Digitizing Ideas - premiere!
Welcome to the grand opening of this new Jayway blog section devoted to Digital Innovation, Design and creating great experiences.
Our tech blog has tens of thousands of regular readers. We hope to add similar value to the blogosphere focused on the art and science (it's both!) of Digital Innovation.
Over time, we will cover many aspects, including technology-, design-, project- and change management as well as general leadership and cultural development.
The initial theme will be a series of posts on design management - a topic we are passionate about. This very first post will introduce the subject matter, and more in-depth articles will follow suit. Our two main messages under this theme will be that (i) Design awareness can mean a world of difference to your organization, its innovation capabilities and competitiveness; and that (ii) You as a manager need to be actively involved. Really. You do!
Our innovation process is is a human-centric strategy- and innovation tool. It helps us to identify root causes and discover important problems and needs. It guides us to create viable offerings in the most cost-effective way possible. By verifying and validating assumptions early, we reduce risk to a minimum. At the same time, we maximize our chances for a successful outcome; since we eliminate a lot of guesswork from the complex equations.
A well-executed innovation process enables continuity throughout the whole product- or service life-cycle. By enforcing an early validation of key assumptions based on real-world observations and tests, we can ensure business viability (i.e. we can build a sustainable and profitable business model) and technical feasibility (we can actually build the thing, given the real-world constraints). This requires involvement of both business people and technical professionals, motivating- or really mandating- a cross-functional organizational approach.
Design strategies can also be applied to challenges in general management - the core principles apply equally well to organizational design, supply chain management and other strategic domains.
Digital Design Thinking
Design Thinking (DT) is a well-known concept that has been around for decades, and has had an immense influence on companies around the globe, including Jayway. Our in-house process model borrows heavily from DT; amended with a robust software-aware process layer tailored specifically to the needs of software-intense projects.
Design Thinking has not yet become mainstream in the world of digital. This is surprising, since many of the core concepts - e.g. prototyping and frequent iteration - are integral parts of Agile software Development. A reason may be that software projects, as they are implemented in many organizations of today, is mostly about tactics and execution. They mainly address the ‘How’. while the underlying strategic decisions regarding the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ are made by higher-level management long before the software project is launched. The result is often a disconnect between strategy and execution.
The good news is that most of the concepts already come naturally to software-aware organizations. These organizations should already have a mindset that will make the transition painless; provided that management can both embrace- and adapt it to its specific strategic needs, plus facilitate the level of organizational integration and collaboration required to take full advantage of Design Thinking across organizational boundaries.
So, in this blog series we will argue that design management is essential for disruptive innovation, but perhaps even more valuable for incremental innovation and business development. The methods may be easier to implement quickly in a startup, devoid of legacy. But we will demonstrate that the real power of design is within existing industries; with enough budget, management horsepower and resource to make things happen at scale.
In upcoming posts, we will deep-dive into the methodology, and we will show plenty of examples of both disruptive and incremental innovation. We hope you will appreciate it, and look forward to your feedback!