In the modern fast-pace business world innovation is no more an option, it’s necessary for companies to quickly respond to the changing market needs and develop new and improved business models. Agile Innovation method is one way to accelerate the innovation process while reducing the lead time.
The word agile means to move quickly and easily. In the business world, agile innovation refers to a method that is marked with a continuous process of mapping the design elements with engineering and other information technology activities.
What makes this method unique is a continues loop of feedback mechanism and iterative improvements. The aim is simple, respond to the market quickly and introduce new products that satisfy the needs. The advantages of Agile method include developing a customer centric product, increasing the speed to market, improving the overall productivity and ultimately growing the company’s profits.
Though the concept of using agile methodologies has been around for several years but the current pandemic and technology advancements have pushed the companies to pivot and embrace innovative ways to respond to the changing market needs.
As the Work from Home phenomenon continues, the companies now have the liberty to recruit team members from different parts of the world. One of the challenges it might bring is the lack of coordination. Agile team typically operate in a close proximity in order to share feedback and communicate continuously. In a virtual setting the teams would need different tools to bridge the communication gap and try to create the same feel as they get in the in-facility settings.
The health and manufacturing sectors have been impacted the most by the current pandemic. This sudden shift has forced companies to rethink their product development processes. For example, when COVID-19 hit the shortage of life-saving ventilators allowed startups to innovate and design ventilators that were less expensive and could be manufactured at scale much quicker than the conventional ones.
This trend will continue, either by hook or by crook, companies will employ agile methodologies to develop superior quality products faster and cheaper.
One of the biggest challenge companies face is to find the right balance between customer research and the actual product development process. Integrating the concepts of both design thinking and agile methodology can solve this problem.
Businesses will follow this concept of marrying agile with design thinking to firstly understand their customer needs and expectations and then using the insights to develop products that the customers love and admire
The rise of AI and ML will greatly impact the overall product development process. We’ll see these technologies being used across various engineering and testing stages, this will allow developers to focus less on coding and move towards configuring algorithms based on real world data.
Resultantly, combining artificial intelligence and machine learning systems with agile innovation methods will have a significant impact on how we build, test and deploy products in various industries.
Rather than exploring agile innovation techniques at engineering or product development level businesses will get more prone to applying agile practices across the entire organization.
Here is where scaling agile frameworks come into play. Some of the leading frameworks include Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Scrum@Scale and Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD). These frameworks allow all the departments to use agile practices and continuously develop high quality products and services at a rapid pace.
The increasing demand by businesses to become more agile will open up opportunities for organizations offering agile coaching and consultation services. The companies with experience in agile transformation will help others to simplify their development processes and operations. In addition, this will also open provide more opportunities for companies developing agile innovation tools such as Scrum, Kanban and Xtreme programming allowing them to further enhance their market share.
The continuous progress in technology coupled with the current health crisis has made companies to reevaluate their business operations and move towards a leaner and agile approach. The more distant agile teams and introduction of design thinking and artificial intelligence within the product development process will certainly redefine how companies anticipate the changing customer demand and develop products in an efficient and cost - effective manner.
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