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How to Foster Innovation within a company— a working framework

What is innovation?

Problem statement — Assessing Innovation in YNAP

Defining an Innovation Framework

  • Innovation shouldn’t be executed only for business, but should be directed towards problem-solving and proposing solutions for aspects of everyday demands
  • Innovating is not a purely technical or economic mechanism, but it must have a social dimension where all individuals have the possibility to express their creativity, needs, and desires
  • It is not always easy to find organisations with appropriate organisational structures that foster innovation, so we should try to promote it
  • The implementation of a culture of innovation in an organisation implies a reassessment of products, services and processes, and is the best way to give the organisation greater longevity and adaptability to the constant fluctuations of the market
  • 10% innovation time in every team
    Every team in the area to have the chance to invest 10% of their time for innovation, this could mean one Friday every sprint (of 2 weeks).
    This time is managed by the DM of the team, collecting ideas, opinions, areas of improvement and allowing people to analyse solutions, create POCs, Spikes or meet with stakeholders.
    To avoid roadmaps taking over the whole available time again, this needs to be included in the objectives of managers and software engineers
  • Sharing Forum
    The sharing forum is a 2h monthly event that I organise asking everyone in our area to present ideas, projects, processes reviews and business cases that come from that 10% innovation time.
    This not only rewards engineers with a voice and a stage, but also collects interest, shares solutions and technology to avoid reinventing the wheel in many teams, and allow other teams to use the same generic purpose solution on areas like cost cutting/monitoring, performance, infrastructure and so on…
  • Governance Committee
    Once many new potential projects are starting up, we need to review these projects and understand both the feasibility and advantage of them. A Governance Committee of five to ten people is introduced, helped by one Subject Matter Expert per team. This acts as a golden gate, guaranteeing governance across our area, technical guidance and a broad architectural review of every new cross-team project
  • New Initiatives Demand Forum
    Once a project is technically approved by the governance committee, a business case will be created, the Commerce and Content Principal POs will review it, assign a value in terms of savings or earnings and prioritise the initiative in our global company roadmap

Framework Lifecycle and process definition




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Fabio Quinzi

Principal Developer and Software Architect @ Yoox Net-a-Porter, passionate about hiking, gigs and pizza.