Stakeholder and network analysis
A logical but very important first step is to clearly define the vision, using the Value Design Method that has been developed by Pelin Atasoy within the ProFit project – as the FieldLabs in Eindhoven, Delft, Kortrijk, Sheffield and Ulster (Newtownabbey) did under the title Vision2020. Participants from businesses, knowledge institutes, end user representatives and government worked together to define the value provided by each local FieldLab, the services that can be provided, and the challenges ahead. Closely related to this first step are a stakeholder and network analysis, for example through interviews, and setting up an innovation agenda.
As Pelin concludes from the Vision2020 workshops: ‘It is important to involve stakeholders early in the process, not only to create a shared understanding, but also to spot the challenges ahead to act on. It is not easy to move from the abstract level to the concrete actions that should be taken. Although it may seem like everyone has an agreement in the early stages, the differences in understanding may be revealed when a specific product/service scenario is worked out. Therefore stakeholder dialogue should start early in the process, and carried out as one of the main activities of the FieldLab.