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Isaac Sacolick (@NYIke) is StarCIO’s President and guides business leaders on succeeding with data and technology while executing smarter, faster, safer, and more innovative transformation programs. He authored the Amazon bestseller, Driving Digital: The Leader’s Guide to Biz Transformation Through Technology, has over 700 articles published, and keynotes on digital transformation topics.

President • CIO • Digital Transformation • Founder • Author

Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick


How does innovation blend with agile product development?

Let’s simplify the industry jargon on ideation, innovation, product management, product development, design thinking, minimal viable products, and agile product development. Most organizations look to conceive new ideas from a broad range of people across the enterprise. They want to select the best concepts, invest in them, bring them to market, and continue innovating to grow revenue and improve customer experiences.
The typical challenges are about defining a process for selecting the best ideas, establishing how minimally viable products get defined, leveraging customer feedback to improve the offering, and choosing which KPIs help guide the innovation process. My recipe for addressing these challenges starts in the center of where ideas turn to plans and realities. Agile product development is the central planning and de-livery process. Sustainable innovation, ideation, and product management practices depend on a collaborative, flexible, and consistent agile planning and delivery process.
Agile product development processes provide a framework for sustainable innovation. Central to the process is enabling multi-disciplinary teams to plan and deliver product improvements to customers in incremental releases and reviewable enhancements in sprints. There are three aspects of the process that are central to successful product development:
- A product owner who defines customers, personas, and value propositions and is responsible for prioritizing a backlog of capabilities and improvements.
- Teams that understand customer values, align on business goals, define acceptance criteria, recommend solutions, and commit to completing plans and implementations every sprint.
- A feedback process that shares customers’ voices, customer satisfaction scores, usage metrics, operational factors, and financial impacts to the product owners and teams so they can reconsider priorities and plans.
Inside and surrounding the agile product development process are innovation processes for understanding market needs, customer values, user experience considerations, regulations, business model factors, and competitive dynamics. These practices fit neatly into agile methodologies: [ ... ]


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