What is Agile Innovation?

Agile innovation is about asking customers what they would buy, not selling them something you can make


Agile Innovation is a way of thinking about and structuring your NPD process. It is proven to transform NPD success whilst reducing costs.  By prioritising short iterative design and feedback cycles you can quickly determine what’s working and what isn’t, better identifying where you should focus your resources.

Traditionally, ‘Agile’ was found in software development, but we have adapted and refined the principles to work seamlessly with your NPD in consumer goods. Our methods differ from the traditional processes found in FMCG.  We integrate design, product and marketing functions and focus heavily on micro testing at every stage with stakeholders and crucially consumers to validate ideas before they become a potentially expensive reality.

How does Agile Innovation work?

Agile Innovation is a methodology that carries across all departments in a company committed to growth through innovation. It relies on high frequency, low cost testing and iterative improvement, encouraging flexibility and quick responses to validated feedback.  Agile structures both people and activity to increase Innovation ROi, reduce risk and waste. 

Some of the Terminology explained:

The  Agile team: This is made up of a small, cross-functional group of people. The team come up with a list of ideas, looking for features that are beneficial to consumers, that will lead to financial gain, then work to develop them.

Sprints: The team prioritises tasks and breaks them down into smaller chunks with clear objectives, known as sprints.  Everyone in the team is aware what the others are doing, through frequent, structured and crucially short progress meetings. This type of working reduces the need for micromanaging, managers have more time to collaborate and work directly on solutions. The team gives attention to the two or three most important initiatives, rather than working on multiple large projects at once.

Scrums: These are conciously brief daily stand-up meetings between the team, to talk about progress and identify blockers in the sprint. Blockers are resolved through experiments and feedback, not by debating or taking it to superiors for judgement. This type of working ensures 100% evidence-based decisions are made.

Product owner delivers value to consumers and the business. The product owner splits their time between working with the team, and stakeholders, including crucially, the end consumer.  Their focus is to ensure that the end product is a proven fit for the indended consumer.

MVP stands for ‘minimum viable product’.  It is represented by the most simple, but sufficiently functional product that satisfies the needs of the consumer.  It is the basis for all development stages of Agile NPD – the foundation of a truly great product.

What are the benefits of Agile Innovation?

Simply put, Better products, faster. The proven benefits of Agile include bringing important new products to market quicker, increasing customer appeal and reducing failure. Chosing Agile significantly lowers cost compared to alternative methods and achieves better results for the consumer and the business.  

Agile increases team productivity and boosts employee happiness. It improves consumer satisfaction because Agile development motivates you to adapt and respond to consumers’ priorities – Leading you to make what will sell, not sell what you make.

Agile thinking increases product flow, quickly identifies disruptions and blockers, keeping your whole team active.  Adopting Agile principles leads to an increase in productivity, with up to three times as much success compared to a more traditional approach. In many industries Agile methods have boosted average success rates from 11% to 39%.  

Other proven benefits of adopting the Agile NPD method:

  • 76% reduced project risk
  • 77% faster time to market
  • 79% increased team morale and motivation
  • 84% increased team productivity
  • 87% ability to manage changing priorities

Next Steps

If you’d like to learn more about Agile Innovation, download our FREE WHITE PAPER