Technology at Agribusinesses - Innovation Through Pilots

What happens when you don’t know or cannot identify your requirements? It is very common to face a situation where you know that new technology is needed but you aren’t sure on the best path forward. This guide will help you overcome uncertainty through pilot testing and allow you to explore the benefits of technology without risk.

Have you ever thought to yourself...

“We want to begin to digitise our operations, but we aren’t sure where to start and we aren’t really sure where things will go or how things will change in the future. If we could just get started on making our operations and data digital, I know we would be able to figure out where to go from there and what to do next.”

“We want to try a new business idea, but we aren’t quite sure if it will work, what technology we need, or if it will ultimately be profitable and in the best interest of the company. Like any new business idea, it’s pretty high risk and our budget is pretty low until everything is proven, but we think the return could be good if we could figure out the technology side of things and how much it will cost.”

If you feel like the above, you are well positioned to try new technologies through pilots. You'll need to do two things. First, you'll need to hyper-focus on a specific challenge that is top priority for you to solve within your organization. Next, we'll need to experiment and figure out what works and what doesn't. Let's check out how those two things will look below.

Defining a focus and identifying a priority challenge

When testing or experimenting with new technologies, you may feel unsure where to start. Perhaps you are unsure what technology can do, or you feel you are missing the details you need to make good decisions. In this part of the guide, we'll uncover how to tackle key challenges with a systematic approach that gives you the feedback and the information you need. We'll follow a 5 step framework we developed for piloting new technology ideas, described below:

Many of the same principles from the developing requirements part of this guide apply even when you are experimenting with new technology and unsure of what will come next. By developing a clear picture of how technology relates to your business priorities, you can quickly determine technologies that make sense for your goals and vision.

Setting up pilots and launching like a startup

With our 5 step framework in hand, we have a clear picture of a key challenge that we want to solve and a systematic approach for how to move forward. In this step we'll look at how to pilot tech so you can move at the speed of a startup while also reducing your risk and getting the feedback you need.
Piloting is about experimenting and figuring out what does and does not work. We will want to test solutions in an environment that replicates your day-to-day operations without putting your core business at risk. We'll do this by selecting small areas of your operations to test, and using technologies that are cheap and easy to manage.
For each iteration (or new experiment) of our pilot, we'll make a small change to the technology itself (or the way the technology is used) and then test how these changes impact your key metrics. As we learn what works and what does not work, we'll quickly improve the way in which you are using and implementing technologies.
Technology is about diving into the unknown and it is often not a perfect process, but with the help of this guide we hope you can explore the benefits of technology without risks through strategic and well-structured pilots. We look forward to helping you launch into something new and following along as you try out new tech and jump head first into your next technology initiative!

This is a draft guide in the final stages of revisions. We would love for you to review a draft prior to its public release. If you are interested in piloting new technology or want to get an early look at the full guide, send us a chat message or schedule a meeting. We look forward to your feedback and releasing the full guide and videos here sometime soon!
This guide was developed for AgDevCo. All insights provided in the guides and the above videos are owned by AgDevCo. Check out AgDevCo's incredible work here. Have an idea for another guide? Awesome, let's talk!