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Intro to Agile Innovation (Agile 2016)

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Innovation is a complicated topic. Product folks often focus externally: how do we build products that customers and buyers find more innovative; out-design the competition; create market advantage?  Process folks often focus internally: how do we develop faster, better, with higher quality? This talk suggestions innovation categories, focuses on validating real needs, and topples a few popular innovation myths.

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Intro to Agile Innovation (Agile 2016)

  1. 1. Rich Mironov Intro to Agile Product Innovation
  2. 2. About Rich Mironov • Veteran product manager/software exec o “What do customers want?” o Organizing agile/lean product organizations • 6 startups, including as CEO/founder • “The Art of Product Management” 2
  3. 3. Agenda • Creativity vs. Innovation • Contexts • Internal Innovation • Feature-Level Innovation • Product/Market Innovation • Focus on validating problems that need solving, then finding solutions • Two quick examples (time permitting) • Takeaways 3
  4. 4. "Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things." - Theodore Levitt 4
  5. 5. "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison 5
  6. 6. ”Innovation is like pornography. I know it when I see it" - Rich Mironov 6
  7. 7. Ideation, Process, Outcome • Innovation is a process with (hoped-for) outcomes • Different goals, audiences, sizes • “Innovation Days” are seductive • Hard work is validation, testing, execution, iteration, delivering actual value 7
  8. 8. Innovation Buckets • Internal/operational innovation o Do what we’re doing faster, safer, cheaper, sooner o Metrics: cost, quality, cycle time (cost-driven ROI) • Feature-level product innovation o Serve paying customers and prospects better o Metrics: top-line revenue, renewals, market share (revenue-driven ROI) • Product/market innovation o Address real market need in compelling new way o Metrics: massive growth, market redefinition (unicorns) 8
  9. 9. Show of Hands Whose current project is supposed to… • Trim cost, save headcount, lower inventory, reduce waste? • Boost revenue or margin for an existing product set? • Deliver a new product line/service? • Do you have a plan to measure actual financial or end user results? 9
  10. 10. Internal Innovations • Agile transformations: building software better o Process innovation (how we do it) o Hard to accurately forecast/measure ROI o Ship more/better software in order to… • Solving operational problems o JTBD: did we really understand/solve right problem? o Adoption, change management: put solutions into use o Measure, iterate: auditable business results? 10
  11. 11. Applying Agile/Lean Thinking Customer-visible innovation happens mostly around the scrum cycle • Strong validation of real customer value o Budget approval ≠ good idea • Actual users, not just stakeholders • Frequent experiments, adaptations, UX • Deployment/change management • Success metrics (that we really measure) • Bottom-line or top-line results 11
  12. 12. There’s nothing more wasteful than brilliantly delivering a project that’s not deployed, not used, or solves an unimportant problem
  13. 13. Feature-Level Product Innovation “Red queen” race to add competitive features • Boost users, renewals, revenue • Boost NPS, ease of use Many features don’t add value • A problem for most users? • Clutter, cognitive load • Drifting “Jobs To Be Done” 13
  14. 14. Prioritizing Based on Use Des Draynor, Intercom: https://blog.intercom.io/prioritising-features-wholl-use-it-how-often/ 14
  15. 15. Applying Agile/Lean Thinking Does this “innovative” feature… • Help majority of current/planned users? • Have measurable success criteria? • Support product’s mission/JTBD? • Have we planned user testing, not just code/QA testing? 15
  16. 16. Product/Market Innovation • Big ideas, new solutions to real problems • For decades, HP has talked about “eating your own lunch before someone else does” • What’s your favorite market innovation story? “We’re building the Uber of…” 16
  17. 17. Innovation Horizons After Mehrdad Baghai/McKinsey and Geoffrey Moore. 17
  18. 18. Very High-Risk Endeavors Dangers: • Most disruptive products fail • Confirmation bias, media selection bias, availability bias… • Product/engineering is not enough • Misremembering past winners 18
  19. 19. Commercial Failure Modes *Engineering/program management scope 19
  20. 20. Quiz Q: Who invented the gasoline-powered automobile? What year? A: Karl Benz, 1886, Germany 20
  21. 21. Henry Ford Quiz “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for faster horses.” "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.” Invented/popularized • Assembly line • 40-hour work week • Middle-class manufacturing jobs Never said it! 21
  22. 22. Electric Car Quiz Q: Who built the first production electric automobile? What year? A: Thomas Parker, UK, 1884 …General Motors VE1, 1996 ...Tesla Roadster, 2008 22
  23. 23. Mobile Device Quiz Q: Who wrote first specs for a tablet computer? A: Alan Kay, 1968 (Dynabook) 23
  24. 24. Name the Company, Year, CEO 24
  25. 25. Generations of Mobile Devices GRIDPad (1989) GO (1991) Apple Newton (1993) General Magic (1994) Palm Pilot (1996) Microsoft Pocket PC (2000) Frontpath ProGear (2001) Microsoft Tablet PC (2002) … 25
  26. 26. Think Back to 2001… • There were dozens of MP3 music players • What problem did they fail to solve? 26
  27. 27. “Jobs” To Be Done What was iPod’s breakout feature? 27
  28. 28. Product/Market Innovation • Must be a real need • Users/customers may not understand our solution, but they do understand their problem • Timing matters • Great technology and design matter • Great marketing and sales matter • We remember the few successes, forget the thousands of learning opportunities 28
  29. 29. Look Outside for Ideas • “Open Innovation,” Chesbrough (Haas) • Vast majority of R&D happens outside • License in what’s useful to you, license out what you’re not using 29
  30. 30. Innovation Takeaways • Innovation is a process, not an event • Ideas come in every kind, every size o Vast majority are not new • Only matters when we match real needs with right solutions and deliver value • Need a strategy for sourcing, sorting, nurturing, discarding/learning from ideas • Easy to confuse success with innovation 30
  31. 31. CONTACT Rich Mironov, CEO Mironov Consulting 233 Franklin St, Suite #308 San Francisco, CA 94102 RichMironov @RichMironov Rich@Mironov.com +1-650-315-7394 31

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