In the fast-paced world of industry transformation, opportunities are often fleeting, and innovation is the name of the game. At Rootstrap, we understand the need to identify, iterate, and implement AI solutions rapidly. That's why we created the "AI Challenge" framework, a method that empowers us to detect opportunities, prioritize ideas, and find solutions within only three weeks of work. In this blog post, we'll take you through the journey of how we achieved this remarkable feat.
Day 0: Theme selection
Our challenge starts with one-day of brainstorming session to identify existing problems in a specific industry. This crucial step sets the foundation for our journey. The theme can be related to a particular industry, suggested either internally or by a client facing a specific challenge that demands our attention.
Our objectives for the first week are to select a relevant theme, define a tangible problem, and prepare for the upcoming weeks.
The "AI Challenge" framework relies on a diverse and interdisciplinary team to ensure that all aspects of the problem are thoroughly examined. It's essential to have experts from various fields, as the process is similar to other projects without AI. What changes is our AI-first mindset approach, also considering that AI is a powerful tool but not the only thing that matters.
During this theme selection, we engage in discussions with the team to explore possible alternatives, review themes suggested by clients or stakeholders, and evaluate the relevance and potential of each theme. These activities aim to identify a relevant theme for the discovery exercise, ensuring a focused approach in addressing the challenges at hand.
Week 1: Problem definition
Finally, with a theme in hand, we dive into Week 1 by fully understanding the problem to be solved within the selected theme. We believe that a well-defined problem statement is the key to a successful AI Challenge.
To achieve the goal of a well-defined problem statement in the "AI Challenge" framework, we follow a systematic approach:
- Conduct thorough market research to understand the industry landscape and identify key trends and challenges.
- Engage in interviews with key users to gather insights and understand their needs and pain points.
- Perform a competitive analysis to gain a comprehensive understanding of existing solutions and identify gaps in the market.
4. Map the user journey to visualize the entire user experience and identify areas for improvement. By conducting these activities, we ensure that our problem statement is well-informed and addresses the needs of the target audience.
Week 2: Solution Ideation
Week 2 is where creativity takes center stage. We aim to generate creative and feasible solutions to address the identified problem. Our approach is driven by structured brainstorming sessions, involving techniques such as "crazy 8s", mind maps, and the "How Might We" (HMW) framework. By the end of this week, we have a prioritized idea or solution ready to move forward. With this information we are able to design the user flow for the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and based on the user flow, and the deadline that we have we identify and prioritize the concept to validate with the PoC.
The expected outputs for this week are:
- Prioritized idea or solution for the PoC
- PoC backlog: The PoC backlog is a list of tasks and items that need to be completed during the Proof of Concept (PoC) phase of the "AI Challenge." It serves as a guide for developers and includes all the necessary steps and requirements to successfully build and test the functional prototype. The backlog helps ensure that the PoC is executed smoothly and that all aspects of the prioritized solution are addressed in the expected time.
During this phase, developers can also conduct research on available technologies, make comparisons to aid in decision-making regarding tool selection, and mitigate technical risks.
Week 3: Proof of Concept (PoC)
During the final week of the "AI Challenge," we get to work and start building a functional prototype of the prioritized solution. The Proof of Concept (PoC) serves as the litmus test for the concept's viability. This is where the magic happens as we bring our ideas to life.
During Week 3 of the "AI Challenge," the focus is on building a functional prototype of the prioritized solution. This involves developing a rapid prototype of the Proof of Concept (PoC), testing it to gather feedback, and making adjustments based on the test results. The expected outputs for this week include a functional prototype of the PoC, as well as the results and conclusions derived from the PoC execution.
Our "AI Challenge" framework empowers us to identify opportunities, define problems, brainstorm solutions, and validate them with functional prototypes within just four weeks. This rapid cycle of innovation has allowed us to stay ahead in the dynamic landscape of industry transformation.
The "AI Challenge" framework not only demonstrates our commitment to innovation but also serves as a call to action for businesses seeking to harness the power of AI. Industries can evolve in the blink of an eye, and those who adapt swiftly will emerge as leaders.
Stay tuned for more insights and case studies on how our "AI Challenge" framework continues to shape the future of industries. Join us on this thrilling journey of innovation and transformation.
Call to Action
We invite you to share your thoughts, questions, or experiences related to the "AI Challenge" framework. If you're looking for ways to accelerate your industry transformation, reach out to us. Let's embark on this journey of discovery and innovation together. Thank you for joining us on this incredible ride!
*Authors: Mikaela Pisani, Marina Acosta, Nicolas Vago, Carolina Bernat