Fast-cycle experiments let companies create the best product/service offering with the least risk.
At the World Innovation Forum, Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit, described his company’s culture of high-velocity experimentation. Intuit uses an experiment-driven decision-making process throughout the organization. Rather than expect executives and managers to know all the answers, Intuit uses large numbers of low-cost experiments to test new product, service, and marketing ideas.
To illustrate how high-velocity experimentation works in organizations, Cook described how the concept works in Intuit’s 20-person online TurboTax unit. In the past, this unit ran about 7 experiments during the annual three-month tax filing season. Now they run 140 experiments. Not only do they run more experiments, but they run each experiment on a fast cycle so that they can accumulate results and grow more knowledge during each season. Intuit created a weekly cycle for developing, testing, and analyzing experiments that lets each experiment create new information that feeds into the next set of experiments the next week.
Fast experimentation also improves employees’ sense of engagement and ownership. In the past when the 20-person team did only seven experiments per year, the average team member might only have one of “their” experiments run once every three years. But with new high-velocity approach, each employee creates and tests a new idea once every two weeks.
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By Andrea Meyer
Andrea Meyer is one of the contributing authors to the Amazon best-selling business book, A Guide to Open Innovation and Crowd Sourcing: Advice from Leading Experts, editedby Paul Sloane, with a foreword by Henry Chesbrough (Kogan Page, 2011). Cathryn Hrudicka, Founder, CEO and Chief Imagination Officer of Creative Sage™, is also one of the contributing authors. You can order it here: http://amzn.to/OI_CS
Cathryn Hrudicka co-wrote the chapter, “Building the Culture for Open Innovation and Crowd Sourcing,” with Gwen Ishmael and Boris Pluskowski — more information about all of the co-authors and the contents of this book is available at: http://bit.ly/OI_CS_Google
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