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What R&D looks like at Basware - and why it is important

BloggausResearch and Development (R&D) strives to create and improve a company’s products and services through experimentation, innovation, constant analysis, development, and testing to deliver improvements in the lives of their customers.

Depending on the nature of the products and services, R&D can look very different from one company to another. For example, the R&D department of an automotive company will look drastically different from that of a pharmaceutical company. 

Despite those differences, there are several fundamentals that are universal constants. These include: 

  • Heavy emphasis towards clarifying “The Problem” to be solved;
  • Iterative Experimentation of possible ways to tackle the problem employing fail fast techniques;
  • Rigorous application of a method to deliver a solution to:

---Ensure quality of the solution

---Guarantee that the problem is appropriately addressed

---Deliver the value for those who need it. 

The focus for any R&D organization is to prioritize the ability to do all of the above rapidly. As you can imagine, the way to achieve this varies a lot from one industry to another. 

Here is how we do it at Basware 

A customer will always want easy, simple, and high-quality products and services. They want to be able to go about their lives without hassles, extra steps, or customer service support. 

Basware creates services that are delivered as software. We organize our processes, people and culture around delivering high-quality software, ensuring that it gets right to the core of the problems our customers are facing. We focus on simplifying the purchase-to-pay processes so that the users can focus on their business value.

We talk to our customers 

The first step for us is to understand the problems our customers and target markets face. This involves analysis work, and, most importantly, talking directly to the people impacted by the problem – our customers.

When we talk to a customer, we are trying to understand their problem, from both a needs and opportunities perspective. This is an ongoing process. We gather information constantly from both customers and subject matter experts. Then, we talk to our customers, respectively, to dig in and research the problem. We research its origin, its domain and its possible solutions. 

We look for solutions

From the research, we innovate around potential solutions. We work out the best way to solve the problem. In the early stages, this often involves prototyping and coming up with solution ideas. This evolves into delivering a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to a small set of customers to gain real feedback. From there, the product evolves into a more complete solution for all customers. It does not end there – we will continue adding more capabilities based on the usage, product data as well as the customer feedback.

The goal is to make this happen quickly and effectively. In truth, doing so is very demanding. It involves many steps, iterations and people. On top of that, it requires a commitment to good practices that drive improvements to the pace and quality of an R&D organization. 

The good practices include: 

  • Driving positive and appropriate culture to foster innovation, speed and quality;
  • Adopting lean and appropriate practices for team, management and leadership;
  • Measuring key indicators related to innovation, speed and quality and reacting to them quickly;
  • Ensuring a scalable, testable, and deployable architecture.

In this case, it is clear that as much as R&D is a complex system to create solutions – it is also a key cultural component for how we go about addressing and solving problems. 

Basware’s approach to problem solving has gone through a massive transformation over the last decade. Today, we offer a world-class, SaaS service with an architecture, platform and product range that has evolved to serve people and businesses around the world. 

Two things have remained constant through that evolution. First, our commitment to understanding and delivering what our customers need and want; Secondly, Basware’s innovative, open and trusting culture exhibited by every Baswarean. That has allowed us to be dynamic, forward thinking, and open to doing things differently, together. 

When we maintain our culture, we can support and grow our people – our problem solvers. 

As a company, we know that we must be open and eager to change. We must keep an eye out to understand our customers’ needs. We must seek to find new approaches, models and practices that allow us to deliver meaningful and high-quality value quickly.

If we are not our own best R&D, we cannot be that for others. R&D must start with us: our practices, our mindsets, our commitment to each other.

This article was published on LinkedIn.

Written by: Alistair Gilbert

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