Uber, the application for hiring vehicles with a driver, was born in San Francisco in 2008 to satisfy a need. In this city on the west coast of the United States, says Alejandro Tortosa, a specialist in digital strategy and innovation at the consulting firm RocaSalvatella, requesting a taxi was complicated. “The offer there is very scarce, you have to be on the street waiting for them to pass or call them well in advance,” he details. So the creators of Uber provided a solution by creating an alternative system of vehicles hired at the moment through a platform that assigns the user the closest available driver. “They responded to this need with a value proposition. Why did it grow so quickly? Because it was exactly what the users needed ”, adds this expert.
To be able to innovate and coming up with a business idea like this is essential empathize and meet the customer to solve a problem. This way of operating that places the user at the center, a strategy known as customer centric, is one of the main characteristics of the design thinking, which translates into Spanish as design thinking. This dynamic work methodology allows, through testing environments and experimentation, to obtain more effective solutions before designing and developing a product.
Luis Vives, professor in the Department of General Management and Strategy at Esade Business School, explains why something as apparently obvious as adapting to the needs of the client has not always been taken into account. “The traditional way of acting was to improve the technical characteristics of the product instead of focusing on offering a solution to the user.” Vives gives an example from the automobile industry: “What difference does it make if a new car reaches 300 kilometers per hour if there is a limitation of 120 kilometers per hour”.
Innovation channeled through design thinking consists of designing a car that brakes automatically if a pedestrian crosses the street. “The best product or service is not imposed, but the one that best suits the customer’s needs, the one that finds a balance between value and price. Value, not quality, ”says Vives.
Tortosa, who will lead the webinar Innovation in the company. Agile methodologies and design thinking organized through HUB Empresa de Banco Sabadell, agrees that on many occasions the client has not been taken into account. “Until the popularization of the internet, advertising had a lot to do with purchasing decisions.” Before the expansion of digital channels, there were fewer alternatives and customers “ended up acquiring the product of the brand that had invested the most in marketing or the one I had heard the most about ”, he adds. The design thinking It analyzes the who (the user), the what (their value proposition) and the how (the way to deliver it).
Join the webinar Innovation in the company. Agile methodologies and design thinking with Alejandro Tortosa, specialist in digital strategy and innovation at RocaSalvatella, organized through HUB Empresa de Banco Sabadell. When: July 6 at 1:00 p.m.
The innovation that arises from a process of design thinking it doesn’t have to be a new product launch. “It may be to optimize the way of charging. The video game they will surely become a subscription model as has already happened with audiovisual content platforms ”, says Vives, who has taught in the Design thinking for business innovation program at Esade and Aalto University, in Finland.
Tortosa also highlights that when applying the methodology of design thinking the needs of users are taken into account, what they value and at what moments of their day-to-day use of a product or service. In this way, companies ensure that the value proposition really does have a place in the market. For its part, Vives insists on the importance of designing relevant products for the user.
For Tortosa, another of the services that has used the application of the design thinking to offer solutions is the digital banking. “Banks thought about their clients’ day-to-day life to decide what type of services to offer them on their online channels.” In addition, this expert raises the first question asked by a working group in this sector to answer a problem: “How do we get our clients to make greater use of internet banking?”
To address this issue, it is essential to have a multidisciplinary team and work from the convergence and divergence methodology. RocaSalvatella’s specialist in digital strategy and innovation distinguishes these two concepts as follows: “To converge is to open the mind and generate lots of ideas, think like a child and dream; while diverging tries to select the highest quality proposals, thinking rationally and understanding the possible restrictions, in order to find the most appropriate solution ”.
Vives explains that a broader knowledge of the client is increasingly being sought through experts in different fields. “It gives way to a diversity of profiles that enrich the generation of ideas and make it easier to reach the most convenient result”.
The ‘agile’ method or how to streamline processes
Besides of design thinking the methodology must be taken into account agile that arises in the field of informatics for the development of projects that require speed and flexibility. Tortosa explains: “The development of a software takes time. Sometimes, when it was delivered, the client needed another approach or it had become obsolete, so it was necessary to adjust it again, which lengthened the process ”.
The methodology agile it does not attack the entire problem, but breaks it down into small blocks to act more quickly and flexibly. Large companies have already applied this system, such as Google, Amazon or Microsoft. The success of this methodology lies in choosing the best option at all times without compromising the project. Something that makes it also applicable in small and medium-sized companies (SMEs).
For Tortosa, in the case of small businesses, due to their size and structure, the methodology agile it is easier to apply and has several advantages: “The increase in quality can be considerable, and time and costs can be saved in the development of new products.” Vives highlights that there are already many organizations that have transformed the way they work. “An uncertain environment requires agile responses,” he concludes.