Does your innovation process suffer ‘Paralysis by Analysis’? is part of the Free eBook: How to beat the digital disrupters at their own game
Getting innovation efforts off the ground
Even if an organization has a documented innovation process and strategy, senior commitment to innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset across the business, it can still fall down if there is no process in place to enable innovation to happen in line with the strategy.
Quite often in mature businesses, the “innovation process” is geared more towards incremental improvements to existing ways of working, rather than wholesale changes in the way things are done. Lean and Six Sigma, for example, are extremely popular methodologies that emphasize continuous improvement over disruptive change.
So even in organizations where the leadership team has an appetite for innovation; management practices, methodologies and commercial restraints may foster “paralysis by analysis” rather than a spirit of experimentation.
And in organizations where the innovation process relies on external partners (e.g. outsourced IT shops or traditional management consultants); rapid experimentation and innovation efforts cannot get off the ground due to rigid contracts, waterfall development processes, and budgetary constraints.
“Only 35% of 6,344 companies who said that improving their ability to innovate is an important initiative said that they were formalizing innovation processes.” Forrester Research, The New Economics of Experimentation
How to fix it
What’s required here is to approach innovation in a different way. Do you really need an expensive management consultancy to come and conduct a six- month evaluation of how your customer service could be done better? Or is this something your frontline customer service agents – who are talking to your customers every single day – could tell you right now?
And do you really need an outsourced IT partner to go through an extensive requirements-gathering process, spend months developing a new application, and further months fixing everything that’s wrong with it, when your customer service team could be designing a new process – and testing it with actual customers – in days?
This kind of innovation process costs very little and saves vast amounts of time, which leaves much more scope for experimentation. Even if an experiment fails, it has cost very little in terms of time or money. And if you’re going to make radical changes, knowing what doesn’t work is just as important as knowing what does.
“When we start seeing innovation as a discipline, we also start focusing on what works and what doesn’t—and we set goals and measure results. This means paying attention to which inputs yield better outputs; did our time spent brainstorming in a room yield better ideas (doubtful), or did spending the same time studying our customers?” Forbes, You’re Doing Innovation Wrong
Accelerate digital innovation with Low-code
One of the most fruitful things you can do to accelerate the innovation process in your organization, and to enable everyone to participate in it, is to invest in a Low-code development platform, one which is designed to enable technical and non-technical staff alike to quickly test out ideas for new applications or automated processes.
You can easily design new processes, quickly build a prototype, test it with a group of end users, and then build a proper, working, enterprise-ready application based on their feedback. And all in just days, and without needing an army of digital programmers.
With MATS, even the most traditional organizations can innovate fast – often much faster than all the start-ups nipping at their heels.