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Accelerating internal innovation by linking IT more closely with the business

For
NN Investment Partners

Situation

After NN IP and Innovation Booster jointly introduced the innovative way of working to the Innovation Platform, it became essential to put the new methodology into practice. One of NN IP’s most important initiatives was the re-development of an internal research tool for investment departments. The Innovation Platform was challenged by a large gap between the innovation team and the investment teams, and by demoralization on all teams due to the slow development process. Nor was it clear how to undo and reorganize the first version. The solution we came up with was to add an Innovation Driver to the team, someone to play the part of Scrum Master, Product Owner and Business Analyst combined. During the innovation process, an Innovation Driver helps to point teams in the right direction, to focus them and to give them the correct insights.

Solution

We started by exploring the problem first and analyzing it thoroughly – the first stage of the innovation process. We conducted interviews and presented a demo of our findings, after which the future group of users did the prioritizing. This generated a big buy-in for the project. We also made use of this moment to ask the users for commitment and time to invest in the project. These users formed our so-called Senior User group. Each week, during work sessions, the users and the development team actively worked together for two hours and further developed and fine-tuned the application. By examining and discussing conflicting desires together, we were able to directly come up with the best possible solutions so that each user’s wants and needs were met. It turned out to be a new way of gaining insight into the world of their users and taught the development team an innovative way of working with the business.

Results

  • A realized application accomplished through a self-service philosophy
  • Someone trained in-house to be an Innovation Driver
  • Renewed enthusiasm and commitment to the project
  • Increased awareness of the need for internal flexibility

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