Innovation in businesses is a topic that aroused much discussion among leaders in recent years. It’s true that innovation is currently the key strategy to survive in the market, and is unacceptable to stay still, only watching the evolution of technologies, without any positioning in the 4.0 world.

According to a study by Imaginatik Consulting, which had the purpose of understanding the key obstacles in innovation processes, 95% of respondents said that innovation is a stance that should be among the top priorities of an organization’s executives. However, 44% said also that their companies invested less than 2% of their innovation budgets, while 63% didn’t have a formal structure to manage innovation projects (cio.com).

We know that executives won’t become aware of the importance of process innovation overnight. The key attention points, which can have a negative impact on the maturity of such idea, are bureaucratic processes, the low adoption rate of projects and the company’s digital maturity level.

Innovation vs. Uncertainty: Taking risks in a 4.0 world

Innovation is always associated with uncertainty. There is no way to foresee positive or negative results, which only makes their management more difficult, as well as their acceptance. For this reason, using agile methodologies can foster innovation. The traditional way of managing projects tends to limit the scope of work, thus causing problems during projects, with the additional risk of losing a lot of money.

With agile methodologies, on the other hand, professionals can be pliable enough to steer the boat and change a project route, before it goes downhill and causes damage to the company. Methodologies such as Scrum, Lean, Kanban and Smart enable aligning teams and the customer, along with quick troubleshooting, risk reduction, more assertive delivery, and increased project quality.

See below a brief summary of these four methodologies:

Scrum

To use this methodology, you must have a broad understanding of the team, with well-structured roles for each one of the stakeholders.

The manager creates a priority list, which is usually called ‘backlog’. The activities are then distributed to the Scrum Team, which starts the Sprints (development time windows).

Reviews, activity adjustments and validations are made at the end of each step.

Lean

Known as the leanest of all methods, it’s widely used in the universe of startups and entrepreneurship.

One of its principles is the efficient identification and elimination of waste within a project or organization.

The idea behind this methodology is to reduce costs and task complexity, along with delivery improvement, increased performance and better information sharing.

Kanban

It’s the most widely used and simplest of methods, and requires an engagement by the whole team to provide good results.

It’s basically composed by a physical or virtual chart, divided into three columns: ‘to do’, ‘doing’ and ‘done’. Therefore, you can track the ongoing tasks, as well as their progress in each column.

Smart

This methodology enables creating more real and tangible goals for your company. Each letter of this small word has a great meaning: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-related (SMART).

It’s worth mentioning that the methodologies that favor innovation aren’t limited to those shown here.

It’s up to you now. Tell us in the comments area if your company already uses some kind of agile methodology, and how you are handling innovation processes.

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