The last couple of weeks we’ve been busy at Firmhouse. While you might have heard less about Airstrip and GoMonthly, that’s because we’ve been working hard on a brand new Dispatch…
Dispatch is our tool for helping both innovation teams and innovation managers pick the right focus. It helps innovation teams to prioritise what to test first for nailing a good business model, and track their experiment progress while doing so. It helps innovation managers to see how their program is doing, and what key metrics to focus on to improve the quality of their program.
The idea for the new Dispatch didn’t come out of thin air. We already had a version of Dispatch online.
For Dispatch V1 the focus was different: it was on helping innovation teams get quick approval on their experiments, by streamlining the communication between them, management and other departments.
But we soon found out that by the time we rolled out our solution at one of our big customers, they had already found other ways to solve this problem.
On top of that, innovation team members felt entering their data into the system was too much administrative hassle, and with the benefits of using Dispatch not being clear to them, they never started using it.
To address this problem and make Dispatch into a tool we can be proud of, we did a Design Sprint a couple of months ago where we gathered feedback from the entire organisation, and made some first sketches based on that.
The most important decision we made, was to make Dispatch into a “decision-making tool”: actively helping innovation team members as well as innovation managers to pick the right focus for improving the quality of their work.
Dispatch does this by showing all their assumptions on the so-called “riskiest assumption grid”. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, this is what it looks like:
Here you map your assumptions based on impact to your business model, and how much you know of something. We’ve used it during all our experimentation workshops, and it’s always a great way for participants to visualise and see at once what they should focus their efforts on. It just clicks.
Dispatch helps them pick focus by showing how their teams are doing based on important metrics for predicting innovation team success. These include speed of learning (how quickly do teams test assumptions? How quickly do they run experiments?), and how well teams are covering the different areas of the Business Model Canvas while testing.
Next to that Dispatch has a kanban-like experiment board where they can create, collaborate on, and track the status of their experiments. They can easily add links and files, assumptions being tested, and share all the details with externals. This makes Dispatch into the “one source of truth” for your experiments!
After building an initial prototype the next step was of course to start testing it! We reached out to experts in the field, coaches working with innovation teams, managers running corporate innovation programs, and of course innovation team members..
And the signs have been very promising! We showed our prototype to innovation team members, talked with program managers, and asked feedback from thought leaders in the field. The feedback was promising enough to dedicate a six-week sprint to turn this prototype to reality.
A week ago we finished the sprint, which means the New Dispatch is live by now and ready for you to use!
Here are some nice gifs of how we incorporated the riskiest assumption grid in Dispatch, and how you can add & rate assumptions:
You cannot just track assumptions in Dispatch, but also the status of your experiments! Here’s a gif showing the kanban board and how to collaborate on experiment design in Dispatch.
We are still doing many tests and demos with our product to keep improving it and decide on next features to build. So this is only the start ;)
We also started building the functionalities for program & innovation managers to get an overview of and track the quality of their teams, so much more to come, on which we’ll update you soon..
Interested? Get in touch with us and we’ll get you a test account, so you can try out Dispatch yourself!?