Growing volatility of financial and commodity markets, uncertainty in the acceptance of key technologies, obstacles to standardization, political decisions taken at short notice with enormous consequences - how should a company develop a sustainably successful innovation strategy under such conditions?
In addition, long-term and one-off effects overlap and result in ever greater fluctuations in ever shorter periods of time - while at the same time the complexity of the economic impact chains increases.
In order to set the right course for the future despite these challenges, future-oriented innovation management must succeed in maintaining an overview and ensuring that all decision-makers at the decision-making and action levels are working from a consistent and equally understandable information basis.
Creating structures with scenario-based concept development
To accomplish this task, planners and decision-makers need tools that enable them to understand complex dependencies communicate them effectively and transparently with one another while basing decisions on a solid foundation.
At this point, we support our customers and partners with the "UXMA Product Story", a particularly efficient and clear approach to scenario-based concept development. The method, which has proven its worth many times over, is specifically geared to the dynamic requirements landscape of the future and constantly being further developed.
The Product Story uses the content description dimensions of the PESTLE analysis to characterize specific product environments. The performance of a product or business model is then mapped and analyzed within these environments.
In this way, valuable, descriptive foundations for strategic idea generation, communication and selection are created. Product Stories can be used in a variety of ways: for the conception of digital and physical product systems as well as for the planning of entire product portfolios or for the design of new service and business models.
Status quo recordings
and future scenarios to be experienced
Ideally, Product Stories should be used in a two-stage process:
Stage one: Status quo recording
If existing products or business models already exist, they are subjected to a status quo analysis. The focus is initially on problem areas: by mapping the current supply environment and product usage or business model characteristics, current problems and requirements for the future supply become clear. We use personas, representative descriptions of user groups, which come into contact with the described offer and influence the purchase decision. We collect the necessary framework information through targeted stakeholder surveys on the customer side, observation or interviews with end users, input from our in-house technology experts and current statistical data.
Stage two: future scenarios
After evaluating the status quo scenarios, anticipated future scenarios are created that mark the start of the concept phase. Within these scenarios, possible changed environmental influences for the future offer are mapped and filled with specially tailored product or business model concepts. The focus here is on the solution areas. In keeping with the preceding process step, questions are answered such as: Who are our customers? How, where and when is the offer used? How is it distributed? How are revenues generated? How is the service performed and by whom? What happens at the end of the life cycle? What are the potentials and challenges? Which important framework conditions must the respective scenario fulfil?
Since it is often difficult to predict which mega- or microtrends will have which specific influence on the future scenario, it is advisable in many projects to develop concepts based on multiple future scenarios. We determine the variance criteria and possible characteristics for this diversification – specific to the project and always in close coordination with our customers.
Since we have been using and constantly refining the method of scenario-based concept development on the basis of meaningful visualizations for years, the multi-scenario approach can also be successfully applied to limited project budgets. The result is that relationships between cause and effect become apparent even in early project phases as well as the enormous advantage of reducing project risks and identifying opportunities at an early stage.