Innovation is scary for many organizations because it is not something many are in the habit of doing. Create a practice or a habit of innovation and it becomes much much easier. Here are the 11 key steps in the process.
11 steps for creating a new product pipeline
1. Segment your membership by similarities, ideally behavioral similarities.
2. Focus on the most underservered or highest potential segment.
3. Learn about that member segment’s biggest challenges, fears, goals and problems.
4. Brainstorm solutions for the key problems you learned about.
5. Rate solutions by resources needed (time, money, expertise and manpower) to launch and impact to the membership (weight of the need, how effective this will be solving the problem, quantity of member who will buy/participate, what they will contribute in dollars, time or attention).
6. Rank solutions where the largest impact and least resources needed are moved to the top of the list.
7. Develop a project plan for each key solution – when do we start? When do we launch? Who is assigned to the project? What will success look like?
8. Appoint a project leader, talk to them about the project plan and allow them to kick off the project.
10. Redo steps 5-6 as new items are added to the list.
11. Create a resource plan that outlines when each new project will kick off and ultimately launch to members. Space projects at a somewhat aggressive but also comfortable pace for staff and members.
I have developed an Association Innovation Guide that details each of these steps in far more detail and includes project templates. If you’d like to check it out as a guide for getting your innovation practice started contact me for a copy.
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