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The Innovator's Toolkit: 50+ Techniques for Predictable and Sustainable Organic Growth, 2nd Edition by Neil DeCarlo, Philip Samuel, David Silverstein

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Technique 49

Piloting

Implement your solution on a limited basis to work out any problems.

 

Piloting is the practice of guiding your innovative offering through real, yet controlled conditions to test performance, safety, quality, durability, and marketability. Restaurant chains, for example, sometimes make a new food or beverage available in a test market before expanding the item to all locations. Banks run pilots before offering new services or opening new branches.

Prior to full-scale production or delivery, a pilot demonstrates to stakeholders and customers how your innovation addresses both provider and customer expectations. In addition, feedback at this stage helps you hone your offering, increasing its Value Quotient (see Technique 4) and bringing you closer to achieving the ideal innovation.

Prototyping is typically the precursor to a product pilot, while Discrete Event Simulation (Technique 46) can be conducted before or instead of a service pilot.

Steps

Scenario: A highly renowned culinary school wants to appeal to future chefs who might not be able to afford going to school full-time for two years. It develops a hybrid course that features online instruction for the first and third semesters, with hands-on semesters at the school in between. Prior to launch, the school runs a pilot to work out the kinks in their V-Chef course, and to gather initial customer feedback.

1. Plan the Pilot

Using a pilot charter like the one shown in Exhibit 49.1, develop and document ...

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