Comment by Dr. Sebastian Heger, Tresmo 3 methods for successful IoT projects
16.06.2021 Author /
Dr. Sebastian Heger
/ Nico Litzel
Whether prototype, mere ideas or concrete product visions: Every IoT project is based on a different starting situation. The biggest hurdle for the implementation of new solutions is not a lack of technical know-how, but usually the integration of IoT applications into existing processes. Project managers underestimate the relevance of the holistic view of customer needs.
Companies on the topic
The author: Dr. Sebastian Heger is Solution Specialist at Tresmo
Developing useful innovations that provide real added value for customers and their use cases is difficult due to the lack of transparency of user needs. The existing problems and challenges can vary greatly-from ideas that are not fully developed to the experience gained from previous projects. A wide range of methods for different approaches to IoT projects helps to adapt optimally to every starting situation.
Business Objective Workshop – Setting Goals
At the beginning of every successful IoT project is a clear goal definition. The joint development of innovative products can only succeed if the responsible parties define clear results and all those involved have the same understanding of the desired solution. Through the Business Objective Workshop, all project participants – managers, IT specialists and management – gain a uniform understanding of goals. This promotes efficient design and implementation of IoT solutions and minimizes misunderstandings and communication problems.
Several key questions play an important role here: What added value do the participants want to achieve with the project? Is it about redesigning the entire business model or just minor changes? How big is the risk that the project will fail and how critical are the consequences? What does success depend on? What hurdles does the team already know? What skills and resources do we need to move forward? From the answers to all these questions, the team develops an “objective” together, which forms the basis for internal and external process and product optimization.
Working Backwards Method-Defining added value
This approach offers a good opportunity to gain a better understanding of the customer world. The working backwards method manages to match an initial product vision with customer needs. All the team needs is a pen, paper, an idea and information about the potential customers. Equipped with this, the initiators write a press release addressed to potential users of their solution to be developed. The name, the target group and the concrete added value of the new product play a central role here. In order to develop the content, it often helps project teams to formulate and answer fictitious questions about the new product or services. The advantage of the working backwards approach is that it saves resources in particular: by writing a simple press release, it is possible to avoid spending a lot of effort on the persuasiveness of a presentation or on the design in the innovation process.
In practice, details usually take a lot of time, which can be saved. Rather, it is about putting the real goal back in the foreground: the added value for the customer. The style of the press release allows the reader to put himself well into the customer perspective and decide whether he would be satisfied himself or whether he can come up with suggestions for improvement. On the one hand, those responsible get the opportunity to find new perspectives and target groups, on the other hand, this procedure promotes a uniform understanding of the desired result, which forms the basis for further optimization.
Exploration Sprint – Refine your Ideas
The Exploration Sprint method helps project teams sort their thoughts. At the beginning, participants often have a lot of ideas, but do not know how to implement them. For IoT projects, there is no set sequence of steps – and no universal guide for an exploration sprint. That is why it is all the more important to create a roadmap yourself that defines your own goals. From a mixture of qualitative and quantitative procedures, a guide for data-based services and products is then created.
Creative techniques such as” silent writing “or” story mapping ” help the team collect ideas and determine the relevance of individual aspects. In the course of an interdisciplinary discussion round – for project managers, management and subject experts as well as marketing and sales – new findings are created. Representative customer types can then be derived from individual customers. Through targeted interviews, users are asked about possible scenarios. The answers form the basis for optimizations and new business models. The advantage of the Exploration Sprint is quickly apparent. The data collected is meaningful because it is directly validated based on data. The analyzed data provide suitable information on the feasibility and the expected customer benefit. From the previously unstructured ideas, concrete concepts with added value for customers are created. In addition, a clear roadmap is developing, with the help of which companies can open up new potentials and perspectives for digital solutions.
For IoT projects to be successful, they must be well planned. Overarching goals are the basis for new products and services. Only if there is a uniform understanding of goals can vague ideas be transformed into real solutions. Different approaches help teams to organize their thoughts and establish a structure. A versatile range of methods ultimately determines whether IoT projects succeed.