With Enel Idea Factory, we want to broaden the use of technologies and methodologies that help Enel’s people to think divergently, thereby offering them support in the analysis, selection and implementation of the best solutions to their problems or challenges, while transforming work spaces into innovation labs.
There are several methodologies with which we can support them, placing emphasis on the following:
a) Creative Problem Solving, changing paradigms
The aim of Creative Problem Solving, or CPS, is to create value by helping people find original solutions to the challenges they are facing. This methodology is based on our natural way of thinking, which results in a cyclical process composed of four phases:
- Clarify: When we face an obstacle, the first thing we do is try to clarify the problem and envision the desired outcome. Then, we gather all the information we have on the problem and the factors that could help us along the way.
- Design: We start to think of ways to solve our problem. We come up with different ideas that might work, and we think of all the different ways in which we could confront our problem.
- Develop: We try to select the ideas that seem best out of a group of ideas. These are the ideas that can give us the best outcome with the least amount of effort. We think of the tools we have and the ones we need to put the idea into action.
- Implement: After having selected one or more ideas, we implement them while defining a plan of action and setting a deadline.
During the problem-solving process, and within this context of divergent thinking, CPS helps us to:
- Transform problems into challenges
- Find creative ideas for solving them
- Identify the necessary actions to implement them
b) Design Thinking, understanding and co-creating with users
The Design Thinking methodology is a human-centric work mode, meaning it places the Customer at the center of everything. It uses various tools taken from the design to co-create the product or service desired by Customers with the customers themselves, thereby changing their habits and improving their experience.
The phases of Design Thinking are:
- Empathize, observing the Customer and putting ourselves in his/her shoes.
- Define, formulating the problem and the desired outcome.
- Design, finding various possible solutions.
- Create a prototype, giving the solutions a possible shape.
- Test, experimenting the prototypes with the Customer, improving them and repeating the process until attaining the desired outcome.
c) Lean Startup, the value of experimentation: fail fast, fail cheap!
Lean Startup is a methodology that we use at Idea Hub to develop businesses and products. The goal is to shorten product development cycles through a combination of hypothesis-driven experimentation to measure progress, iterative product launches to garner valuable customer feedback, and validated learning to gauge how much has been learned. The concept was developed by Eric Ries in his book The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses, and is based on the core hypothesis that when startup companies invest their time into iteratively building products or services to meet the needs of early customers, they can reduce market risks and sidestep the need for large amounts of initial project funding and expensive product launches.