Episode 30: Everyday Innovation w/Janne Lundberg

20 October, 2020 / Host: MAGNUS BILLGREN

Everyday Innovation: Balancing Ideas and Backlogs in Product Development

Creating new products and features is an exciting process, but it's important to be mindful of falling into the Build Trap. This is where we believe that more features and better quality always create better products, and we become too focused on features and functions in product development. This can be especially challenging when working with existing products, where there are many stakeholders involved in the legacy.
One issue that arises is the overcrowded backlog, where there are too many requirements from clients and stakeholders. It's important to challenge the backlog and consider the value it will bring to clients. We need to prioritize innovation in the product journey, even in agile environments working with established products.
Janne Lundberg, who has guided four of the world's most innovative companies in creating and evolving products, has developed an Agile Innovation System. This system builds on three parts: understanding the problem, pressure testing the solution, and answering questions that may arise.

Understanding the Problem

Understanding the problem is crucial in creating effective and valuable solutions. Without a clear understanding of the problem, it is easy to create solutions that do not actually address the underlying issues or meet the needs of the users. Janne Lundberg's scenario highlights this point by challenging the audience to come up with product ideas for a door solution company that is trying to help doctors save lives.
The audience is given a very short amount of time to come up with ideas, and the responses are likely to be limited and unrefined. However, this exercise serves to illustrate that many different perspectives can be valuable in the ideation process. By taking the time to deeply understand the problem and the needs of the users, it becomes easier to generate effective solutions.
Lundberg stresses the importance of involving a diverse range of stakeholders in the problem-solving process. This includes users, customers, and other experts who can provide valuable insights and feedback. By involving these stakeholders from the outset, it is easier to gain a deep understanding of the problem and identify the key needs and pain points that need to be addressed. This, in turn, leads to more effective and valuable solutions that are more likely to succeed in the market.

Pressure Testing the Solution

Lundberg's approach of pressure testing the solution involves thoroughly testing the product or solution to ensure that it works in real-world scenarios. This step is crucial in identifying any potential flaws or issues before the product is released to the market.
Pressure testing is done by subjecting the solution to various tests and scenarios, including stress tests, load tests, and scalability tests. These tests are designed to simulate real-world usage and identify any issues that may arise when the solution is used by a large number of users or under heavy load.
Furthermore, pressure testing involves testing the solution with different users to ensure that it meets their needs and expectations. This can be done through user testing, where a group of users is invited to test the solution and provide feedback on its usability, functionality, and overall experience. User testing can also help identify any bugs or glitches that may have been missed during development.

Answering Questions

Anticipating and answering questions is a crucial part of building trust with users and stakeholders. When creating a new product, there are always uncertainties and doubts, and addressing them can help to alleviate any concerns and increase the chances of success. Janne Lundberg emphasizes that it's important to anticipate questions and concerns before they arise and address them proactively.
One way to anticipate questions is to conduct user research and gather feedback from potential users. This can help to identify common concerns and address them in the product design and messaging. Additionally, it's important to consider potential objections that stakeholders may have and have a plan in place to address them.
By answering questions and addressing concerns, companies can demonstrate their commitment to their users and build trust. This can help to increase adoption and usage of the product and ultimately lead to greater success.

Creating a Culture of Innovation

According to Lundberg, companies can foster a culture of innovation by promoting creativity and granting employees the freedom to experiment and explore new ideas. It is equally important to establish a safe and supportive workplace environment where employees feel comfortable to share their opinions and collaborate with others. Prior to the development phase, Lundberg recommends a focus on knowledge building by researching and experimenting with various concepts to gain insights that can be utilized in creating innovative products.


  • Avoid the Build Trap by prioritizing innovation and focusing on valuable solutions rather than just adding more features.
  • Challenge the backlog by prioritizing innovation, even when working with established products in agile environments.
  • Janne Lundberg's Agile Innovation System is based on understanding the problem, pressure testing the solution, and answering questions that may arise.
  • It is important to involve diverse stakeholders in the problem-solving process and pressure test the solution to ensure it meets user needs.
  • Anticipating and answering questions can build trust, and promoting creativity and providing a safe workplace environment can foster a culture of innovation.

If you're interested in learning more about product management and developing the skills needed to excel in this field, you may want to consider enrolling in a product management certification program. One such program is The Productbeats Product Management Certification Program, which offers comprehensive training and support for individuals looking to enhance their knowledge and expertise in product management. With a focus on practical skills and real-world experience, this program can help you take your product management career to the next level.
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