“A list is only a list, but used wisely, it can be a map to innovation.” — Simon Sinek
Innovation is essential for growth and success in today’s rapidly changing world, but finding the right path to innovation can be a challenge.
As someone who has worked across different parts of Microsoft, I’ve observed that people often get stuck on problems because they narrow down their options too early or fail to work from a portfolio of ideas.
As Tony Robbins often says, it’s important to start with “funnel vision” rather than “tunnel vision.” In other words, we should cast a wide net, explore many different options, and narrow down our focus as we learn what works and work through challenges.
One effective way to do this is to create a list of experiments, which allows us to test many different ideas, gather data, and iterate quickly.
This approach can help us accelerate innovation, increase the velocity of our learning, and ultimately create more value for ourselves and our customers.
How Volume Can Improve Velocity and Value
A large list of possible experiments can help teams be more efficient, effective, and innovative in their problem-solving approaches.
Volume can improve velocity and value.
There’s a saying along the lines of your 10th pancake is better than your first (unless of course, you have “beginner’s luck”).
Large lists of possible experiments can improve the value and velocity of innovation by providing a wide range of potential ideas and solutions to problems.
These lists can spark creative thinking and inspire new approaches to addressing challenges.
Additionally, having a large list of possible experiments allows for a more structured and systematic approach to innovation, ensuring that all potential solutions are considered and evaluated.
By identifying a large number of experiments, teams can prioritize those with the most potential for impact and quickly move through the experimentation process to achieve results and insights at a faster pace.
Example List of One-Sentence Experiments
Here is a simple example of creating a list of experiments to explore possible ideas for smart vehicles.
Notice how the format is simply a list of experiments by categories or themes.
You would refine the ideas as you learn and ask better questions. If you want better results, ask better questions.
How might we use in-vehicle and other services to make the vehicle a crew member?
- Fuel usage analysis, route analysis, and maintenance service reminders (such as automatic maintenance reminders to schedule and block on the calendar) are available services.
- Vehicle telemetry can be utilized for insurance, training/coaching for drivers, improving vehicle efficiency, input for digital twin and design.
- Cameras or voice recognition can be used for situation recognition.
- Hyper local weather, traffic, construction, road conditions, re-routing, and battery charging options are available.
- Cameras or sensors can be used for authorized drivers.
- The vehicle can serve as a controller/edge compute and storage for data.
- The vehicle can be used as an endpoint to connect to other devices and networks.
- Battery charging for EV and power source for the site is available.
- Cameras, sensors, and geofencing can be utilized for the safety of goods and workers.
- The vehicle can be equipped with computer vision for inventory and tool management.
- Crew skills and certifications can be verified before assigning them to a job.
- Inventory can be offered as a service, with dynamic updates, ordering, and delivery.
- The vehicle can be integrated into the supply chain to track and notify on orders, movement, and delivery of goods.
- Weight and load capacity of vehicles can be monitored for efficient operation.
- Equipment placement for transport can be monitored to ensure secure transportation.
- Smart vehicles can be customized to meet industry-specific requirements such as refrigeration, hazardous chemicals, and fragile goods.
- An open logistics platform can be developed to connect different services and facilitate communication and data exchange.
How might we use connected logistics services to optimize movement of goods and inventory?
- Utilize computer vision for inventory and tool management.
- Verify crew skills and certifications for the specific job.
- Offer inventory as a service with dynamic updates, ordering, and delivery.
- Integrate into the supply chain to track and notify on orders, movement, and delivery of goods.
- Monitor the weight and load capacity of vehicles.
- Ensure secure placement of equipment during transport.
- Cater to industry-specific requirements such as refrigeration, hazardous chemicals, fragile goods, etc.
- Develop an open logistics platform.
Intelligent Quality, Performance and Design
How might we use data to accelerate innovation, improve operations and quality?
- Use vehicle telemetry and existing data to detect potential vehicle issues and recommend maintenance.
- Provide training and coaching for drivers based on collected vehicle telemetry.
- Improve innovation in vehicle production and reduce recalls by feeding vehicle telemetry into manufacturing to identify potential issues.
- Incorporate digital twin technology to further innovate on vehicles.
- Send vehicle telemetry to dedicated repair and servicing facilities.
- Integrate battery technology for commercial vehicle scale.
- Use data analytics to identify and resolve bottlenecks in the supply chain and improve operations.
- Employ machine learning algorithms to predict and prevent potential quality issues in products and processes.
- Use data to optimize inventory management and reduce waste in the production process.
- Employ real-time monitoring and analysis of equipment performance to identify opportunities for improvement and prevent downtime.
- Use data to optimize the use of energy and reduce costs in facilities and operations.
- Apply predictive maintenance to extend the lifespan of equipment and improve efficiency.
Vehicle as a Mobile Office
How might we use the vehicle as a mobile office?
- Enable voice commands/interactions for work-related tasks, such as completing work orders, generating invoices, etc.
- Integrate with software to reduce reliance on paper and sticky notes.
- Incorporate conference calling, whiteboarding, and equipment visualization technology.
- Utilize mixed reality technology, such as examining maintenance procedures on field equipment Mobile video conferencing and collaboration with remote teams and clients.
- Wi-Fi hotspot for internet access on the go.
- Integration with scheduling and productivity software to manage tasks and appointments while on the road.
- Voice-enabled virtual assistant for hands-free control of tasks and communication.
- On-board printer for printing important documents while traveling.
- Customized workspaces with adjustable seating, lighting, and storage for maximum comfort and efficiency.
- Integration with GPS and mapping software for efficient route planning and navigation.
- Mobile device charging and docking stations to keep devices powered and organized.
- Integration with cloud-based storage and file-sharing services for easy access to important documents and files.
Smart City Based Services
How might we connect to Smart Cities for better city-based services?
- Establish a connection with Smart City platforms to access the local services available in the area.
- Develop and enable a battery charging ecosystem for electric vehicles.
- Fleet optimization to reduce congestion and emissions.
- Intelligent parking systems to reduce traffic and search times for parking.
- Adaptive cruise control and traffic light recognition to optimize traffic flow.
- On-demand ride-sharing services to reduce private car ownership and traffic.
- Electric and autonomous vehicles for improved safety and sustainability.
- Vehicle-to-grid technology to provide energy storage and supply to the grid.
- Last-mile delivery solutions using electric cargo bikes or drones.
- In-car delivery services for packages and groceries.
- Mobile health clinics and blood donation vehicles to provide healthcare services to remote areas.
- Public transportation systems that incorporate smart vehicles and real-time data analysis to improve efficiency and accessibility.
Build Your List of One-Sentence Experiments and Find Your vNext
building a list of one-sentence experiments can be a powerful tool to accelerate innovation.
By casting a wide net and creating a portfolio of ideas, it becomes easier to identify and pursue the most promising avenues for growth and progress.
As demonstrated by the examples above, even a single sentence can contain a wealth of potential for improving operations, quality, and customer experience.
By adopting this approach and continuously experimenting and learning, organizations can stay ahead of the curve and continue to drive meaningful change in the world.
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