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Digital Transformation Playbook – Innovate by Rapid Experimentation

The need for innovation has sped up considerably. So it’s only predictable that speeding up the innovation process is the best path forward. If we want to innovate quickly, we need to apply the idea rapid innovation broadly, even beyond lean and design thinking.

This is possible because digital technologies are having a real impact on innovation methods, and rates of output. Intuition and even traditional research methods are being challenged because they take months. Results are outdated before we can learn from them and sometimes even become dangerous to follow or believe in. We can’t rely on old data as a basis for justifying massive investments.

Digital transforms innovation

In the past, we took safer routes to market by sticking to well-known problems, developed along generic timelines. The result? We changed our products and services just incrementally. The enemy of digital transformation is incremental change. In a constantly-evolving digital world, innovation needs to be constant and rapid.

Digital transformation requires innovation to be:

  • Highly iterative
  • Full of experimentation and testing
  • Adjusting to a minimum viable product approach
  • Testing assumptions constantly.

Digital transformation also requires us to shake off complacency. Since members are increasingly connecting and interacting in new ways, we need to find new ways to join that conversation, and even help to shape it. The digital revolution is changing how members discover, evaluate, explore, use products and services, and then how they share, engage and connect to your credit union. The new member decision journey is highly dynamic and reliant on the “network effect.” The job for credit unions is to translate this new journey into agile and nimble ways to fulfill member needs.

Redesigning the innovation process

  • “Testing to learn” is the new innovation mantra and the most effective innovation process: dynamic, fluid and rapid experimenting makes change a constant learning process
  • We push constant evolution because of the increasing speed at which technology changes. Credit unions can constantly improve on their value proposition by living an agile culture.
  • We need to seize emerging opportunities more quickly. At the same time, we tough choices when it comes to divesting resources so they’re free to fund emerging opportunities.
  • We need to reduce innovation process cycle time for faster deployment.
  • Finally, we need to invest more in data-driven front ends to build a more sophisticated process of discovery, a re-looping process of divergent experiments and convergent testing and validations.

Rapid innovation replaces the fixed product release date mentality. Our digital world requires us to adapt constantly to emerging trends and real-time market feedback. Testing new assumptions to improve our product and service propositions, should be a continuous process, befitting the transformational times we are going through.