Innovation process will need to be part of different areas in your company. You will need to innovate new products and services, but also you will need to innovate totally new process that will support these innovations in products and services.
Last week I have a pleasure to talk with one promising entrepreneur who already have some early success with his business. And that’s ok for all startups to innovate at her startup level and than try to materialize their efforts on this innovation. But, this entrepreneur was already in a position when he need to make a decision about new product. Simply with the first one he was created stabile market with potential growth, but now it is a time for bigger expansion. On the other hand, he was afraid that focusing on other innovations will negatively effect his current growth. Because of fault core thinking about the innovation in the last several months his company feel stagnation in the growth and the early success. Listening his complaints my answer was in the form of question. Why you don’t experiment? Why you don’t design many business experiments that will help you to bring back your company on the innovative way of doing business?
For the purpose of this company, I have developed several questions that the entrepreneur will need to answer in order to design a lot of successful business experiments. Here, I will shortly explain them.
Why you need business experiments?
As a first you will need to clearly understand the real need of using business experiments in your company. So, try to figure out possible answers on this question.
Do you want to innovate new product, services or process in your organization? All of them will need experiments.
What is the purpose of your business experiment?
The next step is to define purpose of your experiments. What you want to achieve with your experiments? Is it quality improvement, or innovation of totally new products, services, or processes? Do you want to improve customer’s satisfaction, or decrease costs in your company?
What you want to achieve with specific business experiment?
When you define the general purpose of experiments in your company, the next step is to define achievements of specific experiments that you will use.
For example, if you want to develop new product you will need technical experimentation in and experimentation with customers. Technical experimentation in order to find the best technical solutions for your new product, and customer’s experimentation o check if they will be happy with your new product. As you can see, with customer’s experimentation you will check achievements that come from technical experimentation.
What types of hypothesis you will want to test?
The success of your experiments will be based on the right hypothesis that you will setup before you start with experimentation.
For example, you can start with the hypothesis that your customers will want what your design team will design as a new innovative product. But, the experiments will have the role to confirm or reject specific hypothesis creating new hypothesis that will need to be checked.
What measures will be used in your experiment?
The next step for designing business experiments will be to setting up measures that you will use in your experiments.
For example, how you will measure the level of customer’s satisfaction with your new product development process? Is it number of potential customers who want the new features? How much customers you will need in order to tell that your experiment is successful, or passed the test? What about their nonverbal behavior in the interviewing process, or focus groups?
Such questions you will need to answer before you start with the specific experiment, because knowing the measures will help you to design more focused experiments.
What you will do with the results from business experiments?
At the end, probably most important question is what you will do with the results from your experiments. I have seen many important experiments finished without taking next steps in order to use the whole gained knowledge from them. You need to remember that you are designing and using experiments to gain totally new knowledge for your company. If you not use that knowledge, you are losing your time experimenting.