Lean innovation

Can it contribute to Project management?

Is Lean Innovation another hype or does it contribute to Project and Program management methodology?

This was the theme of yesterday’s evening Workshop at the MareVisie office in The Hague. A combination of experienced Lean Innovation coaches, the MareVisie team and professionals from the network exchanged knowledge and experience on this subject.

Lean innovation

Today’s technology leaps outpace the rate of change adoption in many areas, especially that of organizational change. Existing workforce often has difficulty in adopting and using new technological opportunities. Those opportunities are however vital to innovate, which is a necessity for every company. Lean Innovation helps organization to realize the opportunities through a lean and agile process that shortens the product development lifecycles and delivers better decision making.

A key element in the Lean Innovation approach is early validation through experiments or hypothesis testing. This collects input from potential customers and creates focus on the functions the clients value most. This validation can be done for example through A/B testing with websites, physical mock-ups or demo models for specific targets groups. This results in less innovation projects in the innovation pipeline but more budget, better resources, management attention and higher quality of the innovations which passed the early experimental validation.

From a distance this process seems to be very creative and without much restrictions or boundaries. However the opposite is the case. Clean cut directing of involved specialist teams, focus on just enough and fit for purpose product development is key. To deliver a minimal viable product (MVP) and to get the first results out of the solution and quick feedback from the market are the drivers of efficient Lean Innovation processes.

The Lean Innovation approach is very useful and several aspects of this methodology are similar to how MareVisie operates in projects. We use, for example, the team members strengths to build strong teams in order to gain the best possible results with the available capacity. Within Lean Innovation, the team plays an important role as well. Early experimenting with future results is something we could use to plan projects and to test the outcome with the future user groups.

MareVisie definitely wants to get into more detail of the possible spin-off from this method to project and program management. It works the other way around as well. How can we contribute to a better Innovation. The follow up is already agreed upon to explore, together with the specialists Peter Westerhuis and Henk Jan Witteveen, the potential. If you are interested in Lean Innovation or if you like to contribute, don’t hesitate to contact Peter Westerhuijs or Ralph van Houdt via LinkedIn.