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Tools for fast strategic innovation, part 3: Why to use the 5-day method?

I recently did my EMBA about fast strategic innovations during which I created a set of practical tools and a process that should help anyone involved in innovating and validating new business. The process is simple and helps you to produce a report that answers to  "Should we proceed with the innovation and invest in it or not?" within a week. The process will help you bring value in the shortest time meaning also that you won’t be wasting anyone's key resources, typically time and money. I’ll be presenting the process in three different blog posts. In this final postI'll elaborate on the strategic innovation model from its user's point of view and provide some answers to questions that might have crossed your mind reading this the previous posts part 1 and part 2

Why to use the 5-day fast innovation method?

The main motive for developing this 5-day fast innovation method was to create new, better ways for minimizing the risks to end up developing business with no markets.This model differentiates how it focuses on the first steps of the innovation process where most of the other productized methods skip this step lightly, assuming the idea is valid and focusing more on the concept design of the product/service.

It's a fast and cost -effective way to validate new business ideas at an early stage. 

Thus, this tool's main benefit is that it's a fast and cost-effective way to validate new business ideas at an early stage. The results will show

  • If there is space and need for this idea in the markets
  • What kind of value proposition would be the most profitable
  • What elements should be studied further, and how the innovation process should continue.

The answers give a wide enough perspective that the risks in the innovation process will be minimized. At this phase there’s no reason to think about cost-structure or delivery chain. If the method shows that the innovation is needed, then the next question is the business model.

Who can use the 5-days method and how?

Using the model is not challenging, nor does it require special skills. For the company, this is a fairly cheap, effective, and risk-free way to advance with innovation.

The user follows the process step by step, using the publicly available tools such as Figma, writing and illustrating. Experience from using post-its is considered a benefit. Creating the summary is like making any other PowerPoint presentation.

The time limit guarantees the effectiveness of the model. The fact that I managed to pass through the process in five days while at the same time creating it is promising: the time limit should be realistic and easily repeatable. It does not require being routined. Of course, to meet the time limits, one needs to have at least a basic understanding of the subjects at hand and to be able to collect and process information professionally. Instead of working solo, it’s important to carry out the phases by openly involving all different parties from the organization to the process.

Suitable for any kind of product or service idea

The method is suitable for processing any kind of product or service idea. It can be considered working regardless of the sector or industry. It focuses on the customers, competition, and markets in a generic manner.

The process and methods work both

  • When the company has an existing product or service (or advanced business idea) that is looking for new markets
  • With idea-level concepts where the value proposition can be formed quite freely to meet the customer and market needs.

The generic effect of the model can be seen from three perspectives:

  • It brings a new theoretical contribution to strategic innovation studies
  • It's a concrete, general-purpose, and productized tool for companies
  • It lowers the risks in product and service innovation.
Heidi Vaarala
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