At KNow, we make it a practice to develop, pilot and test new techniques and approaches based on traditional techniques. It’s important to keep methods fresh by listening to your team, your clients, the industry and general trends. That way you can ensure you are communicating to participants in authentic and comfortable ways, creating outcomes your team can be proud of and delivering output that your clients can use efficiently and effectively.
But how do you go about brainstorming, testing, refining and launching approaches like these? It’s the same process as any other product or service refinement or innovation; sourcing, piloting, testing, refining and launching.
Step 1: Brainstorm
At KNow in addition to our internal post-project calls, we save time in our yearly offsite to gather ideas from the team on what parts of processes, methods and deliverables they feel are getting outdated, stodgy or just stale. This way everyone has a chance to contribute and has a chance to hear what are common themes and pain points in our processes.
Some good thought-starters to get this brainstorm conversation started include:
Step 2: Pilot and Test
We recommend pilot testing any refinement or new approach with the aid of understanding partners. These can be long term clients who would benefit by additional data or suppliers who have a new capability to show off. Be sure to beta test methodologies multiple times until they are ready for prime time, using steps like:
Step 3: Decide to Roll out (or Not!)
This is sometimes an overlooked step because after all of this work it’s hard to say no to an idea you’ve grown close to. But keep in mind that rolling out is an even bigger step than testing. Bring the team together and ask yourselves questions like the following to determine if the new idea is ready for launch. Keep in mind, these are not ‘yes means go’ questions, these are things to consider!
So examine your techniques and deliverables, ask your team and clients for feedback and start your own innovation process! For more inspiration, check out KNow Research’s Guide to Methodology Innovation