By Lucas Alves, content strategist at Questtono Manyone
Regardless of the field in which they work, every professional must have a systemic approach to “orchestrate chaos” in innovation projects within a company.
A significant part of this has to do with knowing how to choose one or more methodologies suitable for the challenges of each project.
A good methodology is one that is deep enough to address challenges in all their complexity, and simple enough to be understood and applied in a practical way.
There are numerous approaches that merge creativity with business, such as Design Thinking and agile methodologies. These approaches must address the real problems of companies–which can range from internal alignment, ways of reading the consumer market, the need to take ideas off paper and disseminating innovative thinking.
Here at Questtonó Manyone, for example, our hybrid approach between design and strategy always has the same intention: to materialize what makes sense to people. We research, think and design a solution from start to finish, considering every point of the journey.
All our projects follow the design line of thinking – always using the double diamond model. This is the concept behind our approach, whether for a Branding project, product or even more complete CX projects.
So how can this relate to the choice of methodologies for a project?
We define the methodologies that will be applied according to three points: the language the client speaks, the problems they want to solve and the design thinking lens.
Since language is a living thing, word choices change throughout time. The semantic field updates itself according to what makes the most sense at the moment. So, what could be considered a brand experience project in 2018 is now a CX project. Methodologically, it changes very little – just a maturation of the “how to do it.”
As for the design approach and the connection with problem solving, we suggest one considers which of the 4 stages of the double diamond their innovation project is in, and then think about which methodology can be applied at that moment. They are:
1 – IMMERSION
In this phase, the fundamental pillars of an innovation journey are formed: it is necessary to decode the context and emerging culture, beliefs and behavior of users, so it is possible to foresee issues that will impact the business.
Understanding the context goes far beyond conducting a simple search. A deep immersion should consider aspects that encompass the business as a whole, including societal issues such as local economic context and sustainability.
Here it is possible to use different research techniques, in-person and online, such as home visits and usage diary, among others. Clarity about the user’s behavior and belief system will lead to building bridges between planning and execution.
2 – ANALYSIS
Based on these investigations, an x-ray of the user must be prepared and strategic personas defined, which vary according to parameters such as lifestyle, motivations for use, expected benefit and beliefs. Consumer desires and behavior are consolidated in territories of opportunity such as High-Value Experiences (HVEs). Without this panorama, a system of experience with meaning and relevance cannot be built.
New research techniques can also be used based on the need to deepen the project, the scope of the investigated profiles and the time available for the development of a solution.
3 – IDEA
To visualize the next step, there is the ideation phase, which uses the results of what was synthesized in the analysis. It’s time to think about what these new products, services and experiences would look like, which can be structured in CX systems or explored in isolation. However, the CX view is critical to understanding whether this solution is desirable, possible, viable and sustainable.
In practice, dozens of ideas are generated that expand the perspective of the customer experience and help managers make more assertive business decisions, through concepts represented in tangible ways such as journey maps, storyboards and renderings, among others.
It is common to use the design sprint methodology; with an agenda defined during the week, the group is led by a facilitator in the creation of solutions, which can be physical or digital. Later, these proposals must be tested and validated.
4 – DEVELOPMENT
To make strategic insights tangible and get ideas off paper so that they gain shape and traction within companies, it is essential to create prototypes and collect consumer feedback, which helps generate insights for the future definition of the project.
Then it’s time to put the innovation into practice. Here, the choice of a methodology depends on the type of challenge. In new business projects, for example, they must finalize the implementation of the CX system, which can involve brand, physical/digital products, service and communication. In brand building projects, for example, it’s put into practice when the visual identity is defined, which materializes in different expressions such as packaging, digital presence, visual and verbal language, and brandbook.
In other cases, such as the development of digital products and/or services, the technical details and the definition of a complete design system are carried out, with the information architecture and UX/UI with definition and specificity of all the assets that will be used.
It is common for companies to seek innovation partners to aid in the construction of complex projects, or when a company does not have all the resources to solve alone.
For that reason, it is important to consider those who manage to be present in different phases of a project, from the strategy to the prototyping of solutions and the definition of how they will all be applied.
This presence goes beyond just maintaining the coherence of what was defined in the strategy: it brings both rational benefits and savings in resources (time and money). But, there is also a more emotional side, where the journey becomes longer lasting and creates a relationship of mutual trust.
*translated by Tara Ali-Khan
Do you want to create innovation projects with the appropriate methodology for your company?
We are a hybrid strategy and design consultancy that transforms businesses for now.
From Hong Kong to São Paulo, New York to Copenhagen, we map new business opportunities and create relevant experiences for people through systemic design. We believe that effective creative solutions are only possible when orchestrated as a whole, not as isolated parts.
That’s why we combine design and technology with a deep understanding of human behavior and brand strategy to build complex experience ecosystems that range from strategy to execution of entire systems, with services and products, physical and digital.
You can get to know our approach to innovation through design in depth and also get in touch with us to advance your project.