From product idea to prototype

Software Development
Business Consulting
Product Development
Published 27. September 2021

A project report without names but full of innovations

Sometimes the most exciting projects come about without much notice: In the recent past, tarent, a subsidiary of Qvest, was contacted by a company that had numerous product ideas – but doubts about their feasibility and chances of success. The consultants tested the feasibility with a digital kick-off.

However, before any thought could be given to prototype development, the specific ideas had to be analyzed and sharpened. The task for Qvest here was to plan and conduct innovation workshops to get a clearer view of possible digital products or services as a useful addition to the client’s core business.

Long-established company requiring a digital strategy

The company is a German manufacturer with annual sales of over 500 million Euro. The company is over 160 years old and distributes its products all over the world. In addition to its retail product range, the manufacturer has launched its first digital products. These are part of a new digitization strategy that the company has developed in recent years. So, several possible ideas emerged for the consultants at Qvest to collect, structure, and conduct a feasibility analysis for.

Digital kick-off as the ideal project start

A digital kick-off is the tool of choice for Qvest when it comes to developing product ideas into a prototype and then testing it with a peer group. In this case, the initial situation was somewhat more extensive. With ten product ideas, both the work involved and the development costs for the customer would have been very high. It therefore made more sense to first take a closer look at the individual ideas in terms of their chances of success and – if possible – to find better ideas. Developing a prototype only makes sense if technical feasibility is guaranteed and a realistic business model can be based on it.

Innovation workshops for time-saving ideas generation

Innovation workshops can take a variety of forms. In this specific case, the Qvest team focused on formats in which ideas are very clearly categorized and strategically formulated in a short time using special techniques and methods. A big advantage was that the client had already been independently conducting similar workshops for several years and thus had a general basic understanding of the various methods. 

Day 1: The first day focused on identifying digitization trends and technologies. With the target group clearly in mind, ideas for digital innovations were then formulated. In doing so, the experts used initial solution ideas from the company, but at the same time deliberately developed alternatives in order to filter out the most promising business ideas. 

Day 2: The second day focused on these ideas in conjunction with prototypes. The goal was to create a business model for each mature product idea. Finally, these business models were sharpened to plan for possible prototype development. 

During the two-day innovation workshop, the team of Qvest experts was responsible for all aspects of planning, support, implementation, and follow-up. Consultants were involved at every stage to respond to questions and ensure the technical feasibility of the product ideas. They also moderated the workshops and feedback rounds and documented all results.

Specific product idea leads to business model conception

Two specific product ideas were identified from more than ten ideas. For one of them, a concrete business model was subsequently worked out with the customer and a prototype was developed from the resulting product idea.

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