How to think, innovate and deliver faster

  • Posted on March 13, 2024
  • Estimated reading time 5 minutes
innovate and deliver faster

Many companies share the misconception that agile methodology (or the latest transformational framework) is the silver bullet that will solve all their problems. But no single framework can guarantee agility, and it’s not necessarily the end solution people think it to be. Elite product teams are looking beyond the regimented processes and rituals to embody the ethos of what it really means to be agile – creating real impact, moving at breakneck speed to get to market and driving innovation that doesn’t just tick a box but blows their category wide open.

Culture and people are the key to impactful outcomes
Determining where you want to go and what you want to achieve is an important step but understanding your starting point – where you are coming from and the path you want to take – is just as integral. Are you transforming from a state of complacency? Actively working to dismantle outdated regimes? Has your organization shown an appetite for change by supporting modern discovery tools such as design thinking? All these questions are important to understanding and assessing your current state. Which, in turn, determines your activation plan and tells you how much and where you need to focus your investments – be it on your culture, organizational structure or both.

To move to an outcomes-based model at scale where innovation is part of the company fabric isn’t for the faint of heart. It may require changing the DNA of your company. And it will definitely require discipline, fortitude, partnership and an open mind.

Shift your culture to embrace change
Culture is foundational to innovation and resilience; it’s the core from which everything else proliferates. But to change it requires every individual, from interns to the C-suite, to embrace the discomfort of the unknown and the potential of what could be.

To build a culture rooted in experimentation and progress, you must first reset the default beliefs and habits of your employees by focusing not just on how teams work together but also on how decisions are made, risks are taken and failures are treated.

Instilling a culture centered on a growth mindset revolutionizes your people. By enabling them to anticipate and welcome change as new opportunities, they learn to see growth, experimentation and risk as part of the process and embed those ideals into their daily behaviors and habits.

Build a unified, cross-functional team
While a growth mindset sets the foundation of your company culture, to put it into practice you need to understand that product success only comes from shared responsibility.

Leveraging team members’ unique expertise, skills and capabilities by setting up and delivering via squads or a product-oriented delivery (POD) model, solidifies the belief that everyone is working toward the same outcome as opposed to focusing only on the tasks assigned to their specific function. By thinking beyond the steps to delivery with a vision that product development is a shared goal between creative, engineering, product and project management, the alignment across the business becomes a key enabler.

Bring your vision to life with a partner in innovation
Now that you have reconfigured your company culture and established truly collaborative, cross-functional teams, the flywheel of innovation is starting to pick up speed. With these two key aspects in place, you’re better positioned to evolve and grow your product value and customer experiences.

At Avanade, we take this approach ourselves. With our own focus on exemplifying a growth mindset culture and a multifaceted team of experts, we help organizations take their imaginative ideas and make them a reality. So, while you’re building momentum across your company and culture, our award-winning group of strategists, creatives and technologists can do the heavy lifting as we take you through product discovery, prototyping and MVP phases to deliver the impactful solutions you’ve been dreaming of.

Embrace discovery
Sprint Zero is the tactical play that pushes you to engage directly with your product and market from day one. Instead of hypothesizing in a vacuum, you start by identifying your core business problem, quickly prototype a solution and validate it through real interaction to drive active learning.

With a preview of the product vision to play with, test, validate, share and build on, you can confirm early on that your assumptions hold true.

Focus on delivery
Creating impactful products your customers value requires a deep understanding of users and how your product can evolve as their needs do.

The minimum viable product (MVP) is your spearhead into the market. It should encapsulate the essence of your value proposition and be ready for real-world deployment. This is where you gather invaluable feedback and iterate with precision.

Sustained innovation is at the heart of product success
This journey shows that the path to better, faster delivery and innovation isn't just about adopting new technologies, even ones as potentially revolutionary as generative AI. It's about an approach—a mindset—that's laser-focused on unlocking disruption, ramping up speed to market and delivering industry-leading solutions. It’s about creating a culture where risks are rewarded and innovation is at the forefront. Where cohesive delivery teams work together to bring big ideas to life.

Yes, exciting new technologies like generative AI are transformative. They dominate discussions, fuel imaginations and have the raw power to reshape industries. But strip away the hype, and what are you left with? The essential pillars of product success – can people use your product, and will they want to? That's the true product way.

Wherever you’re at in your journey, we’ll work with you to create measurable value and deliver innovative digital products that power business invention and growth.

Learn more about our Digital Products & Services practice.

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