You can learn to innovate: while there is no"innovation process", there are techniques, tools and strategies you can use. You can integrate these techniques into your existing development process to make you more creative, and to look at problems in a more productive way. Innovation is not an additional task, it is part of what you do.
The objective of innovation is to find a better fit between your business and your processes, systems, products and services. An innovative solution is one that costs no more—it usually costs less—and makes innovative use of existing processes and technology. An innovative solution is one that provides more customer satisfaction when delivered, and anticipates the organisation’s needs for tomorrow. Innovation means looking at the problem in a different way to find the solutions that evade conventional requirements techniques.Innovation is not the same as invention. Most innovations reuse existing elements or ideas by recombining them in innovative ways. Even the prolific Thomas Edison invented very little—most of his innovations,including the light bulb, X-rays and the phonograph, were recombinations of existing ideas and technologies. Similarly, most of the elements you need for your next innovation are available to you now. You just have to know where to find them and how to recombine them.
We cannot claim that this course will turn you into another Thomas Edison or Leonardo da Vinci. However, we can say that you will learn enough innovation techniques to generate better requirements—those that make your next system better than anticipated, work more harmoniously in its business environment, and generate less change requests.
From ivory tower to office floor
Your business does not run on features and functions—it runs on processes and systems. This course is about improving your business processes, your software systems, and the service or products you provide to your customers. These are improved by fresh, innovative thinking; by finding a better, more innovative way of carrying out your day to day business. Innovation is the task of the business analysts and the other stakeholders when they are gathering their requirements. Innovation is part of the development processes—the part that discovers new and better things that the systems should do, and more effective ways to do them. In most cases, the innovations needed are relatively simple—they just need thought.
Who is this for?
The seminar is intended for product managers, business analysts, their clients and other stakeholders involved in gathering requirements for the new system/business process/product. It is also suitable for others who should be innovators—those who have responsibility to ensure that their organisation's products, processes, services and systems are relevant and competitive.
What will I learn?
These are practical innovation techniques that have been used in many situations to provide new and exciting ways to solve problems. We teach the techniques by explaining them and then having you apply them in workshops to realistic problems. At all stages, you can discuss with your instructor how they can be applied to your own work.
Suzanne's current work includes research and consulting on the management, sociological and technological aspects of innovation and its effects on systems requirements. The product of this research is Volere, a complete requirements process and template for assessing requirements quality,and for specifying requirements. Suzanne is author of many papers on systems engineering, and also speaks at numerous conferences and universities. She is a member of IEEE and on the board of the British Computer Society’s Requirements Group. She was the founding editor of the Requirements Column in IEEE Software. She is also a very creative cook. Suzanne lives in London, and frequently lectures and consults in continental Europe.
James is a consultant, teacher, author and practitioner of innovation. He is co-author of the best-selling Mastering the Requirements Process, Second Edition. He also co-founded the Volere approach to requirements engineering. His most recent book is Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies:Understanding Patterns of Project Behavior, written with fellow principals of The Atlantic Systems Guild (Tom DeMarco, Peter Hruschka, Tim Lister, SteveMcMenamin, Suzanne Robertson), a London and New York think tank known for its research into new systems engineering techniques. James travels between his home in London, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, where his requirements seminars play to full houses. In his first career he was an architect. He would like his next career to allow more time for fly fishing.
During his previous 20 years of business enterprise, Martin initiated a number of innovative practices in his own businesses to enhance customer support as well as recommendations to clients. On a more specific strategy, Martin facilitated breakthrough practices for many participants attending his courses as the group approached problems from many different angles, removed constraints and opened their minds to new possibilities. In the past two years, His recent studies at Southern Cross University include a graduate certificate in Leadership in Workplace Development with a focus on the use of innovation in a workplace environment. Martin is also a commercial pilot with a strong interest in aerobatics.
"To be better; to anticipate what people want; to create something different that works better; to provide something that people don't already have."