At last month’s BRITE ’13 conference, Hanson discussed how rapid experimentation enhanced Intuit’s product innovation process enabling them to find better solutions, cut costs and drive employee engagement. The focus at Intuit is no longer weighted on finding the correct answer, as traditional thinking dictates. “Often you spend time in a room discussing and debating that answer… there are so many politics,” explains Hanson. Instead, the folks at Intuit have shifted focus to what Hanson describes as a culture of experimentation.
Hanson elaborates, “There are many right answers with so many different possible right answers… it behooves those teams to come up with potentially varied solutions. And then rapidly experiment.” In this phase, Intuit places trust in the customer before launching the product. “Let the customer decide, through their behaviors, what works and what doesn’t…. We build the users up before we make the decision to actually build it out. ”
Cycle time is much shorter and total spend is much lower, enabling them to reallocate those savings to product development. “Our hit rate… from the old way to the new way is not necessarily significantly different.” Because the process now takes less time and money, Intuit runs 50 different ideas in the same amount of time and resources it used to take to run three.
To truly benefit from rapid experimentation, Hanson emphasizes the following:
- Fall in love with the problem, not the solution: having several solutions will enable more objective judgment.
- Scrappy doesn’t mean crappy: rapid prototypes must not sacrifice quality.
- Get started: to see results, start small and work up to developing a culture of rapid experimentation across the entire organization.
Watch Hanson’s talk at BRITE ’13 to learn more about Intuit’s implementation of rapid experimentation.
BY ALENA CHIANG AND ALLIE ABODEELY