The Strategist

Six Sure-Fire Ways to Make Your Project Successful

09/23/2015 - 15:11

People often repeat same mistakes when developing a new idea. Here are six main ways to make your project a success.
1. Let well enough alone

Think back of a moment in your personal life when you tried behave unusual. Was it easy? There are the same problems in the area of innovation. We are deep in the habits, we walk down a trodden path, act according to established pattern. For years, we read same magazines, we ride same cars, use same insurance. The only thing that can make us change - the emergence of a new, user-friendly and attractive offer that meets our needs. Therefore, if your company is doing well, it is unlikely that employees will want to change something. We already know that inventions are generated by poverty. Do not try to convince others that innovation is needed if there is no real business needs - you will be not heard.

2. Do not assign one responsible for all

If the company has got a new project, there must be someone to be responsible for this. Most often, the task is assigned to most promising employee. It would seem a good idea, but upon closer inspection, it turns out that the up-and-comer is a typical lone wolf. Invention and innovation are completely different things. One may invent alone as much as they like, yet implementation requires engineers, production managers, IT specialists, accountants, auditors, marketing, technical personnel and sellers - to develop, produce and bring the product or service to market. When you appoint someone a chief, there is a risk that others may not bother themselves to take their share of responsibility, but relax instead and will be glad, when they will be presented the results on a silver platter.

3. Don’t fall in love with your idea

It is important not only to generate ideas, but also to select correct ones. A common symbol of a new concept - a bright light bulb. You have a sudden inspiration and immediately fall in love with the idea. It's a great feeling. But love, unfortunately, is blind. A psychological phenomenon, known as selective perception, says that people see only the positive aspects of ideas and hear only those who support it. What happens when you pose your concept to someone? Often the first responses begin with the words: "Yes, but ...". People of your team will criticize your ideas as soon as they hear it. This is your idea, not theirs, and they see it differently.

4. Don’t stake all the hopes on the one idea

About four of seven new product concepts survive into production, and only one of them will gain success. It looks like the result of Magellan's expedition, isn’t it? September 20, 1519, five ships - "Trinidad", "San Antonio", "Concepcion", "Victoria" and "Santiago" - left the coast of Spain. Three years later, only one ship, "Victoria", returned to the home port, having completed the first ever circumnavigation. Spices, which "Victoria" carried, were so valuable that the cost covered all expenses of the expedition; there even was some kind of a revenue. Never put everything on one ship - there is a strong possibility that it will not return.

5. Don’t start with brainstorming

When there is a need for a new idea, people usually start with brainstorming. Unfortunately, it often does not bring great results. Therefore, employees of many companies perceive the phrase ‘let’s go brainstorm’ rather negatively. The problem is that the same group of employees, meeting without any preparation, conducts the brainstorming.

One might think that the problem lies in their inability to generate new ideas.
Wrong. The problem is in their inability to let go of the old ones. American businessman Dee Hock said: "The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Every mind is a room packed with archaic furniture. You must get the old furniture of what you know, think, and believe out before anything new can get in. Make an empty space in any corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it."
6. Have respect to consumer needs

Setting up a project filled with new ideas or technology, we feel energy and inspiration. Plus, it's very entertaining. The effectiveness of innovation is confirmed when new ideas are transformed into simple solutions to consumers. Meetings with potential clients in order to identify barriers in the user script - one of the most effective techniques used in the development of a new product idea. This is confirmed by Scott Edgett and Robert Cooper in their study techniques for generating ideas. Do not run after the fact what customers want: they are not always able to articulate their needs. First, examine their potential problems. You will quickly realize: if you innovate, neglecting the needs of consumers, the process will come to a standstill.

based upon The Innovation Expedition: A Visual Toolkit to Start Innovation by Gijs van Wulfen

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