The innovate phase in a Digital Evolution is one of the most important because you focus strategically on business outcomes and make decisions about your approach.
The steps in the innovate phase are ideate, prioritize, and prototype, and the objective is to clarify the intended business outcomes and match them with the technical capabilities that will allow you to reach those goals.
Phase 1 of the 4 phases of ICRE
In your Digital Evolution, the innovate phase is one of the most important because it's where you focus strategically on the business outcomes and make decisions about your approach.
Before we go too far down that path, I want to remind everyone that you may already have missed this phase of the cycle in the past. In other words, you may already have begun building your solution prior to some of the steps we'll discuss today. That's ok because we're talking about a cycle that should run in a continuous loop. That means that even if you have a solution in place today, you can begin implementing this methodology so you're able to leverage these steps on your next trip around the loop.
But most of the business leaders we work with are looking to solve the current set of challenges with a new solution, so we'll start at this phase.
So let's lay out the high level steps in the innovate phase: ideate, prioritize, and prototype. The objective of this phase is to clarify the intended business outcomes and match that with the technical capabilities that will allow you to reach those goals. The ideate steps include a strategy-led discovery process. This typically includes workshops and interviews with various stakeholders. It also includes perhaps the most important step, which is determining how you will measure success. That could be a whole video in itself so I'll leave it there for now. The fun part about the ideate phase is that we're brainstorming, coming up with exciting ideas, and thinking about how great the future will be once they're implemented. This is the part most people really enjoy. And when it's done well, we should end up with a huge list of concepts to consider for implementation.
But now comes the tough part and the next major step in this phase: prioritization. It's almost always a mistake to implement all the ideas that come out of the ideation process. We have to determine which of these capabilities are highest priority, meaning which are most likely to deliver the business results we're seeking for the smallest amount of money and effort. It sounds simple, but this can be a tough step in the process when stakeholders all have different opinions. The path to success is to review each of these capabilities objectively and commit to the process.
The final step in this phase is to build a prototype of the solution. The word prototype means different things to different people. For us, this means putting something tangible in the hands of stakeholders. For the lack of a better term, it's a gut check to make sure that the approach we've planned has transferred from the whiteboards and PowerPoints into the physical world. If we're building a web or mobile application, we will typically build a clickable demo of the proposed solution to give those stakeholders something to see and interact with. This is a smart investment to make up front that can save costly mistakes and misunderstandings down the road.
If all goes well through this phase, then we move on to the create phase and start building. If not, we stay in the innovate phase for another iteration to make sure we are bringing the best ideas to the surface and increasing the chances of success.
In the next video, I'll go over the create phase. If you have any questions in the meantime, you know where to find us. Thanks again for watching and have a great week.
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