Introducing Leanovation – 1. Research

For almost a year now, Iʼve been a very busy boy mapping out the next step beyond DICoDE et voilà! I have come up with an end-to-end innovation method inspired by all modern tools I’ve learned during my research and applicable to any sector and situation. A few weeks ago, I came up with a name for it: Leanovation. I already acquired the trademark, the .net dns and soon the Twitter account.

So now it’s time to move on to the next step. But like I’ve said before, I’d rather work on it with a team instead of solo. I’m looking for and hoping to collaborate with like-minded people who will find it valuable to make something out of it. I am currently building a simple website to explain the 10 steps of the method. I’ll be sharing each step of the way with you fellow readers. Feel free to reach out, comment, give feedback or ideas…

Here’s a series of blog posts giving you a detailed overview of the whole method starting with the first step: Research!

Doing research the Leanovation way means to first start with available quantitative figures (small q in the figure) or information gathered from earlier surveys.

Based on these figures, we can form new hypotheses for the user problem we’re trying to solve using this new Lean Innovation we want to create.

A qualitative study (the capital Q in the figure) can then be conducted in order to validate or modify the hypotheses formed. Design and Architecture have always used ethnographic methods to identify users’ pain points, intentions and delights. Mapping users’ journey, studying the behaviors of individuals and communities, watching them talk and create around your brand… these are the things that matter in gathering great qualitative insights and identifying interesting opportunities.

If you need a confirmation of figures or simply want to gather more quantitative data, then you can just stick to an additional quantitative study or poll.

From there, simply rinse and repeat the research process until you find the best results. The purpose of each iterative process in Leanovation is to have it done quickly and repeated as many times as necessary. By experience, I believe that 5 to 15 iterations give the best results. You don’t need to wait a whole week or a long time before making another iteration. It can be done immediately or as called for, even within the hour or the day.

The Rationale/User Research

Traditional Market Research especially Focus Groups cannot capture users’ intention. Why? Because it is an environment where participants are gathered and interviewed in a place that is detached from any relevant context. For example, if we’re talking about a particular brand of cooking oil, wouldn’t it be better to visit users in their kitchens and witness firsthand why they use the kind of cooking oil they use, instead of taking them out of that relevant context and into a likely boring round table discussion. So no, focus groups are not that effective unless of course what you’re researching is the concept and set-up of a focus group itself. ;o)

Instead, Leanovation recommends starting with figures that any company already has on their users, even if they’re old and not detailed. From these figures, we can already identify trends and make hypotheses for studying the very aspect we’re working on. The fact that we can iterate on what we will be studying and that no exclusive is ever taken means that even with low-quality data, we can move on!

As said, what’s important is to do and learn. No matter if the data we’re using now are not qualitative enough, we’ll learn from them and move on to the next step! We will later come back to them anyway but with a higher level of understanding!

Next: 2. Ecosystem Mapping

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1 Response to Introducing Leanovation – 1. Research

  1. pink psyche says:

    Bravo! Your blog is back and alive with more and more interesting ideas!

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