouting enables market- and cross-industry impulses for new business opportunities to be identified and exploited at an early stage.

JAM SESSION Innovations need creativity and openness for new ideas. For this purpose, workshops in different formats and interdisciplinary teams are very valuable. “Innovation Jam Sessions” bring together a wide range of actors to develop creative solutions for specific questions. A super successful approach, as IBM impressively shows.

KANBAN Knowing what activities are coming up this week, today or ad hoc or what progress done so far is super valuable, especially when working in teams. Transparency, open communication and regular exchange are advantages that the KANBAN offers – whether analogous with Post Its or with the help of cool tools for digital kanban boards.

LEAN STARTUP as an agile innovation tool is a continuous, iterative feedback loop in the sense of “build-measure-learn. Here, business opportunities and innovation ideas are designed (build) so that feedback can be quickly collected (measure) and evaluated (learn). In this way, innovations are implemented quickly and in-line with the market without high cost and time expenditures – but with the voice of the customer.

MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT / SOLUTION The nuts and bolts in our dynamic age: speed and agility. Therefore: quickly design a “functional product / service” instead of creating all functions and features down to the smallest detail. Then generate feedback and develop products / services iteratively and close to the market. And thus maximize the chances of success.

NEW HORIZON Our EARLY BRANDS New Horizon Program combines a wide range of agile tools. Thus, we are able to design market-relevant concepts very quickly – to proactively expand success in the digital age: from worldwide innovation & technology scouting, to use cases, business model development and innovation business cases to the agile realization of Test & Learn pilots.

ORGANIZATION No tool but just as important: organization and culture. Only those who anchor agility in the organisation & culture, not only live it, but anticipate it, will be successful in the long-run. The best tools are useless if an agile mindset is missing…

PERSONA “Tim Test”, “Pia Pilot AG” or “Eva Example” are not real people. But very helpful deputies to put themselves into it. What are the attitudes, values and goals of the target group? What are interests, abilities and characteristics? Where or how is the product / service been used? The needs, requirements and wishes of the user personas are continuously incorporated into the features and functions of new products / services – user-centered.

QUICK-WIN Agility also describes the ability to adapt existing solutions + not always wanting to reinvent the wheel. That is why it is important to work with strong partners, existing solutions, and field-proven services, rather than reinventing everything in long development loops. How and with whom can quick success be achieved before a high amount of resources is invested?

RAPID PROTOTYPING aims to reduce development cycles. In this way, costs and expenses are reduced and at the same time market relevance is ensured. A simple version of a business idea is shown to users at an early stage and feedback is generated. Whether with pen and paper, cardboard or as the first low fidelity MVP.

STOP THINKING START DOING The high innovation dynamics of the digital age requires that we no longer spend time with long strategy and innovation processes, but look proactively forward: The proof of the pudding is in the eating

Agile teaming for success in the digital age


TEAM There are many cool tools and methods to drive innovation agilely. However, these are unsuccessful without the most important factor: people. Agile innovating requires smart, creative minds and different perspectives – a strong team that shapes the future together.

USER STORIES describe requirements for a product / service from the user’s point of view. It is primarily about describing a users expectations without designing the “HOW”. This is super helpful to slip into the shoes of the users when creating new solutions.

VALUE PROPOSITION DESIGN The Value Proposition is a short, clear description of the value of a product / service to the user – from the user’s point of view. Which Pain Point is solved and how? What is the added value? 

WIREFRAMING makes it possible to make digital services touchable in a very simple way. The main goal is to define information hierarchies, to structure content and thus, to outline the layout of a digital service. This makes it clear very early on how users interact with the service – a great starting point for first prototypes and MVP’s.

XPERIENCE The best product, the most innovative service, the coolest technology are unsuccessful without outstanding user experiences. Customers’ expectations of their own experience are high – and are getting higher and higher. That is why it is essential to design things from the customer point of view + in the customers interests – because pricing alone has long since ceased to be the “number one decision criterion”.

YOGA, DAILY STAND UPS OR TEAM LUNCH are “tools” that help to promote creativity, openness and team spirit. “Keep focus on agile tools” but also “keep focus on peoples’ happiness”. This is the only way to motivate and successfully create and realize innovations that rock.

ZERO STRESS Innovations and new business ideas do not fall out of the sky – it is an iterative process. Take time for creativity and new ideas – reflect them and build measure learn instead of pushing innovation ideas from zero to 100. Thereby create innovations with an open mind and do not expect too much too quickly.




Catch the Future…!