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How to turn an innovative idea

into an app in 2 Sprints 

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(2021 example-based 5 min read)

As a Managing Director of METRO’s AG tech company, Nadas Dan relies heavily on data to keep the Fortune 500 company performing. Being a dedicated runner in his free time, he envisions a Strava-like convenient smart app to empower his organization to make more out of its data, KPIs, and OKRs.

first, YOU need solid planning and a seasoned product team

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Understand

the problem

Generate solutions

Envision the final app

Envision the MVP app

Build a proof of concept

Dan feels that it’s important to avoid disrupting his company’s daily operations by taking away current employees from their current jobs and responsibilities.

 

After careful research, he decides to hire an external product development team and empower(1) it to build a proof of concept.

 

A six-person t-shaped(2) agile product team is contracted with a wide array of skills including, design thinking, Ui/Ux design, software architecture, and development. This team will use the above Google Design Sprint-inspired flow(3) to transform Dan’s idea into a product in two sprints (four weeks).
 

1. understand

the problem

On Monday, January 25th, 2021, the team gathers for the first time, determined to gain an in-depth understanding of the problem. As Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt put it, "People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!"(4)

The product team concludes that the problem isn’t a lack of reporting or BI tools; METRO already employs the best. Instead, they find that there are too many tools. The process is overcomplicated, and drilling to certain business levels takes an excessive amount of time. 

From a JTBD(5) perspective, the team determines that the app should act as the one go-to point for the organization executives. It should empower them in decision-making and taking, streamlining the process by making it take less time. It should be as convenient as using a running app.
 

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2. Generate solutions

To quote Steve Jobs, "Good artists copy; great artists steal.” 

The team takes some analog inspiration(6) from Vivino (wine app - 50 Mio users) for ease of navigation, Strava (running app - 70 Mio users) for goal setting and benchmarking, in addition to some other more top-rated apps.

At this stage, the team is also beginning to generate a variety of solutions as they envision the perfect final app. One of the more interesting ones is the forecasting feature. 

 

Let’s suppose for a moment that you are a CTO and need to hire several developers by December 2021. The forecasting feature of this app will be able to predict and graphically display what you will achieve at your current pace, in addition to prompting you with smart suggestions. 
 

3. ENVISION

THE FINAL APP

As they get further along in their development process, the team makes decisions on which features to include in the final app. Their ideas and thoughts are all validated with Dan prior to being approved. 

The Ui/Ux designer begins the process of creating storyboards and low-fidelity frames. By involving the whole team during this process(7), they’re able to make it possible for the proof of concept app to be implemented in a short time frame.

In the final demo, the team succeeds in graphically displaying data more conveniently. Instead of using a pre-defined number of charts, the team acts on a per-use case basis. They determine that a Gauss-inspired density plot, for example, is better at displaying overlapping compensation levels than the standard bar charts or box plots with whiskers. 
 

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4. Envision
the MVP app

As popularized by Steve Blank and Eric Ries, the team determines which features to include in the minimum viable product so that it is usable by early adopters who will provide feedback for eventual future development.

The team’s Ui/Ux professional gets to work on high-fidelity wireframes. This work is validated with METRO, and a final Ui iteration begins development.

METRO operates 680 stores in 24 countries throughout Europe and Asia. Subscribe to read more ...
 

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