Whether the ideas are for a new way to structure your team, improvements to internal systems, breaking into a new market or new products for your existing market. When is the right time to push the button and commit the team, budget and resources?
There is no perfect answer as there are always external factors that are beyond the control of you and your team. You can integrate simple techniques and steps into your processes to take ideas from post-it notes to reality that will help your ideas succeed.
One of the things that changed Fearsome from being reactive to proactive was seeing the same situation repeat itself. Projects would start off with a big idea for the next big thing, everyone would be very excited and the process of spending time and money started apace.
Creating new designs is exciting, everyone enjoys the process, it's exhilarating to see new things develop and try out prototypes. But all too often after the money and sweat is spent the end result just doesn't hit the mark, the resulting product just isn’t right for the intended market.
These experiences have led us to develop steps that are embedded into the fearsome framework for product developments to help reduce the risk of developing the wrong thing. They might be of use to you to consider when evaluating your next big step
Waiting till the most beautiful and perfect solution is ready to share is tempting but testing earlier is critical. You have to test the idea first with a small group to understand the merits of the solution.
As you develop your understanding of what your idea or product needs to accomplish, this can completely change your focus. Performing early testing can also help identify if the problem is real or if the compass needs to be adjusted.
Is the problem real?
Often, it's easy to get carried away by the idea that the solution you've designed is the perfect solution for the problem you're experiencing. A real-world example of this was a company that wanted to lower the price of their product because their sales team said the cost prevented them from selling more units.
After observing their customers and asking different questions, the team realised that the current product did not align with how their customers wanted to work. The real problem was the usability and implementation of the product, not the cost.
This shifted the focus for the product development before any money was spent. Take a step back before committing to check that your understanding of the product is correct. Utilize people who are not emotionally invested in your ideas to interrogate your market and stakeholders. Since it's not their baby, it's easier for them to draw logical conclusions.
Scale of the market
It looks like people are on board with the ideas, but is there a market to pursue? There are ways to do basic back of the fag packet type calculations that could start to shine some light on the size of the opportunity.
We’ve helped customers do these types of exercises many times, I’ve made a short run down of the type of thing you can do super quick.