jun
6
2022
por Performa_IT
0 comentários

Why is Design Thinking the right approach for managers who envision a new horizon to innovate in the business sector?

Why is Design Thinking the right approach for managers who envision a new horizon to innovate in the business sector?
por Performa_IT
0 comentários

Learn more about this approach that can help achieve better results, with maximum efficiency and minimum errors in generating and organizing ideas for solutions to problems faced by the company.

Innovating and finding creative solutions to common problems can be challenging for any corporation. There are many questions, and a common way of using this approach is developing new products and services: Will they be well accepted? Will sales succeed? Is there a market for it?

Focusing on design thinking principles is an excellent path to solving real problems faced by real people. It meets the challenges of those who launch new products in the market and focuses on needs and solutions that are still emerging.

The Design Thinking approach emerged to assist this process and avoid launching something that people do not need or do not want and that it may not please the final customer.

And if you need to master the application of Design Thinking, don’t worry! We have prepared an article telling you the reasons for the success of this work process that has been conquering a lot of space to create a more cooperative environment in search of solutions.

What is Design Thinking?

The most important thing before we start is to highlight that we are talking about a creative strategy focused on finding new solutions to complex problems. An approach that is human-centered and based on how human beings interact with their environment and demands to create and develop innovative products or services.

Design Thinking is an evolution of Design theory first used in the 1960s. The term became popular through the early methodological processes of David Kelley, one of the founders of IDEO – the most famous Design agency – which made more accessible the philosophy that claims that any professional can use Design Thinking to solve complex problems.

A mindset that refers to “design thinking” means that before implementing any solution – whether a product or a service – we need to know the needs of the ‘pains’ of the people who possibly will use it.

The assumptions are left aside to give way to differentiated ideas and insights derived from observing the consumer needs, desires, and limitations, inspired by the creativity and breadth of the designers thinking through new ways of solving actual problems, reducing costs, and increasing sales.

The reference to ‘Design’ is only symbolic, as the professionals who conduct Design Thinking have a multidisciplinary and diversified performance, based on the assumption of being focused on the consumer, naturally trained to develop disruptions.

The Design Thinking Characteristics

Design Thinking helps to ensure formats that adapt to the needs of consumers – it can be the improvement of an existing product or service – to meet the demands and add value to the consumer.

It is necessary to be inserted in an environment that favors the development and creative exploration of the solution, creating a sustainable connection between the material and its user and it can be used in any business model, irrespective of the industry or segment.

Among the main characterizing elements, we can mention:

  • Focus on user experience;
  • Critical and flexible sense in terms of changes;
  • Search for the right questions that lead to assertive solutions to intriguing problems;
  • Collaborative aspect, which generates synergy between teams and connection with customers;

In a scenario in which companies need to add intelligence and competitiveness and make assertive decisions, it is quite a tool! The corporate world cannot escape innovation, investing in digital transformation, and betting on connecting with people. These are objectives that Design Thinking fulfills very well, which justify its remarkable rise as part of the routine in most different businesses, mainly when they focus on fostering disruption.

A strategy widely used in startups

Design Thinking is a strategy widely used in startups, mainly because it is a flexible approach that helps to find solutions to problems through new products and services.

It is the best strategy in a path that seeks to escape the conventional commercial methods – which demand time and money – based on planning and project management methodologies capable of providing innovative support.

This focus, very typical of Design Thinking, came as a disruptive way of conducting projects and ideas, breaking a paradigm about the methods used in more traditional businesses. It shortens the path in the product or service cycle development, leading it to reach the customer in less time. And what is most relevant is the elimination of related uncertainties, which already validate the feasibility of the business.

It is an accelerated cycle and fully aligned with the profile of startups, whose interest is to ensure that the offer of solutions has greater assertiveness concerning the market, taking lesser risks. People’s needs change quickly, and wasting time can cost the company’s success, as sometimes the solutions offered are not even an actual need.

How to apply Design Thinking

To apply Design Thinking in the development of solutions and validation of ideas, some fundamental steps have to be followed which may vary from one process to another. But basically, the different phases of the methodology consist of the following:

  • Immersion;
  • Context Analysis;
  • Observation;
  • Definition;
  • Search for problems;
  • Ideation;
  • Sketch development;
  • Prototyping;
  • Testing;
  • Iteration;
  • Evaluation.

Participants are placed in a real challenge scenario, for which they will seek a solution during the immersion process, and thereby understand and execute the principles of Design Thinking in a simple and easy to apply way.

Based on the real challenge, everyone is immersed in the consumers’ context to understand their experience, their needs and desires regarding the product or service, to then design innovative solutions to demonstrate and test with the consumer, validating the solution.

Where to find opportunities to innovate?

Design Thinking keeps the client in the spotlight of its practices, as it understands that a particular problem refers to a person and, therefore, needs to be solved to make their life easier – that generates value.

But how to find out what these problems and needs are?

This is the question that helps to identify opportunities for innovation and to answer it, it is necessary to be aware of what is happening in the world and how it evolves to solve problems that arise in people’s lives according to the progress of technology, with tools that favor this process.

The following are classic Design Thinking tools:

•  CSD Matrix: aligns the team and obtains in-depth understanding of the problem

•  Empathy interview: gets to know the consumers and understands their needs

•  Brainstorming: generates innovative ideas for the problems identified in the previous stages

All these tools generate fundamental ideas and insights to develop products and services based on users’ needs and perceptions.

Application of Design Thinking by Performa_IT

It is important to emphasize that Design Thinking is not a t inflexible approach as it is common to associate it with ready and tested formulas to apply in any case without distinction.

There has to be the freedom of consideration in order to find solutions in a collaborative way, improving creativity, leaving the comfort zone, without fearing obstacles to conceive something better and innovative.

Our proprietary work methodology, named IDEA-PAD, combines the principles of Design Thinking, Lean and Agile, providing well-defined stages and deliverables, guiding the design and development process.

IDEA-PAD image

The facilitator – a professional who leads the multidisciplinary team during Design Thinking – adapts the tools and stages to the project, participants and consumers – that is, the process is flexible and customizable.

We go from Immersion to Prototyping, collecting direct feedback from the final customer that allows us to analyze the solution feasibility with ongoing measuring and learning, building each stage through agile development. We seek to elevate this attitude to the maximum, starting from an initial challenge, helping to define the real problem to be solved by the company, exploring the customer’s journey and mapping the pains and possible solutions, highlighting the search for an immersive attitude in all of the customer’s professional relationships.

The goal is to create maximum empathy with the end user, as people’s needs are the main reason for developing a project.

A collaborative work that includes an entire multidisciplinary team to find innovative solutions. Different angles approached by the team members, offering varied interpretations on the issues that provide more assertive contribution to the result, seeking to understand each view, identifying barriers and finding the best alternatives to overcome them.

We take our commitment in each project, as they must be seen as an enterprise, going beyond the development of their functionality. The entrepreneurial perspective guarantees products and services to meet a specific need, solve a problem, achieve goals and differentiate in the market, supporting growth management and leveraging innovation.

For us, every project needs to evaluate investments according to the return that can be obtained through them. That is how Design Thinking stands out: its implementation cost is extremely low, while the competitive advantage it generates is huge.

Therefore, the first reason to invest in this approach is the fact that it is the necessary differentiator for your company to be placed ahead of competitors and, ultimately, this is an extremely efficient approach for finding answers to the most important issues of the business, and can be used in any market segment, in personal life and in several other areas, by anyone who is familiar with the technique.

Does your company already use this innovative and disruptive approach to develop new solutions? If not, the time to start it is right now.

Talk to us!

👉 Acess our website: performait.com

👉 Follow our Linkedin: Performa_IT | LinkedIn

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mar
16
2022
por Performa_IT
0 comentários

The Culture of Innovation

The Culture of Innovation
por Performa_IT
0 comentários

A lot is heard about the need to innovate. Every successful company seeks to innovate their strategic plans, encouraging new ideas to generate value.

But, do you really know how to apply innovation in your company? Enjoy this reading and learn more about the theme.

Innovation

According to Nick Baldwin “Innovation is exploring new ideas successfully”.

Meaning innovation is using creativity to develop a new product, service or business strategically to generate value to everyone involved. It is part of the culture of successful, evolving companies, and is paramount in the strategic planning of corporations.

The strategic importance of innovating

Innovation as the center of strategy, provides a quick adaptation and increases the chances of companies to overcome moments of crisis and instability.

It ensures the sustainability of large corporations in an increasingly competitive and globalized scenario, guiding investments and defining the focus of research and development based on the reality of the market.

The pillars of innovation

Innovation is based on Design Thinking, with balance between feasibly meeting the needs and desires of people as its supporting pillars.

Pillars Culture of Innovation

It is more than simply doing. It is a process that entails business planning, research and market analysis, as well as possibility of investments thus ensuring the best solutions.

Viability: refers to the expected return of a solution. There is no point in having a revolutionary idea if it is not financially viable. The feasibility analysis allows to capture investments, define the market, study the risks and alternatives and reduce chances of errors and negative impacts. This process optimizes the use of resources, improves results and maximizes return, thus providing safety and stability.

Desirability: focus on people, since they are the ones who will benefit from the innovation, and here we note that innovation is not just synonymous with cutting-edge technology, but results from the value that the customer perceives. Therefore, market research, empathy map and customer interviews and tests are fundamental, making it possible to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and really understand their real needs.

Feasibility: talking about the short-term technical feasibility of the project, that is, considering whether it is technologically possible to carry out what is being proposed, analyzing at this point whether it will be possible to meet the performance objectives expected by the company.

Culture of innovation

Now that we mentioned the importance of innovation and its pillars, check out a few tips to implement the culture of innovation and leverage your business.

Create a favorable environment. Every team needs to know and feel they are free to have ideas and think about improvements, suggesting changes without being at risk of being reprimanded.

Establish partnerships. Cocreation – a theme already addressed in the blog – provides powerful insights and is essential to grow and achieve great results.

Be fast and agile. Your processes do not need to be long and time-consuming, encourage them and have a quick response to events.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes happen. The difference is how you act and how fast you can correct them.

Focus on the solution. Don’t invent problems and find new ways to get it right.

Lastly, you need to understand that The Culture of Innovation must permeate the entire process, identifying, testing and delivering lasting solutions, which means working with flexibility, adapting solutions and also ensuring continuity of their implementation.

The Culture of Innovation in any company is a very important strategy and the best way to remain competitive in an increasingly complex market with increasingly demanding and selective clients.

Don’t waste any more time and start implementing this culture now!

It is necessary to facilitate processes and direct decisions collaboratively. Look for partners that have innovation as an operation basis and learn to share ideas.

Performa_IT may help your company with this implementation. We’re here for you!

Get in touch with our team.

Talk to Felipe Rebello, our Head of Growth EMEA: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebello/

Visit our website: https://performait.com/?idioma=en

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jan
28
2022
por Isabela Sanchez & Cristiane Stefanini
0 comentários

The role of co-creation in digital transformation

The role of co-creation in digital transformation
por Isabela Sanchez & Cristiane Stefanini
0 comentários

The role of co-creation in digital transformation is essential for external factors to have a direct impact on understanding the needs of increasingly demanding consumers.

The desires of such consumers today are increasingly specific and personalized and understanding this demand and using technology in favor of improving user experience is part of a process we know as digital transformation.

And one of the key strategies for the success of this methodology is to understand the role of co-creation within this process.

With the support of players who are not primarily part of the production line, such as suppliers or even customers, it is possible to invest in a collaborative strategy for creation, bringing better results and meeting market demands with increased assertiveness.

After all, what is the role of co-creation in digital transformation?

During a creation process, an organization’s employees first need to understand what consumers are really looking for. And not what they think consumers are looking for.

Co-creation in digital transformation is a methodology in which customers, suppliers and even competitors have an active participation in the development of cheap and disruptive solutions, helping to create these internal processes of the company.

It is necessary to consider four pillars of fundamental importance for co-creation in digital transformation to work:

1. Transparency in actions;

2. Understanding of the benefits and risks;

3. Access to resources and information (by all stakeholders);

4. Dialogue between the parties to achieve common goals.

Strategy benefits

Among the benefits that the co-creation strategy in digital transformation provides, one can highlight full customer satisfaction with the brand, which is virtually fundamental for organizations that want and seek success.

It is evident that a good user experience goes directly through investment in innovation. Co-creation in digital transformation means innovating. This strategy brings customers closer to the brand, providing a result closer to the one desired.

Undoubtedly, a competitive edge, positively highlighting your company in the market in relation to the competition.

How to apply co-creation in digital transformation

The step by step goes directly through defining a goal with efficient internal processes and choosing the team that will collaborate with the strategy.

Last but not least, it’s time to get your hands dirty and execute the strategy, ensuring deliveries that are closer to the reality of customers: user experience is above all delivering what consumers want.

In addition, to always be aware of changes that occur in the market; the company needs to be flexible and ready for what the market demands. The focus must always be on what is really important to customers.

Bear in mind that innovating collaboratively will always allow for the expeditious adoption of solutions and ensure the development of business in a sustainable way.

Do you want to learn more? Get in touch with our team.

Felipe Rebello is Head of Growth EMEA at Performa_IT – Talk to him: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebello/

Visit our website: https://performait.com/?idioma=en

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jan
7
2022
por Performa_IT
0 comentários

SUCCESS CASE: CPFL hires Performa_IT as a partner to structure and establish its vision of the future.

SUCCESS CASE: CPFL hires Performa_IT as a partner to structure and establish its vision of the future.
por Performa_IT
0 comentários

Challenge

CPFL, one of the largest companies in the Brazilian electricity sector and leader in the renewable energy sector in Brazil, hired Performa_IT to jointly develop its agile technology strategic planning, aiming at outlining the paths that the organization will need to take to achieve its future goals.

Strategic planning is essential for a company the size of CPFL, which is considered one of the largest companies in the Brazilian electricity sector with more than 100 years of history and operating in electricity distribution, generation and sale, and services that bring energy to 9.9 million customers.

Solution

We started our work by collecting information through exploratory research and market analysis, interviewing approximately 20 company executives, using an agile and structured methodology to survey the company’s technological characteristics and identify key improvement points for its future growth.

The entire project was prepared using intelligent and efficient methods, mapping the business interests and co-molding with collaborative sessions its priorities, objectives, and key results. Always thinking about generating positive impacts, ensuring the success of the entire business operation to protect the business from instability, acting practically and assertively, focused on short, medium, and long-term goals and objectives.

The planning carried out, in this incredible partnership, covered the next 5 years and aimed at CPFL’s sustainable growth, evaluating the organization’s internal and external conditions and its expected evolution, helping in decision-making, identifying opportunities, and reducing the distance between its current condition and where it intends to be in a given period.

Agile methodologies were used with innovative solutions and, through the engagement of the CPFL’s team, we worked with a high level of quality that allowed for a short-term delivery, 100% validated and approved by the company.

This project enabled CPFL to assess the organization’s internal and external conditions and its expected evolution, identifying opportunities and reducing the distance between the company’s current condition and where it intends to be in a given period.

Far beyond feature development

Having agile strategic planning allows the creation of a long-term vision with a cross-referencing of short-term objectives, results, and initiatives. It is only through the objectives being monitored and, even, revised in shorter periods, that an agile behavior is allowed, adapting to changes, much more than just following a plan.

Working with agile methodologies, the company finds it easier to meet market demands, reduce uncertainties with short development cycles and well-defined deliveries with a focus on continuous process improvement and team alignment, making it much simpler to identify errors and failures during its execution.

This provides a team where all professionals involved gain more flexibility and ease to make adaptations, thus preventing problems from affecting the final result and resulting in a deepening of the relationship with partners and especially an increase in sales.

Customer testimonial

“Since the beginning of our project, Performa_IT has stood out for working in partnership and using agile methodologies. We build our strategic technology plan through collaborative work, by co-designing it. In no time, we had broken down our vision into plans, activities, and timelines simply and efficiently. Today, IT teams are clear on how technology can support the objectives of CPFL’s business areas. Performa_IT supported us in the team’s engagement and gave us direction to plan and prioritize our investments. It gave us a ‘thinking-outside-the-box’ and gave us a different view of the business. I recommend Performa_IT to any company that is looking for solutions outside the traditional method, that wants to reflect on its challenges and that needs quick deliveries and results with excellence in quality.” Thiago Amante, CIO at CPFL

Performa_IT helps your company in creating its Agile Strategic Technology Planning, making flows more dynamic and assertive and helping your company to increase productivity, making you stand out in the market with competitive advantages.

Let’s connect:

Visit our website: https://performait.com/?idioma=en

Talk to Felipe Rebello, our Head of Growth EMEA:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebello/

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jan
7
2022
por Samir Karam - Head of Lean
0 comentários

Agile Strategic Technology Planning

Agile Strategic Technology Planning
por Samir Karam - Head of Lean
0 comentários

The Agile Strategic Technology Planning enables the survey of the technological characteristics of a company and the identification of essential improvement points allied to the business interests in a structured way, prioritizing more agile deliveries through intelligent and efficient methods, generating positive impacts in its completion, focused on the success and growth of the company.

What is agile strategic planning?

In an extremely competitive market, it is necessary to plan even better, quickly, and effectively, and agile strategic planning has been one of the tools used by companies to ensure the success of the entire business operation and protect business amidst crises and instability to act practically and assertively, focused on its short and long-term objectives and goals.

In this planning, the organization’s internal and external conditions and its expected evolution are evaluated, helping in decision-making, identifying opportunities, and reducing the distance between the company’s current condition and where it intends to be in a given period.

The importance of agile strategic planning

An agile strategic technology planning needs to be close to all departments of the corporation, attentive to the profile of customers, knowing market trends, and being aware of competitive threats. It needs to promote more efficient processes, more transparent and fluid communication, simplify routines, automate tasks and ensure the development of innovative and integrated services. It involves a change in the work model and even in the company’s culture.

Working through the agile methodology, the company finds it easier to meet market demands, reduce uncertainties with short development cycles and well-defined deliveries with a focus on continuous process improvement and team alignment, making it much simpler to identify errors and failures during its execution, where the professionals involved gain more flexibility and ease to make adaptations, preventing problems from affecting the final result in order to deepen the relationship with partners and increase sales.

Competitive advantages

This powerful management tool brings important competitive advantages, acting through indicators to monitor results with long-term visions and also cross-referencing with short-term objectives, results, and initiatives, transforming forecasts into measurable parameters of efficiency:

Facilitates the achievement of business objectives more transparently and effectively.

Optimizes resource allocation through adaptability and flexibility.

Explains risks and proposes ways to mitigate them in the short term, reducing costs, failures, and rework.

Simplifies flows and increases communication transparency through the interaction of the entire team.

Directs the organization’s resources towards more effective management through more assertive deliveries.

Helps the business to accommodate new priorities and market demands, making work more efficient.

Increased security with well-defined processes and people in charge, improving the organization’s credibility and reliability.

Increases team productivity and project prioritization through greater team alignment.

Contributes to more assertive decision-making, based on up-to-date and reliable information, through well-evaluated and detailed scenarios.

Brings more competitive advantage to the business and greater profitability based on efficiency and speed in obtaining results.

For agile strategic technology planning to be successful, the company’s mission must be clear from the start, highlighting the points it intends to deliver to sustain change and the business as a whole.

A business diagnosis is carried out with an analysis of the internal environment, its strengths, and weaknesses. With the information obtained, the Priorities, Objectives, and Key Results (OKRs) must be listed, defining short, medium, and long-term tactical and operational plans.

Within agile strategic technology planning, success depends on everyone’s involvement with the roles and responsibilities of those who will execute and manage each activity. The clarity of the goals and their indicators is essential to measure the achievement of the desired levels, all within the resource allocation plans.

Having agile strategic planning allows the creation of a roadmap and a long-term vision with a cross-referencing of short-term objectives, results, and initiatives. Through the objectives being monitored and even revised in shorter periods, it allows for agile behavior to adapt to changes, much more than just following a plan.

Do you have any questions? Contact our team! We are ready to deliver the best solution for you and guide your projects towards success!

Felipe Rebello is Head of Growth EMEA at Performa_IT – Talk to him: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebello/

Visit our website: https://performait.com/?idioma=en

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nov
23
2021
por Felipe Rebello
0 comentários

When should you expect the break-even of your digital product? (Part 3/3)

When should you expect the break-even of your digital product? (Part 3/3)
por Felipe Rebello
0 comentários

If you are jumping directly into Part 3 of this series, we encourage you to check Part 1 and Part 2 and catch up on Disrupting and Sustaining innovation concepts.

Welcome back.

Today we will explain why being aware of innovation choices matters for your MVP development plan—finally, relating all the previous points.

Remember we mentioned that four months is a desirable timeframe for launching a simple MVP? Take a warm cup of coffee, sit comfortably and let’s consider what happens during this interval.

Fig1-Part3 Article: Fig1.When should you expect the break-even of your digital product?

We could spend weeks talking about all possible variations of this simple example. Each product is distinct, requires specific technologies, and the timeframe can vary (and will!). We suggest adopting this one as a reference point since it’s the average of all real cases we’ve seen first hand. It is a simplified version, so use it for learning. You can appropriate this new understanding next time you will knock on the door of a software agency to ask for a proposal.

The first important information we can identify is that the actual development time is not fours month, but three. We can’t highlight enough how much it’s essential given the fact that 80% of the time, we see founders who want to start coding right away. We know, it’s that disruptive innovation feeling we are all aware of, those chills in the neck, we love it. But before building something, we need to know what to build. A prototype with a list of functionalities is not enough for the development team to start working. That is why the UX/UI Design phase is the mother of digital product development. One of my favorite phrases is 1h of product design saves 10h of product development.

1h of product design saves 10h of product development.

Before deciding to move forward and start coding (building your product), you should require from your tech-partner the following deliverables: Lean Canvas, User Journey, Service Blueprint (if applicable), User Story Map, Low to Mid fidelity prototype (clickable and updated after user interviews), User Interview Report, NFR (non-functional requirements), acceptance criteria for each user story and list of technologies recommended for building and hosting your application, and the most important: a menu of functionalities and strategical alternatives to consolidate them into the MVP scope. Getting into details on how each deliverable works is out of this article’s scope, except the last.

Why a menu of functionalities?

When building a digital product, there are so many options. Having them organized is essential for choosing the best strategy. We’ve seen many cases where founders are convinced that a specific scope is the best option, even without looking at other possibilities.

Fig2-Part3 Article: Fig1.When should you expect the break-even of your digital product?

In this example, the team came up with three different MVP strategies. The yellow with three main functionalities aims at disrupting. The green with four also aims at disrupting. Finally, the blue with another 3, but aiming at sustaining innovation. Each strategy aims to deliver value to users differently, tending more for disrupting or sustaining innovation. The exciting aspect is that usually, founders start with a set of functionalities (say F1, F2, F3, F4, F5, and F6). After the UX/UI design phase, user research, competitors research, and user interviews, the team might come up with F7, F8, F9, and F10 (or more), unlocking more MVP strategies. The magic of the creative process is when founders, developers, and designers work together to create the MVP scope.

As you can see, there is much work before deciding to move forward to development. It is a tipping point on your digital journey.

The point is that three months of development is a short time to deliver value (even though we’ve seen cases that the development team managed to do it in 1 month, rare cases, but they indeed exist). Now, if you are sustaining innovation, most probably, the value that is possible to deliver to customers when launching the MVP 🚀 was already validated by the market via previous competitors (even when the market is employees within a large corporation). Customers won’t be surprised by your product’s functionalities, revenue model, and channels, which is ok. It’s even better if you look for the predictability lenses, and investors love predictability. Start seeing where we want to go with this text? The bottling line is: The market-fit for sustaining innovation is already there; the team does not need to pursue it as disrupting innovation is striving for, relentless and furiously.

But investors also like fast-scalable business models that can deliver 2x, 3x…in a specific timeframe. Even if disrupting is riskier, the returns might also be more significant. It’s like playing poker.

Now, what happens if you are trying a business model that aims at disrupting? There is a massive chance that you won’t find a product-market fit after launching the MVP. And we’re not saying that sustaining innovation is 100% safe; no, what we’re saying is that statistically speaking, there are more failure chances in disrupting than sustaining innovation. So if the goal is to disrupt the market, better be ready for 12 or 24 (or even more) months of product development budget so your team will have the luxury to fail many times and still keep playing the game. Airbnb, for instance, first became profitable during the second half of 2016 after been launched in 2008. Extreme, but the reality of disruption.

Ok, you decided only to sustain innovation, the safer way. Should you try to disrupt at some point? If yes, when? Well, as the saying goes, ‘if you don’t innovate, someone else will, so watch out!‘ Fortunately, we have a suggestion that might help you with this decision. After experiencing many cases, it’s safe to assume that a mix between both approaches is an intelligent strategy to choose. If you have less than eight months of product development budget to find market-fit, we suggest splitting your efforts 80/20 between sustaining and disrupting innovation. The sustaining part we would split again 80/20, being 80 for product development and 20 for product design. The disrupting part, at least initially, we would focus totally on product design, user research & interviews. In other words, do what we call the Product Discovery, the holy grail of digital products, the philosophical stone of product owners.

Fig3-Part3 Article: Fig1.When should you expect the break-even of your digital product?

This strategy allows the team to reduce risks and still gamble in the attractive disrupting innovation. Like a volcano, it can explode and change the earth as we saw unicorns doing here and there (just if it was easy!).

Putting it all together in a timeline for didactic reasons, we would have something like this:

Fig4-Part3 Article: Fig1.When should you expect the break-even of your digital product?

After launching product version 1, the design team has finished conducting a strategical discovery for a new value proposition, revenue model, or channel. The team can immediately insert its insights in the subsequent design & development round, making the product’s version 2 a bit less sustaining and a bit more disruptive.

Building a digital product is a marathon, not a sprint.

How much should you expect to invest in product development if you try to disrupt innovation at all costs? We’ll cover this topic in a further article. For now, we wish to convey that bringing to awareness if you are disrupting or sustaining innovation might help answer investors’ questions and set the expectations for when the ROI might come.

If this article interests you, we kindly ask you to share it with your network. Designing, building, launching, and scaling digital products is a beautiful art, an exciting journey that might take you to incredible places. If it were easy, everyone would have successful outcomes, but the reality is cruel, and the statistics are there. The best we can do is sharing our experience and knowledge, hoping that product owners and visionaries will not repeat the same mistake. Let’s join forces and collaborate.

If you are looking for a tech partner who can guide you through your digital journey, let’s connect, our team will be happy to share what we’ve learned over the past 12 years and 500 projects.

Visit our website: https://performait.com/?idioma=en

Talk to Felipe Rebello, our Head of Growth EMEA: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebello/

Keep creative & thank you for reading.

Compartilhe
nov
18
2021
por Felipe Rebello
0 comentários

When should you expect the break-even of your digital product? (Part 2/3)

When should you expect the break-even of your digital product? (Part 2/3)
por Felipe Rebello
0 comentários

In Part 1 of this series, we covered what Disrupting Innovation is and how its high unpredictability makes reaching market-fit a more significant challenge. Today we’ll look at another innovation type.

Sustaining Innovation, in opposite to disruptive, it’s when new products or services are innovating the other components of a business model:

Fig2.When should you expect the break-even of your digital product?

It happens, for instance, when founders copy and paste already validated products from one country to another, or when they build the same product that the competition has, to the same market, but with a different communication & marketing strategy. The Innovation, in this case, happens, but not in the business-model core as in disruptive. If your budget is limited, this is a cheaper and more manageable way to develop a new digital product. Even with mega budgets, I see companies focusing solely on sustaining Innovation to reduce the time for reaching market-fit, thus reducing risk.

A classic example is Nubank, a Brazilian digital bank that started with a usual credit/debit card as its financial product. The customers could order via a mobile app with similar costs as competitors. The Innovation? Customer Relationship: Nubank’s customer service is one of the best in Brazil, leaving competitors light years behind (not mentioning many other social initiatives the company is pursuing successfully). After Nubank did the basics, they dared to get into disrupting Innovation with NuConta and other products, initiatives tending more to disruptive (still firmly based on sustaining). 

We all see many investments in nascent industries as MedTech, PropTech, EdTech, Fintech, BioTech, TravelTech, Insurtech, Greentech, Retailtech, and CleanTech since they ARE NOT ONE WINNER GETS ALL industries. Those market sizes are huge (some challenging to forecast but still promising). There is plenty of space for many new players, which we see happening: new products trying to get a piece of the cake as soon as possible.

Our incredible creative homo-sapiens minds are always looking for Innovation; it’s in our DNA. 15 years ago, when the waterfall methodology for software development was still the most used, creating a new product was a game for millionaires. With the popularization of Agile methods, the costs of launching a new web or mobile application have drastically decreased.

It’s safe to say that sustaining Innovation creates the environment for a faster breakeven than disrupting Innovation. It is the core message I wish to convey today.

After participating in many projects, I see that some founders believe it’s possible to disrupt a market and open a blue ocean with the same budget needed to sustain Innovation. This misunderstanding creates disappointment and demotivation. The good news is that there are ways to decrease risk. In the next and final part of this breakeven series, we’ll connect all the dots into the MVP development timeline and how to increase the chances your digital product will reach market-fit faster.

Now that you know the difference and are aware of it, are you maximizing your product development efforts for sustaining or disrupting Innovation? Feel free to write me a private message sharing your strategy and difficulties. We can elaborate on solutions and inventive options that might open doors, produce an original perspective, and put you closer to your winning aspiration.

Stay tuned, and in the meanwhile, keep creative.

Felipe Rebello is Head of Growth EMEA at Performa_IT – Talk to him: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebello/

Visit our website: https://performait.com/?idioma=en

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nov
10
2021
por Felipe Rebello
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When should you expect the break-even of your digital product? (Part 1/3)

When should you expect the break-even of your digital product? (Part 1/3)
por Felipe Rebello
0 comentários

If you ever tried to secure investments to develop a digital product (for a startup or a corporation), you were probably asked, ‘When can we expect break-even?‘. If that happened to you, congratulations, you gave the first step of exposing your vision to stakeholders. In theory, the goals are simple: generate revenue or cut costs. I never saw a development project without any expectations from investors. There will always be close eyes on your results.

Yes, there are many ROI forecasting methods, but the unpredictable character of software development added with market forces and serendipity transforms these projects into a sort of gamble. But what if we could at least forecast if the risk is super high or medium? Would investors like to know that? You bet yes, let’s see how.

This article covered how to estimate the average cost of a simple MVP under many assumptions for simplification. Today, we will go further into the MVP development process by analyzing how innovation-strategy decisions might influence how long a product owner might wait for the desired break-even and ROI to appear in the reports.

Fundamentally, I want to prove how an 80/20 split between sustaining and disrupting innovation might be a good idea if you have a limited budget for developing your MVP.

I’m going to tell you based on many real cases, some successful and others not. It applies to startups that are planning to build a digital product (for B2B or B2C) or for corporations that want to create new internal applications, for instance: a new CRM for the sales team, a new HR toll to support the employment branding strategy, a new web-application to support the marketing department, a mobile app to help customers better communicate with consultants…the possibilities are endless.

What connects those examples is that they all require a development team to create brand-new software, and they all have stakeholders with high expectations on when the ROI will start appearing. Startup investors are looking forward to the first revenue stream. C-level executives, board members, and shareholders are looking forward to seeing the promised cost-cutting, new revenue streams, or increased current streams.

Most of the time, an innovative digital product is a risky investment since development costs are relatively high and forecasting when ROI might appear is crucial to keep investors’ expectations in check.

This article shows that decreasing these risks is possible, even when disruptive innovation is the final goal. We need then to dig deeper into different innovation types.

First, let’s understand the difference between disrupting and sustaining innovation. Disrupting is connected to the famous Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne: It is what most of us are trying to achieve, at least by my personal experience working with Startups and Corporations. Disrupting, in this case, is surprising the customers (or internal users, for corporations) with something not expected, in other words, by manipulating one or more of these three components of the canvas business model: Value Proposition, Revenue Model, and Channels.

Fig1.When should you expect the break-even of your digital product?

It’s easy to give examples of disruptive innovation since we are only aware of those which succeeded, like Uber, Airbnb, TikTok, QuintoAndar, Netflix. Those are my favorite examples since they are easy to understand. They delightfully play with those red boxes. Revenue Streams here is not how much the product or service costs. Cheaper means sustaining innovation (unless you surprise the customer with zero cost!). Disrupting means drastically changing how the customer can pay for using the product or service: per unit, per hour, monthly subscription, yearly subscription, endless options.

Uber created a new value proposition by drastically changing the experience of ordering personal transport and making its payment dumbly easy. QuintoAndar gives an extra security lawyer to real estate owners against trouble tenants. TikTok delivers content in an unprecedented format creating new social media dynamics. Netflix changed the way people consume movies and video streaming.

In other words, this is the creation of a new market, a blue and calm ocean waiting for brave sailors who dared go beyond facing all the odds, making their visions a reality and profiting with it. It looks beautifully appealing in the paper; it’s like a shot of motivation to wake up and start changing the world and having our names in history books. The success we crave for. But in reality, it’s a long and expensive journey that many founders & intrapreneurs (including me a few years ago) underestimate.

I’ve seen many disruptive innovation cases in corporations if we consider that different departments are customers of each other. They all buy and sell, creating an internal market situation where various providers are competingI’ve seen cases of internal CRM tools trying to thrive in one sales department: a competition slightly different from SaaS for the mass as Netflix, but still, a match. The most exciting aspect of new internal digital tools for corporations is that the final users don’t need to pay for them. The budget comes from above, which creates a situation where users have to use it; otherwise, their managers will generate problems. I’ll cover this dynamic in another article; it’s one of my favorite topics.

Now you know what disrupting innovation is and why reaching market-fit it’s a challenge in this case, even when the goal is to create a new internal digital tool in an established company.

In Part 2 of this series, I’ll explain what sustaining innovation is, and in Part 3, how it all connects to the MVP development, influencing its timeline and cost.

In the meanwhile, keep creative & thank you for reading.

Felipe Rebello is Head of Growth EMEA at Performa_IT – Talk to him: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebello/

Visit our website: https://performait.com/?idioma=en

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nov
3
2021
por Felipe Rebello
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How much does developing an MVP cost?

How much does developing an MVP cost?
por Felipe Rebello
0 comentários

Working with digital products is pleasurably intensive, especially in a software agency that builds custom-made solutions. The amount of people I get to meet with innovative ideas and futuristic visions is unprecedented. It’s beautiful to see entrepreneurs willing to solve relevant problems locally or globally, in startups or large corporations; the ideas inspire me to do what I do and write this article.

After 11 years working with digital solutions (and the past two and a half with custom-made ones), the number one question I most get is “How much will it cost to build the MVP of my digital product?”. Have you ever asked yourself this question?

I had the same question in my mind nine years ago when I interviewed many software agencies to make my vision come true, and I wish I knew then what I am sharing with you today

The first question to ask yourself is ‘do you need custom software?‘. If your budget is limited, and you still need to validate the value proposition of your product, choosing bootstrap solutions might be a better way to go.

Once I had a customer who wanted to build a marketplace. When we started talking about a custom solution, he had already tested a simple MVP for about eight months. He made it himself with a combination of the many off-the-shelf software available nowadays. It wasn’t perfect; it couldn’t perform as he dreamed or deliver all functionalities, but it was enough to validate his value proposition and attract VC investments. That put him closer to the next and desired step of having tailor-made software.

Ok, so you have passed through this first stage and have investments secured, what next? How can you plan financially for this investment? In other words, how can you know how much your MVP will cost?

To answer these questions, we need to perform a drastic mind-shift that is not intuitive. Let’s go step-by-step, and we’ll manage it. Sit in your chair and relax, breathe deeply and count to 3…ready? Ok, here we go: You have been asking the wrong question all this time. But don’t worry! Calm, it’s ok. A better question would be something like: “How much does the development team I need cost, and what value can they deliver in the shortest time?”

This paradigm shift can create confusion and tension during many conversations. And if, with this text, I can clarify why reframing your questions is so crucial for the success of your digital product, I made my day, even my month, perhaps my year.

Creating quality software requires a minimum development team. In soccer, for instance, there are 11 players on each team in the field; there are usually five people in a simple development team.

  • A project manager
  • A UX/UI designer
  • A front-end developer
  • A back-end developer
  • A tester

Of course, this is a simplified version. It can get as complex as a 15-people dev-team, but for the sake of learning, let’s keep it to the minimum. I wrote ‘development team I need‘ since each MVP might require different programming languages and other technologies, server configurations, APIs, and other specificities. For the sake of simplicity, let’s take out this variable from the formula. Our goal today is to understand why reframing your question is essential for forecasting the cost of your product. We won’t calculate exact costs here (we can happily do this privately if you need it).

Now, let’s compare the average monthly salaries for developers in a few different countries (I’m using the average of experience, in other words, the median of entry-level developers and senior ones). I’m using EUR and USD for simplicity and easy comparison.

Source: http://www.salaryexpert.com (I choose those countries based on my experience).

I won’t get into which country is better or worse in terms of quality. That’s a huge and complex topic that I might cover in another article. The idea here is only to compare magnitudes and understand why reframing your question is essential.

Now let’s add other costs that a software agency has, like HR, Sales, Marketing, and most importantly, the expertise of managing a development team acquired and mastered throughout the years. I’ll use an average since, like with developers, agencies also exist in the entry-level and premium level prices, so this is just for us to have an idea.

Sure, you can find cheaper and more expensive ones, but the magnitude orders are important here. Why should you hire a software agency if you can hire developers directly? The advantages and reasons for having a reliable tech partner are such a strong strategic move when your core value proposition is not software development. That’s a topic for another time.

Nice, we are almost there. Remember that the minimum dev-team is composed of 5 people? Yes, but not all of them will work full-time on your project. Again for simplicity, let’s assume we have three people working full time and two half-time, so a total of 4 FTE (full-time employee) to your project.

Let’s assume 1 FTE = 160h per month. So 4 FTE = 640h per month.

Now let’s see how much a dev-team costs on average (with many assumptions for simplification) per month.

  • Brazil €36.574 ($43.170)
  • Poland €48.436 ($57.172)
  • India €19.770 ($23.335)
  • Ukraine €24.712 ($29.169)
  • UK €77.102 ($91.008)
  • Germany €91.930 ($108.509)
  • US €104.780 ($123.677)

We are getting close to the conclusion, with only one more calculation.

When reframing the question, I wrote, ‘what value can they deliver in the shortest time?‘. We could talk all day long about what ‘value’ means for software and how to measure it, but it’s out of the scope of this article.

Most of the products I see people trying to build are not technically challenging. If your product does not include Artificial Intelligence and its sub-topics like NLP and Machine Learning, or Virtual Reality and IoT (aka. connection with hardware), most probably the technologies required to build it are pretty trivial and well known by the development community. Of course, there is a significant quality gap between premium software agencies and entry-level ones. Still, the point is that most of the time, new digital products face value risk, not technical risk, as many founders believe.

Having that said, a realistic timeframe for delivering a simple MVP is four months of work. I’ve seen more than 20 real cases, and this number is not only practical but desirable. Planing a fixed scope and launching the product after six months is too risky. Too many things can happen during this period, and the market might drastically change. I’ve seen maybe too often visionaries being skeptical about launching a product that is not fully completed. The argument ‘if I’ll launch the product and people won’t like it, I’ll burn my idea, the brand, and the product will be a failure‘ is not valid if you perform a simple beta-launch with a pre-defined number of users in a controlled environment. You don’t need to ‘go all in‘ when launching a new product. Baby steps.

Ok, having all that said. Let’s calculate how much a dev team costs for 4 months.

Bingo! Those are the orders of magnitude (not exact numbers) you should have in mind when trying to answer “How much will it cost to build my MVP?”.

Try reframing the question to “How much does the development team I need cost, and what value can they deliver in the shortest time?”

You can even evolve the question to “For how long can I keep developing the product before it starts generating ROI?”

The answer to the last two questions will drastically help you talking money with investors. If the budget is minimal, it gives you the flexibility to elaborate a strategical roadmap of releases and features along with the product owner and the development team. Most of the time, there is a valid option of moving forward strategically by playing with the variables ‘scope’, ‘budget,’ and ‘time.’

Now you might be wondering, ‘Ok, I know more or less how much I’ll invest, but what can be delivered in this period?‘ Aha! Finally, we got to the hottest topic, ‘How should you choose the MVP’s scope?‘, meaning which functionalities the team should include for the beta-launch and which ones leave for later releases? Yes, my friends, that’s a topic for another day as well. Still, I can already say it’s drastically connected to the relationship between developers and designers and how much UX research the team plans to conduct, among other factors. The takeaway here is that the MVP’s scope emerges and evolves with the project; it is never fixed (with a few extreme exceptions). We won’t get into how an Agile approach is beneficial and necessary here—so many topics for another day that I need to make a list.

Choosing the right tech partner who will guide you in your digital journey is also crucial to help you avoid pitfalls. There are many other variables to consider when planning to develop a digital solution, like ‘Should you build your internal dev-team?‘ and ‘how can I measure the usage index of each feature?‘. You can travel this journey by yourself indeed, but most of the challenges you’ll pass through were already mastered by experienced and trustworthy software agencies.

If these ideas resonate with your thoughts or you are planning to develop a digital application, I’ll be happy to connect and chat about your specific case.

The most important is to keep the user in mind and remember that at the end of the day, we are trying to make this world a bit better than yesterday’s—each line of code per time, each functionality per launch. The digital world has never helped the real world so much, so let’s not stop building applications, but let’s do it responsibly and smartly.

Felipe Rebello is Head of Growth EMEA at Performa_IT – Talk to him: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebello/

Visit our website: https://performait.com/?idioma=en

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