Here are are some beautiful images that were taken during my time in India, perfect for your Desktop or Mobile lock screen. Enjoy!
An Imperfect Process for Adopting Innovation
People come to us with ideas for features, but they’re not sure what to do with them. And if we say we’ll look into them, our innovators aren’t sure when (and if) that will really happen. So a passionate committee offered thoughtful feedback that informed the following imperfect process, consisting of 2 Commitments.
Commitment 1: A Space for Innovation
Bi-weekly review days (already scheduled as part of our Agile sprint) can showcase innovations, mockups, and prototypes, alongside other work. Just let us know what you’d like to share, and if you want help thinking through how to share it, we can provide guidance.
Presentations can be:
- Functioning Code
- Powerpoint/graphic mockups
- Construction paper
- Whiteboard drawings
Commitment 2: A Timely Investigation
After showing off an innovation, the natural question is “What next?”
The Product Manager will add it to the backlog and prioritize it’s investigation. The following has to happen:
- A possible refinement of a prototype for further demo
- A tight definition of scope
- An inquiry to stakeholders
- A weighing of the return on investment (how much value added to how much investment)
- A weighing of the feature alongside already planned activity
- A decision on whether the feature is assigned a version or remains in a backlog until the next time we go spelunking.
Answers to Questions I would ask:
- What does “timely” investigation mean, anyway?
Unfortunately, timely may not mean fast. It means prioritized and handled in accordance with organization needs, but not ignored. In some cases, timely is a day and in others it’s a month. It also means that innovators have an idea of when they will hear back. I would like to offer a 30-day maximum turnaround.
- When will my innovation be in a product?
Possibly never. That sounds harsh, and maybe it is, but to be unclear is to be unkind.. Not all innovations are right for us right now. Even really cool, slick, or simple ones. Building a prototype doesn’t guarantee adoption. In Research and Development labs around the world, about 1 out of 100 new innovations go to market. We’ll probably be closer to 1 out of 10.
That said, if an innovation is selected it will likely be picked up in the next release that it is available for.
Just a little resource since I’ve been getting asked for LinkedIn and resume advice.
Your Title can say anything
And it’s the thing that shows up in Google and LinkedIn search results. Make it directly relevant to how you’d like a recruiter or hiring manager to think of you.
Make it readable
Saying more, I use line breaks and bullets throughout my profile to increase readability. Walls of text are overwhelming and skipped over.
Last month, my boss and I packed up our finest popcorn poppers and headed east to develop new businesses with 12 exceptionally creative colleagues, as part of a half-day workshop. The mission: QUICKLY create a product that people love.
Rather than go deep into ideas around Lean Startup, MVP, and Rapid Prototyping, I’ll just tell you about the conclusions we came to.
3 Foundational Ideas
- Beware The Long Fail
We are perfectionists. We put all of our time, energy, and resources behind an effort for as long as it takes to complete, all the while never really knowing if it’s the right effort. Of if we are doing the effort right. The solution is failing fast – that is, testing a little piece of an unfinished product, accepting that feedback, and living short cycles of trial and error.
- Fight Gut Fallacy
The Intuition battle is fought on uneven ground. Without data, a disagreement becomes a battle of who has the better intuition. This opens us to making decisions based on fear, seniority, and political ties. The very best people are only right 90% of the time. And we don’t know when they are wrong until after we try the wrong idea.
- Rely on the Power of One
We don’t live in an all-or-nothing world. Sometimes it takes asking one person one question, showing off one flyer, testing a product on 1% of people. Pick one workable fraction of one feature and show it to one small group for feedback.
3 Things We Learned Together
- Sometimes the Right Thing Feels Wrong
Turns out, people like Cap’n Crunch cereal in their popcorn. And some people will dig in their desks for pennies to pay 25 cents for a bag. When we test small things early on, we can take small risks that our guts might otherwise fight. What if we tested every crazy idea? What would surprise us?
- The Proof is in the Prototyping
Just attempting to build a prototype can prove whether an idea might be logistically feasible – and how! We found out that Bacon popcorn needs extra wrapping to contain the grease (ew!). And that a divine butterscotch sauce can be made using a microwave and a paper cup. And sometimes we found that an idea just wouldn’t work, simply by trying to build it.
- Passion comes from the Edges
Parmesan-Chili popcorn: either you loved it or you hated it. And when you loved it, you really loved it. Polarized opinions make for passionate customers.