How Client Involvement Streamlines Innovation

April 26, 2023
Catherine Kucharski

Innovation is the bridge that connects the present to the future, enabling firms to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate changing trends. Digital tools and products are forms of innovation that help transition processes to be more efficient and streamlined. It is crucial for organizations to allocate resources dedicated to innovative practices and stay engaged in the process for optimal results. Client involvement and collaboration while developing innovations combat common challenges seen. The process of developing innovative practices can be complex, with multiple moving parts and the potential for misalignment of needs and expectations, client engagement reduces the risks associated with the development.  

Client Collaboration

Involving clients during the development of digital innovation is essential to overcome obstacles that may hinder the process. It has a significant impact, ensuring that the client is a priority for the organization responsible for the development and protecting the integrity of the process. Client engagement guarantees that the client has an open line of communication to advocate for their needs, align expectations, maintain transparency, and allow for agile responses to issues as they arise. Collaborating with clients during the innovation process not only improves the outcomes but also makes the client feel valued and heard, increasing overall client satisfaction. A study by Oracle revealed that 95% of customers choose a business that offers assistance throughout all purchase stages.

Advocating Client Needs  

When creating digital tools and products for clients, customization is an established standard. The malleability of innovation is a double-edged sword. While it's beneficial, it can be challenging to tailor its abilities to fit the client's needs and achieve its intended purpose. However, when clients remain active participants in the process, they can articulate the solutions they had in mind. After all, no one knows their needs better than the clients themselves. This approach ensures that the process only focuses on developing features that are useful for the client. Striking a balance between innovation and client needs is crucial to ensure that the final product satisfies the client's requirements and exceeds their expectations. 

Goal & Expectation Alignment 

Maintaining active client engagement throughout the innovation development process is a protective measure for both the client and the firm creating the innovations. Alignment and risk mitigation should always take top priority in the relationship and be discussed with the client to emphasize the value of the process. This allows all parties to understand the scope of work and confirm goal alignment before development begins. As the innovation progresses, the client gains a better understanding of the project's development and can provide feedback if certain features or deliverables do not meet their goals or expectations. Keeping goals aligned reduces potential risks or unanticipated issues arising, optimizing the process, and minimizing resource wastage by ensuring that only necessary tasks that align with the client's objectives are performed.

Maintain Transparency 

Engaging with the client throughout the process ensures that they have a clear understanding of the scope of work and promotes transparency at every stage. Deadlines and timelines are subject to change based on the client's needs, and transparent communication is essential in conveying these changes to the client in an iterative manner. Maintaining transparency in pricing is crucial to prevent clients from feeling caught off guard and helps them better comprehend the rationale behind the pricing. By clearly communicating the work involved, clients feel more at ease with the cost because they have a better understanding of what it entails. Transparency leads to increased client satisfaction and trust in the organization developing the product and the product itself.

Combats Potential Bottlenecks 

Client involvement during the innovation process acts as a guardrail for potential issues that may arise. The creation and development of innovations isn't always a linear process; more often than not, it takes an agile approach. Client involvement facilitates flexibility during the process, making it easier to foster ideas and identify opportunities for refinement. Innovations require continuous improvements as technology advances to stay current. Client involvement is crucial as it helps identify potential areas for improvement or opportunities to expand the scope of work to meet additional needs. Client involvement helps navigate any issues that can arise during the development process.


Innovation is crucial for organizations to maintain relevance; however, it's not always a cut-and-dry process. Client collaboration is essential for the success of innovation. Active participation in the process ensures goals are met, transparency is established, and the innovation meets needs and expectations. Innovation favors an agile workflow, and with many moving parts, client involvement supports the process. Collaborating with clients helps organizations achieve better outcomes and deliver innovations that truly meet their clients' needs. It fosters a sense of partnership between the organization and the client, leading to a more successful and satisfying outcome. In today's competitive business environment, innovation is a key driver of growth and success, and client involvement creates the best return on investment.

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