4 tips for nailing down digital innovation in your organisation

It’s one of today's sad truths: many IT projects run aground. This, in a time when having a digital edge is crucial for the survival of your organisation. Improve the collaboration with your colleagues, users, customers, partner companies and other stakeholders to nail down digital innovation in your organisation. IT leaders see technology as a driver for growth. But that implies digital innovation and creating a digital advantage. Studies show, however, that few executives are happy with how their organisation handles the theme of innovation. Sometimes this is because the process of innovation goes too slow, or because innovation is done piecemeal – leaving change throughout the organisation lagging. Innovation should be a standard business practice and ought to have a substantial impact on business operations and results. With the four following tips, you can set your teams on their way!

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Tip 1: Start small, finish big

Does the following scenario ring a bell? The development of your new products is going slow. Costs are on the rise, but the speed is lacking. Execution is inefficient and results are hard to predict or calculate. Your products are just not hitting the market. Decision-making is a lengthy process and sometimes no decisions are made at all. More time is spent on discussing issues, than on resolving them. The course is unclear. Priorities are insufficiently defined within the organisation. In short: your current development model is far from ideal in daily practice. You need an entirely different plan.

My tip? Go for a flexible approach that generates immediate results and ensures the continuous sharing of knowledge. An approach that is different from traditional or standard models. Think big, but start small. During the process, you keep on testing, automating and iterating, reducing your technical debt along the way. Errors are eliminated as soon as possible, while you relentlessly improve. And whenever possible, you scale up to drive innovation and success.

Tip 2: Make sure everyone is on the same page

IT change projects are often unnecessarily arduous. When everyone is on the same page, development becomes fun. Colleagues are eager to contribute and overall engagement and productivity shoot up, driving teams towards more and earlier success.

My tip? Create agile teams to make the difference in your organisation. An agile team works cross-disciplinary, and is self-steering and agile, allowing for faster software development and implementation. But be aware: an agile team does not guarantee the creation of value. For that, you need a team that is also high-performing. A high-performing team will boost your conversion rates, improve the online journey and reduce the number of questions for your customer success team. Of course, it takes time to achieve these results – and they can only be realised when your team knows clearly why the software is being developed and what challenges it will resolve.

Tip 3: Collaborate closely with the various links in your chain – from start to finish

Enable collaboration between the links of your chain to create an amazing customer journey. Quality design and technology are required to let your users experience how your organisation stands with them and truly understands their concerns. A little bit like when you leave your car at the dealership for maintenance. You get a replacement car and the dealer has already cleared your temporary parking permit with the council. A complete and smooth experience.

Tip 4: Help your team nail down digital innovation in your organisation

Imagine being able to solve the really complex challenges. Gaining insight into your innovation opportunities by leveraging new technologies, identifying prospects swiftly and responding to potential threats.

If you want to innovate in a way that is different and more agile, it is crucial to capture the diverse knowhow and experience of a project group – and not keep doing what you’ve always done. This implies that your team members also look inward and ask whether they themselves are able to transform. A so-called Living Lab provides the right conditions for this process. Here, a group of peers – representing multiple organisations – share their expertise under the guidance of innovation experts. All are expected to give feedback to the others, while designing a solution for wicked problems. Problems that currently have no solution.

What are the benefits of a Living Lab?

Living Labs provide organisations with the unique opportunity to accelerate and implement digital innovation. The concept is based on flexible cooperation, centred around a physical location. The Lab is a place for innovation based on creativity, co-creation and idea validation. It is an arena where people work on practical solutions for complex innovation issues, guide innovation at participating companies with a hands-on approach and where colleagues learn to innovate in practice. Teams work on potent solutions, while developing the skills to implement innovations effectively in their organisations.

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