3 methodologies every Innovation Manager should consider

If you are willing to grow professionally in any industry and get your project to a successful end, there are some methodologies you need to consider.

Getting projects to a successful end is tough. Being successful means making the right decisions. When do we make the right decisions? Well, it depends, but being well-informed and up to date with the latest methodologies certainly helps.

The project management methodologies, methods and frameworks change all the time. This might sound scary but it’s good news if you are a professional striving to achieve more efficiency and want to generate a high impact with low effort. An entire string of methods, tools, and techniques lie behind each and every successful project.

Let me be clear on something: when I say “project” it’s every project. I am not just talking about mobile apps and IoT stuff. Offering a certain service and doing it the right way implies working with several methodologies. The same happens while building any product or designing a business strategy.

Also, new methodologies are not just for project managers. The entire project team must understand how they are used, their purpose and basic terms. If you are a designer, developer, innovation manager, CMO or so and expect to be successful and grow professionally, you better know the best way to get those processes going smoothly.

We’ve chosen 3 methodologies you *need* to consider before kicking off any project:

#1 Agile

Agile is a mindset that was originally mentioned in the Agile Manifesto, a manifesto developed by a group of 14 leading figures in the software industry that reflects their experience of what approaches do and do not work for software development. The Agile methodology is best suited for products that face diverse changes while they are being built.

Agile development is based on brief delivery cycles known as sprints that are tightly coupled with regular feedback sessions. This means, it is a methodology based on iterative development where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams. All goals are defined before starting a project but you can always change the deliverables or final results.

Agile methods promote a disciplined project management process that delivers regular feedback and enables adaptation. It implies a leadership with strong communication that assists the team continuously and encourages intense collaboration with co-workers and clients.

The methodology also involves working with a set of engineering practices that are intended to allow rapid delivery of high-quality software and a business approach that aligns development with customer needs and company goals.

In Agile, the entire project team becomes accountable for a product’s development and success. This is why each person is responsible for tasks that contribute to planning, developing and delivering a project.

#2 Design Sprint

No, it’s not Design Thinking.

Design Thinking is an approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit. It includes elements like empathy and experimentation to arrive at innovative solutions. Learning about Design Thinking is learning the philosophy and mindset of innovation along with the tools you could use.

The Design Sprint is a specific step-by-step system, based on Design Thinking, for producing and testing ideas (often product/service/business ideas). Basically, it’s a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers.

Design Sprint uses strict timing for each step, prohibits lengthy discussions and favors individual inputs as much as group work. If you are looking for a methodology to produce the maximum effect with the lowest risk within a plausible time-range, then go for a Design Sprint. According to IBM findings, Design Sprint can lead to a 75% reduction in design & delivery time, often reducing an 8 month project to 3 or 4 months.

It can be used to work on any company’s challenges, ranging from product-specific topics to the overall business strategy. If you are building, improving or adding features to a product or service, transforming your value proposition or creating a new business strategy, the Design Sprint is right for you.

Sprints help build products people will actually use and increase your confidence in product-market fit. In just one week you’ll be able to create and test a prototype that feels like a real product and get immediate feedback from real users. This will allow you to make more informed decisions that will lead to greater success down the line.

#3 Lightning Decision Jam

It’s a really flexible problem-solving methodology created by AJ&Smart. It’s a workshops that crushes together exercises from Design Thinking, Gamestorming, Design Sprints and Agile. Basically it helps you replace all open, useless, open-ended, unstructured discussions with a clear process.

It avoids projects from stalling, teams from losing momentum and companies from going over-budget. Anything that requires a group of people to make decisions, solve problems or discuss challenges can find the Lightning Decision Jam useful.

In a short amount of time, your team will be able to define important challenges, identify possible solutions and prioritise what to execute on almost entirely without fatigue-inducing discussion.


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