• nathaliemyaraiferg

Using an effective innovation process to develop softwares in the field of education and health!

Updated: Oct 26

4 phases to follow in your innovation process!

In 2004 i had the privilege to attend a post graduate course on innovation where I was introduced to the a research & development method called Pedagogical Value Analysis (PVA) . PVA is an adapted version of Value Analysis (VA) that Rocque, Langevin, & Riopel (1998) studied and applied in the field of education. VA is commonly used in engineering and in several other fields for product development and design. It targets satisfying user’s needs at the lowest cost.

This innovation and iterative process, which we labelled Accessibility by Design (Myara and al., to be published), is based on the PVA method. Accessibility by Design is a goal-oriented approach that is optimized by a precise preliminary need analysis of all potential users. It is then used to orient the product design that will satisfy each user after defining the functions. These functions to be fulfilled by the future software, are listed in a Functional Specification Matrix (FSM) to guide the creation of the software which is followed by experiments and improvements.

Accessibility by Design : An innovation and iterative process in 4 phases

PHASE #1 - Screening

The screening phase begins with (step 1) articulating and documenting the problem that you and your team want to solve. This step involves defining the problem (s), explaining what and how the problem was solved by others. After identifying the real problem, you need to target your innovation goal. After specifying your goal you have to identify all potential users of your future software in order for you to do a need analysis.

You have to create a community of futur different users and experts early into your innovation process. This community will help you determine and make a list of all the different needs your future software will try to meet.

When you choose your different type of potential users, you have to consider people with different (auditory, cognitive & visual) limitations!

Make sure to build a community of different potential users, including those with auditory, cognitive and visual limitations and experts. This process should be done before you create your prototype : you need to know what your different potential futur users really need!

Basically, the screening phase is all about investigating so you can determine the needs your software will have to satisfy!

PHASE #2 - Specifying

The functional analysis phase consists of identifying and formulating all possible and potential functions that the future software should and will fulfill to satisfy the needs of the different users.

Remember that some of your functions will target potential users with the different limitations.

After identifying all the potential functions have been identified, they are specified and listed on a chart so they can be selected by you and your community.

The selection involves categorizing, prioritizing, characterizing and evaluating the costs and benefits of these functions. As a result you will get a chart called the Functional Specification Matrix (FMS) .

  • The FMS lays out the functions your software needs to fulfill;

  • The FMS is your software tracker;

Avoid trial & error! Make sure to have your Functional Specification Matrix (FMS) before developing your software : softwares in education and in health deserves to be build on a reliable systematic research & development innovation process!

PHASE #3 - Prototyping

This phase consists of finding the solutions with the use of creative techniques. It is all about designing and creating an initial prototype of your software based on your FMS.

You should, once again, invite your found community in this process of decision making. Just like the Agile methodology, this phase is about delivering increments of your software, to your community so they can experiment them, and, you can improve them.

Prototyping includes experimenting and improving increments of the future software : incremental experiments and improvements is part of your innovation process!

PHASE #4 - Validating

The last phase is about validating your software. Before launching your software, you begin the validation process with your community and other experts and potential users.

In the last step...

You can go a long way in helping your software innovation process because you know just a little bit about Accessibility by Design. You can also learn more about Accessibility by Design by joining our community!

Using an effective innovation process to develop softwares in the field of education and health is essential. Accessibility by design is a 4 phase reliable innovation and iterative process!

Accessibility by Design is a 4-phase reliable innovation and iterative process that can be useful in developing and designing a new product!can go a long way in helping your software innovation process. You can learn more about Accessibility by Design by joining our community!


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