What is Rapid Innovation

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Presentation given to JISC Innovation Group on 22 July 2010.

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  • Aka I’m looking for censure! What are your guiding principles, what are your emergent properties?
  • Incremental Innovation = low risk / low gain Semi-Radical Innovation = implementing new practices: change the ways in which humans do things Semi Radical Innovation = New technology: change the tools with which humans work Radical Innovation = Change both practice and tools (high risk / high gain) The innovation lifecycle Innovation (or positive change) within the education sector operates through numerous lifecycles through an innovation lifecycle. Each institution takes its own approach to deciding how best to invest and at what point in its funding cycles. This may be a long process; five years of planning and investment may be required to change institutional systems and processes in order to make best use of the potential that technology has to offer. JISC reflects this cycle of change. Its activities operate through a lifecycle of innovation. As the JISC funds both programmes and services, it is able to work with the education sector to look for trends and key influences that may affect the way that education and research are carried out, and respond to these through its activities. The JISC will capture the most relevant trends in technology, in institutional infrastructure, in learner, teacher and researcher behaviour and requirements. This happens at a macro level, in response to a large change in research assessment, for example, and at a micro level, for example to explore whether the JISC Services should adopt web 2.0 technologies. JISC takes a balanced approach to promoting innovation. Innovation takes place in two areas – the JISC’s services and infrastructure and innovation within the sector. JISC Innovation programmes sometimes introduce new services and products, including advice and guidance. They also fund enhancements to existing services, as well as identifying needs for new services through interaction with the sector. Many of the innovation programmes that it delivers aims to enhance systems, processes and practices in the sector. A distinction is also often drawn between incremental and radical innovation. Incremental innovation involves small improvements, which if engaged in continuously may result in significant changes. However each step is characterised by low risk and small gain. Radical innovation by contrast usually involves a break with the past, as for example advocated by business process reengineering. This carries higher risk, but with potentially greater gain. In practice these are combined in different ways and can be set out in a four quadrant matrix.
  • Diagram: Systems/ Practice/Process vs. Software/Service Innovation In general, innovation investment has a balanced spread across this matrix. However, JISC’s emphasises “taking the risks that institutions would not normally take themselves” while institutions tend to be responsible for low risk incremental innovation. Overall, JISC Innovation seeks to balance its investment portfolio largely in the remaining three quadrants of semi-radical and radical innovation, with some activities attempting to support good practices and processes without significant change to existing software and services, while others seek to introduce innovative new services and software that fit into existing practices and processes without demanding significant change, although the majority of innovation efforts will require both in varying degrees. JISC is in the unique position of being funded by and embedded within the adoption community it serves. This puts it in a position where it is more easily able to: Identify current and future needs of the community Study the current situation in which issues and concerns arise Survey and study emerging technologies, filtered by community needs Iteratively work with the community through the innovation development cycle with stakeholder input and feedback Pilot outputs and address identified barriers to adoption All of these help to mitigate the risks associated with innovation. To take full advantage of JISC’s unique position, it needs to increase the balance of its resources that it puts into these activities, correspondingly reducing the number of projects that it funds. This will enable it to still cover the full range of risk in its portfolio, while increasing the likelihood of successfully realising benefits. The time to invest in innovation is during a recession so as to be well placed to make the most of the upswing when it arrives. So, while the appetite for innovation in the sector may be lower at the present, within a few years, it should be increasing again. This suggests that as far as possible JISC Innovation activities should maintain its risk profile.
  • Typical JISC projects (12-18 Months / £100-200K) usually (due to a competitive bid process) promise the world by claiming they will change both the processes within the institution and the tools used by end users. The irony in this is the orthoganol nature of these two activities in UK HEIs. Changing process usually requires a political activity from a project, especially a project manager (e.g. sitting on committees, meeting with other heads of departments, organising activities, etc). On the other hand changing tool sets usually requires working with developers and end users (organising usability groups, testing tool use, surveying the adoption of the tool, writing instruction documentation and training end users, etc.). These two activities are not a natural skills set for a project to have under one budget line. In short, JISC projects that attempt to achieve both usually fail (though this is the very nature of risk management), and often learning from failures is the path to achieving success in changing both process and tools.
  • So we’ve started to experiment in the area of RI for changing the way tools and technology are used with end users (the successful RI projects base themselves off of a known end user need, where the process is not the primary thing that needs changing).
  • 40 projects funded NN amount of money Success rate of %% No of projects went on to find further funding... WHAT DOES SMT CARE ABOUT? SP/RB Million Plus Mission Group: “'in HEIs without access to substantial research funding streams, even sums of £30,000 can have a profound impact on project activity and individual careers”
  • “ It’s like this: engineering is all about constraint... But these days, there’s not much traditional constraint. I’ve got the engineer’s most dangerous luxury: plenty.”
  • See “The Agile Manifesto” and My Presentation on “Agile in Academia” [2] End User (Client) Centric User preference, over architectural style Speed of delivery, over perfection of system Scratching an itch, over creating a solution Intimate Team based = iterative + reflective Daily stand up, over quarterly meetings Fortnightly delivery deadlines over end of project deadlines Progress measured by user feedback over self assessment.
  • The programme is just another project, not a parent node (...well, a meta-project) =>code.google.com/p/jiscri Projects can not market themselves until they have a product to market, =>projectTag.wordpress.com The lessons learned from the projects are as valuable as the products they produce, =>tags+feeds The most significant thing projects are doing is being part of a larger problem solving community, =>devCSI
  • http://code.google.com/p/jiscri/ http://code.google.com/p/jisclms/ http://code.google.com/p/jiscexpo/ http://code.google.com/p/jiscdepo/ Freddie’s VRERI programme notebook: http://code.google.com/p/vreri/
  • Immediate solutions over defining a problem space (low hanging fruit / disruptive innovation) = “ short iterative projects” Skills of the project team over comprehensive stakeholder input= embrace the small motivated team * effort of Providing products that end users can interact with over producing documentation = developing solutions End user engagement over comprehensive strategic engagement hand-in-hand * with the end user *.
  • Incremental Innovation = low risk / low gain Semi-Radical Innovation = implementing new practices: change the ways in which humans do things Semi Radical Innovation = New technology: change the tools with which humans work Radical Innovation = Change both practice and tools (high risk / high gain) A = Exploratory projects examining how things could change. B = Strategic projects implementing new technologies based on exploratory findings. A+B = Expose and Discover C = Deposit i = expert briefing papers and community guidance The innovation lifecycle Innovation (or positive change) within the education sector operates through numerous lifecycles through an innovation lifecycle. Each institution takes its own approach to deciding how best to invest and at what point in its funding cycles. This may be a long process; five years of planning and investment may be required to change institutional systems and processes in order to make best use of the potential that technology has to offer. JISC reflects this cycle of change. Its activities operate through a lifecycle of innovation. As the JISC funds both programmes and services, it is able to work with the education sector to look for trends and key influences that may affect the way that education and research are carried out, and respond to these through its activities. The JISC will capture the most relevant trends in technology, in institutional infrastructure, in learner, teacher and researcher behaviour and requirements. This happens at a macro level, in response to a large change in research assessment, for example, and at a micro level, for example to explore whether the JISC Services should adopt web 2.0 technologies. JISC takes a balanced approach to promoting innovation. Innovation takes place in two areas – the JISC’s services and infrastructure and innovation within the sector. JISC Innovation programmes sometimes introduce new services and products, including advice and guidance. They also fund enhancements to existing services, as well as identifying needs for new services through interaction with the sector. Many of the innovation programmes that it delivers aims to enhance systems, processes and practices in the sector. A distinction is also often drawn between incremental and radical innovation. Incremental innovation involves small improvements, which if engaged in continuously may result in significant changes. However each step is characterised by low risk and small gain. Radical innovation by contrast usually involves a break with the past, as for example advocated by business process reengineering. This carries higher risk, but with potentially greater gain. In practice these are combined in different ways and can be set out in a four quadrant matrix Software/Services Diagram: Systems/ Practice/Process vs. Software/Service Innovation In general, innovation investment has a balanced spread across this matrix. However, JISC’s emphasises “taking the risks that institutions would not normally take themselves” while institutions tend to be responsible for low risk incremental innovation. Overall, JISC Innovation seeks to balance its investment portfolio largely in the remaining three quadrants of semi-radical and radical innovation, with some activities attempting to support good practices and processes without significant change to existing software and services, while others seek to introduce innovative new services and software that fit into existing practices and processes without demanding significant change, although the majority of innovation efforts will require both in varying degrees. JISC is in the unique position of being funded by and embedded within the adoption community it serves. This puts it in a position where it is more easily able to: Identify current and future needs of the community Study the current situation in which issues and concerns arise Survey and study emerging technologies, filtered by community needs Iteratively work with the community through the innovation development cycle with stakeholder input and feedback Pilot outputs and address identified barriers to adoption All of these help to mitigate the risks associated with innovation. To take full advantage of JISC’s unique position, it needs to increase the balance of its resources that it puts into these activities, correspondingly reducing the number of projects that it funds. This will enable it to still cover the full range of risk in its portfolio, while increasing the likelihood of successfully realising benefits. The time to invest in innovation is during a recession so as to be well placed to make the most of the upswing when it arrives. So, while the appetite for innovation in the sector may be lower at the present, within a few years, it should be increasing again. This suggests that as far as possible JISC Innovation activities should maintain its risk profile.
  • What is Rapid Innovation

    1. 2. <ul><li>Part 1.) ... support RI as an effective strategic innovation methodology. </li></ul><ul><li>Part 2.) ...utilise RI as a method for running programmes of work in your team. </li></ul><ul><li>Part 3.) ...think about the possibility of a cross-innovation group RI call. </li></ul>
    2. 3. <ul><li>“ If you think you understand JISC after a year of being here, you don’t understand JISC.” </li></ul><ul><li>-Malcolm Reed – </li></ul>
    3. 4. <ul><li>A programme is a collection of projects . </li></ul><ul><li>Programme Management is the overall concern for the value that projects collectively achieve as a programme . </li></ul><ul><li>“ Agile” is a project-based-methodology </li></ul><ul><li>“ Rapid Innovation” is a programme-based-methodology that embraces projects using “agile” techniques [1]. </li></ul><ul><li>“ methodology” is used as a *framework* here, NOT as a prescriptive instructional process. </li></ul>
    4. 5. Part 1 (Top Down) – The Strategic Significance of Rapid Innovation
    5. 6. DEGREE OF CHANGE in Technology / Software DEGREE OF CHANGE in Practice / Process 2 1 4 3
    6. 7. % of CHANGE in Technology / Software % of CHANGE in Practice / Processes 2 1 3 Project Outputs: a.) YES process changed b.) YES tools changed 4 Programme
    7. 8. % of CHANGE in Technology / Software % of CHANGE in Practice / Processes 2 1 4 3 Project Output: a.) Use of a new process within a community Project Output: a.) Use of a new technology in a community Programme
    8. 9. % of CHANGE in Technology / Software % of CHANGE in Practice / Processes 2 1 4 3 Project Output: a.) Develop and use a new technology i.e. jiscRI, vreRI, distribVLE, fsdRI, etc. Programme
    9. 10. <ul><li>The numbers: </li></ul><ul><li>39 Projects Funded >£40K per project </li></ul><ul><li>£1.5 million total </li></ul><ul><li>120+ Ppl received funding </li></ul><ul><li>13 high quality prototype tools produced </li></ul><ul><li>4 projects received further funding based on project output </li></ul><ul><li>Outcomes: </li></ul><ul><li>Visionary tools informing the sector of next set of new tech. </li></ul><ul><li>New developer skills injected into .ac.uk (mob, geo, LD, blog, JS) </li></ul><ul><li>Established community of developers as innovation stakeholders </li></ul>
    10. 11. Part 2 (Bottom-up) - Pragmatics of Implementing an RI Programme
    11. 12. <ul><li>Individuals and interaction, </li></ul><ul><li>over policies and technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery of outputs (products), </li></ul><ul><li>over comprehensive documentation. </li></ul><ul><li>End user collaboration, </li></ul><ul><li>over stakeholder meetings. </li></ul><ul><li>Responding to change, </li></ul><ul><li>over following a plan. </li></ul><ul><li>*= That is, while there is value in the smaller items, RI values the larger items more. </li></ul>
    12. 13. <ul><li>Responding to change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide structures that enable projects to change their plans : shared spreadsheet on project contact details , project plans in blogs, updates via twitter , power to update you , power to dictate how they should write documentation ... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>End User Collaboration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure projects engage end users: write it into Calls, do a project site visit to meet users, have them list users as part of the project, ask their users what they think... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Delivery of outputs (products) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know what they are selling: know the single thing that projects are going to produce and to who (the audience) you can give that product to once the project finishes... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Individuals and interactions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Get involved with your projects: know how your teams are working together and how they are getting along , enable them to interact with others in the community... </li></ul></ul>
    13. 14. <ul><li>Welcome to the “programme” = jiscRI / SLA </li></ul><ul><li>Your details please (keep updated) = DOAP </li></ul><ul><li>Project Plan Posts (7of7) = Project Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Site Visit (Evaluation) = Baseline </li></ul><ul><li>Progress Posts/Tweets = Blog Planet / Feeds </li></ul><ul><li>Synthesis Liaison (Blog Gnome) = Tags </li></ul><ul><li>Final Progress Post = Project “Argos” Product </li></ul><ul><li>User/Peer Evaluation Panel = Benefits Realisation </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons Learned & Project Sign-off Survey </li></ul><ul><li>Dissemination / ProgEval = Toolshed / INF11Eval </li></ul>
    14. 15. <ul><li>Solution to immediate problems </li></ul><ul><li>over exploring a problem space. </li></ul><ul><li>End user engagement, </li></ul><ul><li>over comprehensive stakeholder agreement. </li></ul><ul><li>Skills of project team, </li></ul><ul><li>over well articulated paperwork. </li></ul><ul><li>Letting the community lead, </li></ul><ul><li>over requiring instructions to be followed. </li></ul><ul><li>*= That is, while there is value in the smaller items, RI values the larger items more. </li></ul>
    15. 16. <ul><li>&quot;Rapid Innovation&quot; builds on the previous success JISC has had in funding short iterative projects that embrace the small motivated team effort of developing solutions hand-in-hand with the end user .  </li></ul><ul><li>Numbers: </li></ul><ul><li>750+ blog posts </li></ul><ul><li>~15 posts per project </li></ul><ul><li>932+ tweets </li></ul><ul><li>3 Events = 1000+ participants </li></ul><ul><li>Public requests for RI projects to Gov’t in Australia, USA and EU. </li></ul>
    16. 17. “ If you want to succeed, double your failure rate” - Tom Watson (IBM) -
    17. 18. % of CHANGE in Technology / Software % of CHANGE in Practice / Processes 2 1 3 ? Programme 4 Programme
    18. 19. COMMUNITY RI ? RI ? Process Change Tool Change Q4
    19. 21. <ul><li>Could this be a strategic pattern in times of recession, e.g. keep our community? </li></ul><ul><li>Do people view programme scoping in terms of process / tool change projects? </li></ul><ul><li>What parts of RI do you find valuable? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you handle large programmes of work? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you build community in your projects? </li></ul><ul><li>What would a process change RI call look like? </li></ul><ul><li>In due course would a cross team RI call be valuable? </li></ul>

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