September 30, 2021
Innovation never happens by luck. It’s a result of systematic and purposeful work. If you want to implement a new product, solution, or service in your digital ecosystem, you need an innovation team. The members of this team should be carefully selected in order to streamline the whole process. And this is what we are going to talk about today. How can you set up a digital innovation team in your company? And who should be on such a team?
First off, obviously, you don’t want just any digital innovation. It has to be purposeful and reflect the state of your company. Innovations should help you overcome challenges and make the most of new business opportunities in your niche. There’s no room for art for art’s sake. That’s why you should start with a strategy. What should such a strategy comprise?
Also, you ought to think of the most useful and beneficial aspects of your business. Implementing an innovation concerning staplers in your office is not necessarily a good idea. It’s so much better to concentrate on something that will help you:
Your strategy should indicate crucial aspects and technologies of your daily work. In our recent study that we’ve conducted among pharma companies, respondents pinpointed several critical technologies and areas that they focus on concerning innovations in their companies:
As you can see, the majority of pharmaceutical companies focus on AI, big data and digital training. Perhaps it’s a good direction for your company as well? However, it would be best if you remembered that digital innovation is all about enabling you to achieve something that was impossible or troublesome without it. Digital innovations address the needs of your clients, patients and other users (physicians). Again, let’s use a pharmaceutical example:
Start with the need that should be addressed: Your patients need treatment that’s better adjusted to their bodies.
The digital innovation that can help solve this problem: Wearables
How this problem can be solved with wearables: You can ask patients to wear these smart devices so that they can monitor the state of their organisms and provide physicians with accurate, live data. This way, the doctor has a more thorough insight into their condition and can make a more accurate diagnosis.
And that’s the way you should think about digital innovation: The problem comes first. Start with it, then look for a solution.
Now, this part is critical. Depending on who will be in your innovation team, you will be able to reach your goals more or less effectively. For example, suppose you leave your team without any legal advisors. In that case, it can turn out that this specific innovation is impossible/troublesome to implement due to your by-laws or other legal documents that you ought to follow. Building a team missing at least one researcher can result in omitting some interesting opportunities just because you didn’t know about them. And maybe one more example, if you have no tech architects on the team, you will have a hard time deciding how difficult given innovation will be to implement.
As our experience shows, if you work in the healthcare industry, your perfect innovation team should comprise at least these professionals:
Usually, the project owner is also the team leader. They are responsible for managing the whole team and showing the right direction. Make sure your project owner is an experienced specialist who knows your organisation inside out. In some situations, the marketing manager will deal with this task perfectly. In others – one of the management board members or a general manager.
There are a few ways that will help you streamline the innovation process in your company. For starters, you need to equip yourself with online tools. We have some suggestions for you:
Sometimes, you may decide to look for a more comprehensive tool that will allow you to manage the whole process from one place. This is where DXPs make a case for themselves. Read our article about digital experience platforms to find out more.
However, when it comes to managing and implementing innovation, you need more. Here’s how you should design your innovation management process:
For starters, make sure there is a conducive atmosphere in your company. People have to feel that they can experiment, try and propose something new, and won’t be criticised if something goes wrong. You have to understand that every digital innovation entails some risk. There’s no avoiding it. Make sure your team knows that, too.
Some large corporations decide to outsource the innovative process because of the complex network of dependencies and regulations. In such a setup, the external company thinks about improving products and services, and the internal team concentrates on processes.
In order to achieve something new, you need to have a specific goal, desired end result, but, at the same time, you must be open to changes. Sometimes it’s necessary to adjust your process to the current results of your activities and the response coming from the market. So-called rapid prototyping model enables this approach. It is a process where a given problem is addressed in short iterations. The solution is next prototyped and can be verified with the test target group. Based on the feedback received, you go further, refine the solution or change it altogether. That’s the best way of thinking about digital innovations.
If you're currently working on implementing innovation in your company and feel that you need help, drop us a line. At NoA Ignite, we help companies overcome their challenges and come up with new technology solutions and services that answer the needs coming from the market. Let's find out what we can do together!
Szymon is a Senior UX Designer at NoA Ignite and his main job is to match business needs with customers’ expectations. He designs digital products that improve the organization’s workflows and services that support end clients. Szymon has vast experience in cooperation with the pharma, finance sector and NGOs.
Contact Szymon: firstname.lastname@example.org