Innovation and speed while delivering New Products and Customer Experiences to the market have been high on the agenda of organizations embracing Digital in the market. COVID-19 has only catapulted this agenda to the top of the list. In today’s economic conditions, customers and markets are open to new ways of digital engagement and interactions, with adoption rates seeing a sharp spike since early this year. According to Mckinsey, in its article “Digital Adoption through COVID and beyond”, Digital adoption by consumers and businesses has moved ahead by five years in a matter of eight weeks of COVID onslaught. “Banks have transitioned to remote sales, grocery stores have shifted to online ordering and delivery as their primary business, schools in many locales have pivoted to 100 percent online learning and digital classrooms and doctors have begun delivering telemedicine, aided by more flexible regulation. Bank Rakyat Indonesia, has said that the bank’s mobile banking service has seen a 10% month-on-month increase in the volume of transactions in March 2020, and its digital lending service Pinang has seen its loan volume rise by 22% in the same period.
What this means is that now, more than ever, organizations need to rapidly innovate to engage and capture their customers and markets’ digital appetite. The key operating word here being “Rapid”, which means that organizations need to be equipped with the mechanism to run “Rapid Experiments” that would enable quick ideation – validation – pivot – the launch of new products and/or customer experiences.
What is Rapid Experimentation?
“Rapid Experiments”, as the name suggests is a mechanism that equips organizations –
Rapid experiments are tailor-made to suit the needs of the business. Being designed to be fast and iterative, this approach helps save months of a long design, engineering, and development costs. The validation & feedback from the end-users and/or customers; allows the business to co-create with its customer segment and pivot based on data. Thereby creating new products and experiences based on data that can then be measured during the actual rollout of the product
Pre-Requisites for a Successful Rapid Experimentation
Defining and setting up a Rapid Experiment is key to its success. There are some prerequisite needed to set this activity up for success –
Stages of Rapid Experimentation
Once all the required preparation is conducted, one can start the Rapid experiment which is a 5-step approach to identifying and co-creating the right product or experience for your customers or end-users. Please note that these steps are not always linear and based on feedback the cycle could go back to the previous step or move ahead –
Step 1: Understanding of Business & Customer Problems
Here the focus is on –
With this focus, leverage all the existing data that has been collected and drive a deeper understanding of what would work or not for these identified segments and what problem statement for them would be focused on. There are a few techniques that are used here, some of them being How Might We’s, Customer Personas, Empathy Mapping, Personality Sliders, etc. More activities can be conducted depending on the requirements of the problem at hand.
Step 2: Ideate
With an effective understanding of all aspects of the problem, the group moves to fine-tuning the POV (Point of View) and defining the hypothesis along with the success metrics to validate the hypothesis. The team then brainstorms the various business capabilities, experience, and data needed to effectively build the solution for the target persona.
Services are identified through co-creation (with customers/end users if possible), wireframes are drawn for the various ideas. It is important to note that the participants should not be constrained by the current reality, but design for what is desired. This is a key aspect, as many times in our experience, we have seen teams get constrained in their thinking, based on the current reality.
Through this step, we use techniques like Value proposition canvas, Crazy 8s, Mash-ups, etc.
Step 3: Prioritize
Once everyone has created their ideas and put it to paper, the groups dive into voting. Voting is done in order to collectively prioritize the ideas for testing. Therefore, everyone goes through the ideas presented, brainstorms on the pros and cons, keeping in mind what will solve the problem for the target persona in the most effective way. Post the presentation and prioritization, all participants vote for the most appropriate capabilities/solution and the ones with the highest votes are taken to the next step.
Step 4: Prototype Building
Once the capabilities are decided, it is essential to visualize the presentation of the capabilities/solution to gauge the customer experience, through a click-through prototype. Therefore, the design team first scripts the prototype needed and then builds the same using tools like InVision or Marvel for the said capabilities (no coding is required for the same) and copywriters start building content to make the prototype screens as real as possible. Meanwhile, the research team starts designing for the FGDs with the customers. This could be driven face to face as is traditionally done, or digital, given the current conditions. The key here is to structure feedback collection and what data will be collected from the customers or end-users about the experience of using the prototype and opinions about the capabilities/solutions being offered and its relevance to them.
Step 5: User Testing
This is the actual FGD where the prototype is presented to the set of users and we gather feedback based on their reactions, opinions, and interest across the various capabilities presented, including areas of improvement. This is the culmination of one round of Rapid Experiment.
The entire cycle could span anywhere from 2-4 weeks based on our experience, depending on the client’s situation.
Post the final step, all the insights are collected and the success of the experiment is determined. Based on the measures of success setup, the team could then either decide to tweak some of the capabilities and experiences and test it out again or go-ahead to the development stage, once the MVP has been identified, based on the customer or end-user feedback and the Business goals to be achieved.
Want to know our experience with rapid experiments? Do watch out this space for more info.