Innovating for good – using data and pretotyping to drive industry change
Innovation and Tech

Innovating for good – using data and pretotyping to drive industry change

By PEXA • Oct 2021

We are driven to “Innovate for Good” every day, coming up with ideas with our customers in mind to create innovative solutions in the sector. Our Chief Product and Digital Experience Officer, James Ruddock shares how we use innovation to enhance our members’ experience as they continue to seamlessly transact with PEXA.

Of the three core values we have here at PEXA, the one that resonates with me most is “Innovate for Good”.

A fantastic biproduct of the advancements in technology and the onset of the digital age is the influx of ideas and accessibility to dream-realising capabilities. I guess the only (minor) downside to that is innovation for the sake of innovation and developing new solutions without really understanding what problem they are trying to solve, can lead to wasted effort and sub-optimal outcomes.

Working at an ever-growing technology provider means the quest for new ideas and improvement is a never-ending endeavour, fostered in an environment that does not accept the status quo.

I first came across the concept of pretotyping a number of years ago when a colleague referred me to Alberto Savoia’s book “The Right It”.  I learnt about the Law of Market Failure and that most new ideas fail no matter how competently they are executed.  I also learnt that to fight the Law of Market Failure you need to test the market for your ideas objectively, rigorously, and quickly before you invest to develop them.  While not an overly new concept, this notion of testing and validating ideas as efficiently as possible appealed to my CFO roots.   

The benefits are wide-ranging but boil down to this: don’t get bogged down in the ideas that simply won’t work, no matter how grand and idealistic they are.

Informing concepts and ideas with the rich data and knowledge readily available to PEXA supercharges our brainstorming process. The ability to quickly sift through ideas, without compromising due process, is a gamechanger for us.

To me, solving problems or enhancing existing mechanisms can only be achieved through looking at the research and data underpinning the problems in question and then pretotyping the potential solutions to try and find the best ones to solve them.

Take the settlement process, for example. Getting people into their property on time is a key strategic priority for us and, with many parties involved in the settlement process, there are myriad issues that can lead to this not being achieved. Now we could take a scatter-gunned approach and try to solve them all – but that leads to waste and delay and does nothing to serve our members or consumers trying to get into their homes.

Instead working with the industry; accessing, analysing and sharing data that reveals the pain points; and then using pretotyping to quickly validate solutions as quickly as possible is, I think, the most effective way to solve what is a complex and multi-dimensional problem.

Ideas aren’t worth much without rigorous and efficient testing and gathering the data to support implementing them. Trying to make ideas count underpins our core value to “Innovate for Good”.

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