Frameworks to help you boost innovation in your organization

Innovation is an important priority, learning focus, and opportunity for growth in organizations and businesses across the globe. Design thinking is one of the most popular approaches for getting started with innovation, but there are many other approaches that can be used to innovate. While these terms have often been thrown around in casual conversations and boardroom discussions, innovative practices are still rarely implemented in business. However, there are many simple and effective ways companies can go about implementing change. In addition to design thinking, here are 5 popular approaches to innovation for you to learn about and try at your company:

  1. Agile (Scrum)
  2. Lean Startup
  3. Jobs to Be Done
  4. User Experience
  5. Design Sprints

Keep reading to learn more about each of these approaches to innovation and collaboration.

1. Agile (Scrum)

Agile is a method that values and emphasizes flexibility and collaboration. This approach to innovation makes room for collaborative teams to take charge of projects and develop strategies on how to achieve the desired outcome for them. Agile processes are iterative and incremental, encouraging participation from each member of the team. Scrum also follows along with the idea of sprints, meaning that collaboration and design activity takes place in scheduled time blocks, usually between 2 weeks to a month long. This framework is highly collaborative and requires every person’s input to move forward.

Key components of the Scrum framework include:

  • The Scrum team – including the master, product owner, and development team
  • Product Backlog – a prioritized list of requirements for the project
  • Sprint Planning – the team sets goals for the upcoming sprint and how to achieve them
  • Daily Scrum – a short meeting where team members discuss their progress and what to accomplish the next day
  • Sprint Review – team demonstrates work completed during sprint to stakeholders
  • Sprint Retrospective – team reflects on the sprint and identifies how to improve

Learn more about the agile (scrum) approach here.

2. Lean Startup

The lean startup method is designed specifically for entrepreneurs, startups, or companies looking to develop new products or services. This approach begins and ends with the customer. By gaining insights from the perspective customer at the beginning of development, you can learn how to design and implement products and services that will fit their needs much quicker.

Key components of this innovation approach include:

  • Build-Measure-Learn feedback loop – a continuous process of testing and refining hypotheses about the customer and market state
  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – product that has just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide insights for future development
  • Value Proposition – statement that describes unique value a product or service will provide to customers
  • Customer Development – process of identifying and understanding needs and wants to customers
  • Business Model Canvas – virtual tool to map out key components of the business and how they relate to each other

Find out more about this approach here.

3. Jobs to Be Done

This framework focuses on uncovering what “job” your product or service helps customers get done. To gain insight into your customer’s, you need to stop focusing on the product and instead focus on the underlying reasons why the customer is using the product to begin with.

JTBD typically includes the following:

  • Job Statement – clear and specific statement that describes the job a customer is trying to do
  • Job Story – narrative that describes motivation, emotion, and context behind the job
  • Job Map – visual representation of the steps and outcomes involved
  • Job Segments – groups of customers with similar jobs who are likely to have similar needs and wants
  • Job Scorecard – tool for evaluating performance of a product or service against the customer’s job

Find out more about this approach here.

4. User Experience

The User Experience (UX) approach is all about the end user. This approach heavily focuses on research and requires you to learn everything you can about your customers, organize that information, and develop design based on what you have learned. It involves putting your users at the center of everything you do.

UX strategies comprise of the following aspects:

  • User research – understanding the needs, wants, and goals of users. Interviews, surveys, and testing can help with this.
  • Interaction design – designing interactions and interfaces that users will have with a product or service
  • Information architecture – organizing content and functionality in a way that is intuitive for users to understand and use
  • Usability testing – testing the design to see how well it works and meet their needs
  • Accessibility – designing to be usable by people with disabilities

Learn more about best practices for user experience here.

5. Design Sprints

The final framework on this list of approaches to innovation is the design sprint. A design sprint is a fast-paced way to generate ideas quickly and efficiently. Previously, we discussed design sprint training as well as ways a design sprint could support innovation in your organization. This approach can be highly productive when done correctly, as well as a good way to increase collaboration and develop a culture of innovation at your organization.

The common layout of a design sprint includes:

  • Day 1: The team defines the problem and sets goals. They conduct research to understand the problem and users.
  • Day 2: The team generates a wide range of ideas and solutions to the problem. They use techniques such as brainstorming, sketching, and idea mapping to generate a large number of concepts.
  • Day 3: The team evaluates the ideas generated on Day 2 and selects the most promising concepts to move forward with. They create storyboards and user flows to visualize the concepts.
  • Day 4: The team creates a simple prototype of the selected concept.
  • Day 5: The team conducts user testing of the prototype, and they analyze the results to identify areas for improvement. They also reflect on the process and identify opportunities for improvement.

These five approaches to innovation will help you move your bottom line and increase productivity, creativity, and collaboration. Ultimately, you’ll want to develop and fine-tune strategies that work best for your specific needs and organizational structure.

For more resources, refer to our innovation and design thinking training blog. Or, you can contact us via email to learn how we can help you implement collaboration and innovation at your organization.