How to create a results-driven Minimum Viable Agile Ecosystem to spark regional innovation?

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How to create a results-driven Minimum Viable Agile Ecosystem to spark regional innovation?

May 4, 2021 9 min read

This article was translated using AI technologies from our Spanish edition. Errors can occur as a result of this process.

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur’s contributors are their own.

By: Andrés Guzmán Velgis, Partnership and Selection Manager at the Wadhwani Foundation LATAM.

We have heard a lot about the great entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems around the world and how they achieved this impressive economic development based on technology and innovation. Some of the most famous cases are Medellín, Tel Aviv, Singapore or the great Silicon Valley. For others, their success was due to a number of factors and my aim is not to analyze them but to make it clear that these successful cases are systematic and prior all regional.

It is important to realize and understand that a recipe does not and will not exist. Each region has to define its model of the public innovation system. It is possible to define it by a series of hypotheses that can be translated into a minimum viable ecosystem that has to be developed gradually and iteratively by the actors of the ecosystem.

How can a number of interconnected institutions be transformed into an ecosystem?

At some point we have all seen or played football in which all the players on the team are guided by the results. In this case, goals, goals or avoiding a goal bring advantages for everyone. This makes them work as a team, since the end it is common and everyone benefits, of course there will be more talented players than others, but in the end the triumphs belong to everyone, same goes for innovation ecosystems so they can work, they have to achieve common results or “goals”, work as a team in order to achieve clear goals that are reflected in regional innovation successes. But what if the desired outcomes are much more complex than simple goals?

What is a Least Viable Agile Ecosystem (LEA)?

Let’s start by defining an innovation ecosystem. According to Ruta N, an innovation ecosystem is “an environment that has been established in an area to promote economic development and to make the development of innovation projects between companies, universities, etc. more efficient. Entrepreneurs, Investors, Government and Other Stakeholders. “”

The term Minimum Viable Ecosystem was first used in the book The Wide Lens by Dr. Ron Adner mentioned. A Minimum Viable Ecosystem (VME) focuses on developing the business ecosystem, which relates to the strategy and development of a Minimum Viable Product from a new product or service, then an EMV is an environment that involves developing and adapting a minimum Viable Product in an environment facilitated.

We have already defined two of the three main components of a Minimum Viable Agile Ecosystem. Agility is an essential part of the design, execution and development of an EAMV. This fundamental element allows problem solving to fit our ecosystem and through user stories we can develop an EAMV in an iterative and incremental manner.

In summary, a Minimum Viable Agile Ecosystem (EAMV) is a systematized environment with the basic characteristics to use regional qualities. Its development is iterative and incremental and it is based on institutional and ecosystem results. Its main goal is to develop projects more efficiently. of innovations that trigger economic development.

What steps can I take to implement an EAMV?

My work experience has enabled me to work with actors of all kinds. I had the opportunity to know firsthand the perspectives of innovation in large companies, MSMEs, own companies, in the public sector, at universities and within an international NGO.It enables us to understand and above all to know a large part of the ecosystem what the motivations of the individual sectors are and how innovation actors can be systematized. With that in mind, I created the eight steps to developing a minimally viable agile ecosystem:

1. Start locally

It is important to start from the local point of view and understand that ecosystems only work if they are effectively visualized as complex systems in which different components with different capacities, properties and, above all, have to coexist.

Building on this fundamental fact, it is crucial to compile a list of actors that come to mind of all local actors in the ecosystem, including those who might act as beneficiaries of these economic development strategies. But above all, motivate them to invite more actors to the project.

Do not forget that there are authorities in every actor. However, the highest authority is not always the one who is highly motivated. It is important to identify early adopters and add them to the project.

2. Clearly identify the region’s problems and competitive advantages

Once we have added the majority of the key players in the ecosystem, we speak to them and they understand the reason why this project was developing. The next step is to clearly identify the issues in your region and the competitive advantage with which account. You can brainstorm with the stakeholders to have different opinions and perspectives. In this exercise you can formulate problem hypotheses that you need to validate directly through interviews with the people who coexist in the ecosystem. Invite the actors once to conduct problem interviews. You have completed this process, come together and discuss the results.

Don’t forget that stakeholders also need to consider viewpoints, needs and problems, after all, an innovation ecosystem has characteristics similar to a diverse business model where value is generated and delivered to different beneficiaries.

3. Establishing the key indicators and objectives of the ecosystem

The ecosystem must orient itself to the results. It is important to work with stakeholders to define the indicators to be measured and the expected results. You can be more ambitious than normal in defining these goals and not be tempted to set futile goals that do so.These are some examples of key indicators for innovation ecosystems:

  1. Jobs generated.
  2. Income increase.
  3. Companies founded.
  4. Sum of capital investments.
  5. Generates patents.
  6. Increase in the average salary.
  7. Foreign investment generated.

4. Identify and align the indicators and goals of each institution with those of the ecosystem

As soon as the specific goals of the ecosystem have been defined, an alignment should be made with the indicators of the individual actors. It is important to keep in mind that many may not have these as clearly. This process can take a little longer than expected, but like my previous soccer analogy, if the team doesn’t want to score, they’ll never win the game, invest the time it takes to define them properly. The indicators of each actor must pursue their goals and then align themselves with those of the ecosystem is a system and yes, a failed component can lead to a failure.

5. Identify the value proposition of the region where the EAMV will be implemented

With all of the validated learning about the characteristics and problems of your ecosystem, you can work with the stakeholders to determine the value proposition of your ecosystem and use the various tools you already know to define it.

Now that you’ve defined your value proposition and the solutions that will be offered to the beneficiaries of your ecosystem together, it is time to validate what they really want and formulate your solution hypotheses that will allow you to know with less uncertainty whether this is actually the case. Proposal creates the exchange of values ​​within the ecosystem.

6. Define a Minimum Viable Product (PMV) for the individuals in the ecosystem

Together with the actors, they design the PMV, which they will develop together. To properly define and plan your PMV, follow these steps:

  1. Prioritize the solution functions and find the most important ones.
  2. Define the final properties.
  3. Convert these functions into user stories.
  4. Define and plan the development sprints (don’t forget that every development must be testable).
  5. Do the first sprint.
  6. Validate and iterate the solution until the solution to the problem is found.
  7. Move on to the next sprints.

7. Create a system for reporting, measuring and analyzing the indicators that are freely available to all

A clear and simple indicator system enables all actors to visualize the successes in a simple way. These are seen as their own achievements, and as an analogy to football, everyone will understand that they score goals as a team.

8. Evaluates and measures the achievement of the goals monthly, quarterly and annually

The fulfillment of the objectives should be measured at regular intervals using the defined key indicators. In addition to the constant feedback you should get from both stakeholders and individuals, the solution needs to be rotated or iterated incrementally and persistently. When you get results, it’s always good to “chuckle” the egg, who knows, maybe is Your region the new innovation ecosystem that is a global reference.