With the progress of digital technology over the past 20 years, there have been remarkable improvements in process reengineering. Peter Guarraia, a partner with Bain's Digital practice, shares the five benefits of digital process innovation and the best ways to ensure that reengineering efforts are successful.
More and more companies are adopting Agile methodologies, which transformed the software industry. Gregory Caimi, a partner with Bain’s Digital practice, describes the basics of the Agile approach and how it can help companies develop better solutions in more efficient ways.
Researchers are combining leading-edge data science with traditional marketing techniques to create digital and mobile experiences that serve the functional as well as emotional needs of customers. Lori Sherer, a partner with Bain’s Advanced Analytics practice, discusses the role of insights and analytics in digital customer experience design.
With the proliferation of tools to harness digital technology that can improve every link of the supply chain, how can executives choose where to invest? Peter Guarraia, a partner in Bain's Digital practice and leader of the firm's global Supply Chain practice, shares the key to selecting the best solutions. Read the Bain Brief: The Intangible Benefits of a Digital Supply Chain
As every sector is reshaped by the shifting digital landscape, traditional companies must use technology to become more competitive. Yet few know where to start. Elizabeth Spaulding, a partner in the Digital practice, talks about the five key characteristics of companies that set the pace in digital transformations. Read the Bain Brief: Anatomy of a Digital Forerunner
When you think of John Deere, you probably picture old-school machines tilling soil in the heartland or mowing a suburban lawn. But you might be surprised to learn that this 179-year-old, Illinois-based manufacturer is using new millennium tactics honed in Silicon Valley to speed innovation. About six years ago, Deere’s Global Technology Innovation Network, an internal team tasked with discovering potentially disruptive technology, started schooling its team on Agile methods in a bid to speed up its product development. Now the team can turn an idea into a working prototype in about eight months, a process that used to take a year and a half or more. I recently discussed Deere’s use of Agile in more detail in a recent Bain Brief that I cowrote [...]
As a 21st-century Mark Twain might observe, everybody talks about innovation, but nobody does anything about it. Of course, that’s not quite right. Several path-breaking thinkers have come up with better ways to design new products. The problem is that anywhere from 70% to 90% of those new products continue to fail. Lacking a systematic, repeatable and fast-moving method for designing and developing innovations, companies find themselves struggling to keep up with market changes. But there is hope. Agile methodologies have transformed the software industry over the past 25 or 30 years. Software development is an especially challenging form of innovation since technologies and customer demands seem to change at the speed of Moore’s law. Software is also playing an increasingly important role in nearly every [...]
This article originally appeared on HBR.org. Facebook recently hosted its 50th hackathon. It was the stuff of Silicon Valley lore: Employees from across the company took a break from their regular projects to develop mind-blowing ideas about artificial intelligence over an intense 24-hour period. Late-night thinkers enjoyed a 1AM meal to refuel. Inevitably, not all of the final pitches were winners but, to Facebook, the potential for uncovering groundbreaking innovations is worth pulling a couple hundred engineers away from their everyday tasks. After all, its past hackathons have given rise to wildly popular features, such as its instant messaging feature Facebook Chat and Instagram’s time-lapse tool Hyperlapse. Hackathons are no longer just for coders. Companies far outside the tech world are using these intense brainstorming [...]
By Chris Brahm, Greg Caimi and Michael Mankins Telecommunications networks in general—and the Internet in particular—have changed our lives forever. Metcalfe’s Law explains why they’ve become so powerful: A network’s value increases exponentially with its size, meaning that the more people are using it, the more their participation enhances the network. This is generally a very good thing, but not always. Metcalfe’s Law, it turns out, has a dark side when it comes to workplace productivity. As the cost of initiating one-to-one and one-to-many interactions drops to zero, the number of interactions increases—exponentially. By our estimates, a senior executive who in the 1970s might have received fewer than 1,000 outside phone calls, telexes or telegrams a year now faces a tidal wave of 30,000 emails [...]
This article originally appeared in HBR.org. Twenty years ago, new office technologies like email and teleconferencing contributed to a dramatic boost in productivity. Information flows accelerated. Collaboration with coworkers became easier and easier. Productivity grew significantly faster during the 1990s and early 2000s than in previous years. Today, productivity growth has declined appreciably. Since 2007 it hasn’t even kept up with inflation. What happened? The financial crisis, sure, but that’s not all. Companies have continued to invest in new technologies for white-collar workplaces, but the benefits are no longer visible. In fact, we may have reached a tipping point where each new investment in office technology must be carefully assessed against a simple test: will it actually help people get more done, or not? Read the [...]