From idea to implementation

From idea to implementation

The creation process is a very complex process that always Part of a idea. But an idea in itself is nothing more than a seed that needs to be watered and cared for patiently. Not all ideas end up blossoming, and it's important to know why.

There are generally three reasons why an idea fails; 1) It wasn't a good idea 2) It wasn't executed properly 3) The context wasn't right.

At Routal, over the years, we have had failures of all three types. We have had crazy ideas that have ended up turning into failed projects. Good ideas that have gone down the drain because of not knowing how to put them into practice. And finally, great ideas for which we didn't have a suitable market context.

In this article we are going to work on a framework for how to move from idea to implementation to ensure that our idea grows and develops correctly.

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The implementation process

1. Problem definition

TL; DR: If the idea I have is: “Buy me a hammer”, should be able to express as the solution to a problem: “I have nails to nail and for that I'm going to buy a hammer”.

An idea, in order to be evaluated from a market perspective, and to measure performance in the way we execute it, must be able to express itself as the solution to one or more problems.

In R&D environments, the idea usually comes first, and yet in a productive environment it is more common that the first thing that appears is the problem or the need.

  • Idea first: It occurs to me to buy a hammer, I look around the house and find nails to nail. I'll buy the hammer and nail them.
  • Problem first: I see that the house is full of nails, it occurs to me that I can buy a hammer. I'll buy the hammer.

What is essential is that they appear as an inseparable duo.

  • Just the idea: It occurs to me to buy a hammer. I'll buy the hammer. I'm looking around the house to see if there are nails. Since I can't find them, I use the hammer to eat my soup.
  • Just the problem: I find unhammered nails. I'm going to sleep crying because I don't know what to do with them.

In the case of the scenario”Just the idea” it is important to clarify that no, because there are no nails in my house, the hammer is a bad tool. We simply don't have the right context for that tool to be useful and to extract its value.

The output of this phase is a paragraph of text in which both the idea and the problem are identified in a clear and understandable way.

2. Conceptualization

Once the need or problem has been identified, the An idea becomes a solution. The objective of this phase is to detail the solution and to make the team agree on its scope and value.

Scope of the solution

Evaluating the scope of the solution consists mainly of placing the proposed solution in the current context of the company.

Let's imagine that a company is making hammers, and it occurs to someone that they should also manufacture screwdrivers. Determining the scope of the solution means defining whether they are going to manufacture flat or star screwdrivers, or both. Decide if they will use the existing production process to manufacture the new tools. Define if it is necessary to buy new machinery, etc.

Another of the key points to be defined at this point are the limits, where the proposal begins and where it ends; If a solution can work for everything, then it's good for nothing. It's very important to know when to stop. It is very tempting when you are defining a process, a feature or a product to say that “well, since we are...”.

To illustrate this, in the same hammer company they have decided to continue with their business and now they are going to produce a new hammer that has to be more ergonomic and lighter because they are having complaints from users about it. But an enthusiastic manager says “hey, users who drive nails usually screw in as well. Why don't we add to the hammer, while we are, a screwdriver tip and a level? That way, they'll have three tools in one.” This manager is joined by the manager of the support team and says “Besides, there are users who don't have the strength, why don't we add a second handle?” The marketing director also has his opinion on the matter and joins the brainstorming “And besides, it would be nice if it were friendly to girls and young boys who are our potential customers of tomorrow”.

We need an idea to have a good definition of scope

It is likely that if we don't have a good definition of what the limits of the solution are, the initial value proposition will be blurred.

This doesn't mean that ideas are immutable, quite the contrary. But to carry out a value analysis we need to know What is and What is it not what we are proposing.


In the conceptualization section, we must also consider the potential value of the solution based on our experience. This calculation is speculative, but certainly, as the company's maturity in the area grows and the user base grows, it is easier to estimate it more realistically.

The points to be taken into account when calculating the value may vary depending on the environment in which the proposal is developed. In our case and for the product part we use the following elements:

  1. Target audience: Who is the proposal aimed at? What percentage of users does it affect? What processes does it affect?
  2. Technical Assessment: What infrastructure is needed to develop the proposal? Do you need to add new elements? What is the estimated development time?
  3. Return on investment: What is the cost of implementation (Time/Headcounts/Marketing/€)? What benefits are expected (upsales/new customers/landing visits)?

This time our hammer-maker friends, guided by their support team, have decided that it is necessary to design a hammer for left-handed people. Let's evaluate the value proposition:

  1. Target audience: All the left-handed masons in Spain (the country where we are currently selling) who are 10% of the existing 3M masons, or 300,000 potential users. It's a new product so it doesn't affect users who already have a hammer at home.
  2. Technical Assessment: New handles would have to be manufactured. All the necessary machinery is available and the implementation time would be two to four weeks since only a new mold would have to be manufactured.
  3. Return on investment: 4 operators and a project manager to make the new mold for 2 weeks 15000€, marketing campaign to promote the hammer 15000€. If you sell the hammer with a 10€ profit margin, you would need to sell 3000 hammers to cover costs.

The output of the conceptualization phase is a document containing the development of the Scope of the solution And the worth estimated.

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