sharing insights on innovation in established organisations

altershape blog

Business stakeholders want projects to deliver fast. They often come to the project team with a clear view of the solution, expecting a quick start and not leaving much room or time for challenging and proposing alternatives. However, this mindset carries an important risk: building the solution does not guarantee business value.

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Ah, MVPs, or Minimum Viable Products. I haven’t seen many projects without them in the last few years. Yet still, I haven’t seen project success rates going up significantly either, despite what MVPs promise: building the smallest thing that will bring success. What are we doing wrong? What can we improve?

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… who’s the rightest of them all?

The insight that we do not know everything, and that we should validate our ideas with customers, is taking root in most organisations. A customer survey is often the go to tool to do so. But there’s a catch.

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March 23, 2020

Pin down that Problem!

The coronavirus is all over the news, and we all feel it’s impact. For many of us, working remotely has become the new normal in just a few days time.

And so we’ve been bombarded with tips and tricks on how to make this work, and tools to help us make the transition. A small selection:

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In order to answer this question, we would first need to define when an idea is innovative.

  • Is a small product update, like a new feature, already an innovation?
  • Is using a new technology under the hood of your service an innovation?
  • Is offering an existing product or service under a different business model an innovation?

Opinions will probably differ. I doubt this is the most important discussion to answer the question, though.

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A personal definition of innovation that I regularly use is this:

Innovation is doing new things in a context of uncertainty.

By this definition, the process of innovation follows an uncertain path. You cannot know up front whether or not you will be successful.

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September 25, 2019

Let’s play a game :)

Is working fun? Are your projects joyful? Claudia Michalik’s BA Game at the 2019 Business Analysis pre-conference workshops clearly showed me they could be, and perhaps even should be.

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Meetings where people are talking but not listening, workshops where laptops and smartphones scream for participants' attention, conversations that go around in circles, …

As it becomes more difficult to grab people's attention and focus, meeting and workshop facilitation becomes an essential part of the analyst's toolkit. Whether you are business analyst, product owner, scrum master, user experience designer or customer journey expert, simply getting people to forget about their busy day when they enter your meeting room is key to getting to a valuable result.

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