Innovate in 4D

Designing successful innovations requires a disciplined process driven by tangible market and user insights.

Innovation is, above all, a team sport.

Ampersand can provide a half day overview of the four stages of the innovation design process, the real method and skills required to turn “design thinking” into designed results.

4D OVERVIEW begins with a classic case study, from Ford’s origin story to the rejuvenation of the anchor product, the Ford 150 Truck.

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You can explore each of the four phases in detail under Ampersand Services. They job is to:

  1. DEFINE exact requirements to achieve your business objectives.
  2. DISCOVER latent unmet needs.
  3. DESIGN a portfolio of concepts, each  targeted to achieve your revenue goals.
  4. DEPLOY your innovations in test markets to propel your profitable growth.

Come ready to get your hands dirty.

Participants can choose to prepare a real project to work on in this orientation, or work from a case example. Teams will practice the key skills in each phase, a trial run in a half day for a real world experience that typically requires weeks or months.

On completion they will have a working understanding and a tale to tell for the roles played, methods used, and outputs produced at each stage of the 4D process.

Or work through a staged program over the course of a project.

The most common approach allows intact project teams to work with Ampersand experts as practical coaches, marching through the hard work of pinning down executive sponsors to DEFINE the clear business goals for a project and testing real risk tolerances. It’s easy to ask for cold fusion until you quantify cost, risk and probable return. This informs a project briefing to kick off the program. If the project is underway, Ampersand works with you to reverse engineer the answers to these key questions. We will also produce project plan with assignments and deadline dates, and conclude with individual commitments to deliver on the plan.

The DISCOVER phase requires at least two working sessions, first to define the research plan, and second to synthesize the findings. There may be coaching along the way, in person or virtually, to help novice teams conduct field research or contextual analysis.

DESIGN phase brings the program sponsor into a working session to co-develop initial contexts. This draws decision makers into the sausage factory just enough to win buy-in and the participation required to appreciate the selection criteria to narrow the roster of intial concepts down to a priority roster. The following weeks are dedicated to prototyping the selected concepts for final review at the end of this phase, complete with business plan on the proven investment model of an effective VC pitch.

The last phase prepares to DEPLOY the approved offering. This moves increasingly into most company’s comfort zone, involves deployment planning: where to test, how to ring fence risk, distribution models, user testing, and indicator tracking with partners.

The duration and depth of this exercise depends on the pace and sophistication of both the team and the challenge. Ampersand will work with your program sponsors to design a program that gives your team near term results, and long term skills, appreciation and culture shift.

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