Overview of the project:
- Agile customer co-creation: innovative product development at a hidden champion
- Proven and new creativity techniques combined with design thinking
- Co-creation workshop provides impetus for the largest research investment in the company’s history
- Multi-stage agile process set up for product development
- Pre-series product also created as a virtual reality model
- Innovative process ultimately leads to the largest order in the company’s history
PROVEN AND NEW CREATIVITY TECHNIQUES COMBINED WITH DESIGN THINKING FOR CO-CREATION
The aim of the agile customer co-creation process was to optimise the planning of a pharmaceutical company, to simplify the daily work of the employees and to fully align the products with the needs of the users. To achieve this, customer co-creation covered every stage – from idea generation, through the development of several prototypes, to final implementation.
To achieve this, Ralf H. KOMOR combined proven and innovative creativity techniques such as brainstorming, world café, questionnaires and more with the core of ‘design thinking’. In an open and creative “kindergarten atmosphere”, the participants worked through defined tasks according to certain rules – and thus developed new approaches and solutions away from everyday life.
CO-CREATION WORKSHOP PROVIDES IMPETUS FOR THE BEST PRODUCT IN THE INDUSTRY
For example, 20 users collected over 500 impulses in one workshop, which Ralf H. KOMOR then clustered and prioritised. In the end, the client not only had a better understanding of the needs of its own employees, but also many valuable, previously unspoken, clues about how to optimise the company’s structure and processes.
As a result, the company was able to develop a new, bespoke product solution for one of the world’s largest investment projects in the industry. The idea was refined through a prototyping process and realised through agile development with a multi-disciplinary team of specialists – including experts and user representatives.
MULTI-STAGE AGILE PROCESS SET UP FOR PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
After a thorough evaluation of two intensive design thinking workshops, Komor defined the minimum viable product (MVP). This was followed by two rounds of optimisation with user representatives. Only then were design drawings produced for the first physical prototype. This was not cardboard engineering or a wireframe, but a physical product at a scale of 1:1. This first real prototype was then tested in a ‘prototype workshop’ at the customer’s premises with a specialist group from the potential customer, simulating workflows and leading to immediate product optimisation.
PRE-SERIES PRODUCT CREATED ALSO AS A HIGH-END VIRTUAL REALITY MODEL
Based on further specialist workshops on the integration of other technologies (electrical engineering, plumbing, IT, sensors) and representatives from occupational medicine (ergonomics), a first real prototype was manufactured according to the later configuration using original materials.
Based on the design drawing of this pre-series product, a virtual reality model was created for visualisation purposes. Both (pre-series prototype and VR prototype) were presented to the client’s decision makers in a final joint workshop. This vivid form of product visualisation by kreatiVRaum was well received by the client: even the CEO of the pharmaceutical giant was actively involved.
AN INNOVATIVE PROCESS ULTIMATELY LEADS TO THE LARGEST ORDER IN THE COMPANY’S HISTORY.
One of the benefits of agile customer co-creation is that participants feel valued. They shift their perspective from product consumption to experience – and take on a motivated, creative leadership role. As a result, the year-long product development process was worthwhile, as many employees worked on this customer-specific solution – and are passionate about the product. In the end, this led to the largest order in the industry worldwide.
This project report was written in cooperation with Deutsche Interim AG.
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