Innovation at 1000 kms per hour

Callaghan Innovation clients recently benefited from a chance to learn from a company leading its field globally from an office in Auckland.

An Auckland software company has opened its doors to other businesses to learn from its innovation process.

Private Flight Global is an innovative software business that provides both an operational and a catering procurement platform to private jet operators.

Established in 2007, Private Flight has its Head Office in Auckland, with staff and operation centers in Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

Private Flight supports private jet operators worldwide

Private Flight supports private jet operators worldwide

CEO Richard Pryor recently invited half a dozen Callaghan Innovation clients to view Private Flight’s innovation space.

The space uses boards to visually represent their innovation process, starting with customer insights, following a logical progression to the eventual design requirements, which can be moved to the workspace(s) of the people tasked with completing the development.

The agile methodology Private Flight follows is not unique, but the way it is presented to staff ensures it is an integral part of the work culture.

Under signs with headings such as “Discovery & Learning” and “Design Sprint” are a host of visual representations of innovation processes the company uses to put ideas to the test, fail fast and put good initiatives into practice.

Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor

It’s the sort of discipline which is seeing Private Flight disrupt the market for flight logistics and  flight operations software.

Pryor says he’s seen the approach used at design and strategy firm DNA, and brought it into Private Flight because of the opportunity to embrace customer experience design – “a subject close to our heart”.

“Our Chief Innovation Officer also has significant experience with this approach and we have provided a free-hand which has allowed us to integrate some of the world’s best practice.”

Private Flight Chief Innovation Officer Martin Grant

Private Flight Chief Innovation Officer Martin Grant

For Pryor, a key benefit has been the ability to break down natural silos within the organisation.

“I have a natural leaning toward visual representation of ideas but I also reflected on how we have traditionally concealed processes and important information within the confines of only a few peoples’ screens.

“Capturing our overall innovation process and getting each development sprint on the walls has enabled us to get our entire team involved in the design process and contributing in a meaningful way. This includes our internal development team, ultimately reducing any surprises or technical challenges at handover time.”

Visibility of the process is also a benefit for customers and other involved.

“Another key benefit is that it becomes easier for other stakeholders to understand the journey we are on and how we are working toward our goals.”

For Pryor, this is part of a simple philosophy: take ideas from those ahead of you and adapt them to your situation; work out a problem or a process in an end-to-end way; and create a great workspace where everyone can get involved.

“I believe if we were doing five years ago what we are now doing the company would have improved at a faster pace.” – Richard Pryor

The invite to other companies came about courtesy of a longstanding relationship between Private Flight, Callaghan Innovation and NZTE. It was Pryor’s way of repaying the support the agencies had provided, and in turn provided a way for Callaghan Innovation to connect some potentially disruptive businesses with an exemplar of innovation practice.

Pryor himself suggests a similar experience would have helped Private Flight take off even earlier.

“I believe if we were doing five years ago what we are now doing the company would have improved at a faster pace.

“I just want to invite other New Zealand businesses to see a practical design-led approach to innovation in the hope they may gain a useful insight or two that will help propel them forward at a faster pace.

“With respect to Callaghan Innovation, I see this as a way to reciprocate their support of Private Flight in a way that helps them achieve their own goal of helping New Zealand businesses succeed.”

Callaghan Innovation can connect you to like-minded businesses so you can learn from the best on how the innovation system works. To find out more, click here.

About Callaghan Innovation

Business. Technology. Success.
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