Digital Development

It is no longer “news” that the speed of time to market represents a great competitive advantage. What is more important is the answer to the big question: What do organizations need to do to accelerate the process of implementing innovation and achieve the fast integration of new technologies into their systems?

The first step is to recognize that each stage of an innovation project has different levels of risk. From the beginning, we embark on building something that is unknown. However, tools and methodologies like Design Thinking, Lean Startup, Minimum Viable Products (MVP's), and Agile Development are different methods that do a great job of decreasing risk and speeding up implementation times.

Combined in the right way, these methodologies provide an accessible set of tools for teams to manage uncertainty. They help to bridge the gap between what we think we know and what we really know; they allow evidence-based decision-making and create a learning space for improvement at each stage of the innovation process. In addition, as hypotheses are validated and information is obtained, they help the team to discover the obstacles as soon as possible.

The challenge for many organizations is understanding how to use these methodologies in the best way possible, and when to change them. After many experiences implementing innovation through Design Thinking, Lean Startup and Agile, we found the perfect combination and have created our own digital transformation framework, which we call Sherpath.

Not all organizations have the same needs

It is probable that most companies agree on the desire to increase their ability to deliver value to their customers in the shortest possible time. Many are looking to incorporate new technologies but face a dilemma since it is not always easy to determine the priority needs and decide which products to develop. To solve this dilemma, before starting a development, every organization should begin by understanding its priority needs; aligning objectives and identifying solution ideas that could be implemented.

From this perspective, the answer we find to help our clients make these decisions is to adopt a startup mentality. This approach helps in designing a system that reaches the development stage with a clear and agreed vision of what needs to be done—all within a few weeks.

Once the organization discovers the solution it wants to implement, a team works on developing the product using the Sherpath method to reduce risks and shorten time to market.

We start by exploring using Design Thinking

In this scenario, the user of the solution, their problems and their expectations become protagonists. The first step in the process is to place yourself in the user's shoes and obtain a clear vision of what they need. In this way, companies can narrow the gap between what they think their customer wants and what that customer is really looking for.

It is about a Lean mentality

The Sherpath Method combines the use of Lean Startup. More than a methodology, it is a mentality that aims to support the development of new businesses and products. Lean Startup promotes value creation through learning to build scalable and sustainable products, this learning can be scientifically validated by conducting experiments that allow us to test each element of our vision. Thus, we can measure how users respond to what we are creating from the beginning; we can learn and decide when to change or keep something. It is the way to align expectations across all the areas involved and understand if what is being created meets the intended purpose.

Developing with Agile

Agile development allows you to build and deliver technology solutions in an iterative way. That is, constructing little by little, testing and making changes to obtain a better product. When Agile is applied at the right point of the innovation process, it can reduce work times and allow the product to reach the market with a scalable solution.

This combination of methodologies also includes using UX design from the start of the project. Most technological solutions fail due to a lack of understanding of how users will interact with the tool. Working with a designer specialized in user experience, it is possible to exponentially increase the possibilities of creating ambassador users of the solution. Ambassadors are more likely to cascade information and recommend the product to their peers.

The Sherpath Method is our recipe for developing your proprietary targeted to startups or corporations. This recipe was tested and improved in every development we made for multiple industries. As Eric Ries has already said, "The only way to win is to learn faster than others."

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