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Evaluate Successful Business Model Improvement Tests for Implementation

Evaluate Successful Business Model Improvement Tests for Implementation How can you get innovation into the market faster? It's hard to innovate until you have a successful test. How many tests will succeed? As few as none, and probably no more than ten percent.

So, unless you are testing at least ten opportunities initially, you may initially find nothing to implement. Should you have fewer than ten items to test, you need to go back looking for more proposals. A typical experience is finding appropriate proposals for about a third of the opportunities.

Looking at the optimistic side, let's assume that you tested many areas, some of them did well, and you now have at least two tests to implement throughout your company. Do you make the several changes at once, or stagger them? If you stagger them, in what order and over how much time should the staggering take place?

You're not ready to even think about those questions, however, until you consider what else must be done before you can implement. You may need some new software, a changed operational process, or new measurements. Or you may need to educate employees and customers.

By involving all the functions that will probably be affected by the change, you now need to turn the test experience into an implementation project proposal. However you decide to do that, be sure to keep the testing team as part of the group that will make and implement the project proposal. They are your insurance that the full-scale expansion of the test is just that, and not a drift off into a different, and untested direction.

If a new test is warranted to improve on what you just learned, by all means ask for another test proposal and launch it. But avoid letting a new test hijack the potential implementation of the successful test you already have in hand.

After you have the project proposals for what has been successfully tested, then get those who worked on the proposals to debate whether they should be implemented simultaneously or sequentially. Investigate the facts behind whatever assertions are made. In such debates, mole hills are often described as mountains and potential earthquakes are sometimes swept temporarily under the rug.

Unless there is a strong case for holding up the availability of one of the new benefits, any uncertainty should be decided in favor of making the benefits available as soon as possible. It's a fast moving world out there, and the positive results you're expecting could be lost if someone else moves first.

Undoubtedly, competitors are or could be aware of your testing, and may be able to get to market first. For that reason, be sure that you've come to a conclusion on what to do next within 30 days (at the latest) after a test has been concluded and reported to the organization.

Copyright 2008 Donald W. Mitchell, All Rights Reserved

About the Author:

Donald Mitchell is chairman of Mitchell and Company, a strategy and financial consulting firm in Weston, MA. He is coauthor of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Solution, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. You can find free tips for accomplishing 20 times more by registering at: ====> www.2000percentsolution.com .

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