One of the primary concerns of many software services companies is to figure out how could they increase business with their existing customers year-on-year (YOY). And, one of the sure shot methods to achieve that objective is to provide innovative solutions which directly impacts their customers’ business in a positive manner and leads to increase in their business. This could, in turn, lead to enhancement of engagement & relationship between customer and the software service provider, thus, leading to growth of software service providers’ business.
As mentioned above, the definitive way for software service provider to grow their business is to come up with innovative solutions which impacts the customers’ business in a positive manner. And, you may agree that it is easier said than done and not at all possible without developers contributing enough to the innovative solutions.
So, how could developers innovate? OR, what could developers do to come up with new ideas that would make their customers happy? After all, creativity is not everyone’s cup of tea. There has to be some form of “managed creativity” or “managed innovation” which can be simply defined as innovation that could be propagated based on well defined set of rules that, if followed by developers could help them innovate from time-to-time.
How to Foster “Managed Innovation” with Developers thereby helping them increase their innovation quotient (IQ)?
Before I go on to speak some of the methodologies to adopt to enable “managed innovation” within developers, lets try and understand how do we define the term managed innovation?
Managed Innovation can be defined as innovation that can be managed with a set of ground rules for developers to follow in order to innovate. It can be achieved by developers by having them paired with following:
- A thorough business analysts who could help developers understand the business process thoroughly.
- A sharp technical specialist/architect who could help developers understand and implement underlying technologies to develop applications that could lead to optimized business process.
When paired with a great business analyst and a technical specialist/architect, developers could innovate in following ways:
- Business Process Optimization With Business Activity/Step Innovation: Developers could suggest one or more steps/activities in business processes which could end up optimizing the overall business process. These business processes are the ones whose applications the developers work. This is slightly tougher as developers are not directly related with understanding of business process which is key job responsibility of a business analyst. It, however, could be achieved with help from business analyst working on the project. For this to happen, developers need to work very closely with the business analysts. one of the easier way is that the developers could regularly read about competition in order to understand how similar business processes are implemented by competitors and suggest the similar steps/activities for business process optimization.
- Business Process Optimization With Technology-Enabled Solutions: Developers could suggest one or more technologies-enabled solution that could help optimize the existing business processes in form of some of the following:
- Greater automation leading to reduced time and resources for execution of business processes
- Higher throughput (high efficiency) leading to fast loading of pages thus, enabling the business users complete their task with great satisfaction in faster time.
- Reduced time for batch jobs completion leading to faster end result such as notification etc, directly impacting business stakeholders
Thus, the minimum that the developers need to do to innovate are following:
- Regularly keep them updated with business process related news
- Keep themselves up-to-date with latest technologies that could help them to innovate with technology enabled solution
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[…] Habit 1: Always have an eye on the problem to be solved: Many a times, I have come across several developers who were unable to articulate the problem (business requirement) whose solution they are working on. The best answer also consisted of technical solution rather than mention of just the problem statement. This is what differentiates an effective developer from the rest of the lot. This person always tries and focuses on the business requirements and aligns his solution per the need. In addition to that, he tries and innovates by suggesting one or more technology-enabled solutions that could optimize overall business process which is associated with the business requirement. Read tips on how developers could increase the IQ (Innovation Quotient). […]