Sometimes it happens. Product improvements take a back seat to first-to-market priorities. But, being first-to-market doesn’t have to mean that products can’t be improved at the same time. Sometimes, organizations and teams have challenges recognizing improvement priorities and making room for product improvements for their users.
Not only does it let the users down but it lets the team down and can be a real drain on morale. There is hope!
I’ve helped organizations that haven’t done product improvements in several years using a tool called Innovation Factory. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? It’s been called “IF” for short. Love that!
Even if they never have before, organizations can begin taking advantage of Lean UX concepts right away and apply them to their daily efforts.
An Innovation Factory (IF) can empower team members to self-organize as cross-functional teams and build product improvement in the known trouble areas.
Here’s an overview of what I have done to get the Lean UX and product improvements ball rolling in organizations:
- Hold a company-wide Ideation Session
- Rank input based on a group Impact and Effort analysis
- A Hopes and Fears activity help to unravel frustrations and expectations
- Choose a clear front-runner
- Build-in leadership constraints (they are invited to the sessions too but not allowed to facilitate)
- Teams are empowered to self-organizing around Scrum Ceremonies that were familiar (backlog, daily standup, 2-week cycles, and retrospectives)
- IF team worded in a Lean feedback loop cycle: learn, build, measure, and pivot
- IF team produced a Minimum Loveable Product (MLP) and iterated based on feedback
That’s it! The innovation can be released as part of the same quarter’s new product line and everyone across the organization has themselves to congratulate for taking the initiative up.
Innovation and product improvements should be happening in every business cycle, even when if the business has other priorities.