Why Agile and Rapid Learning Cycles?

Only 19% of all new product development projects reach commercialization and less than 12% become commercial success[1]. With so dismal numbers, no wonder business leaders are skeptical of innovation.  But what if things could be different?

Many software firms found the answer to fight failure in Agile. Indeed, agile has made it possible for IT firms to achieve positive returns with 50% more of its new-product introductions, at the same time twice as many workers were emotionally engaged in their jobs[2]. What if we could have these amazing levels of success in the non-software businesses? The opportunities are immense.

"What if we could have these amazing levels of success in the non-software businesses?"

What is Rapid Learning Cycles

This is where Rapid Learning Cycles comes in, a tried and tested agile method to manage innovation under high-cost and high-uncertainty, a robust framework that has a proven track record across the world. Today Rapid Learning Cycles is used from medical devices in pharma industry (e.g., Novozymes), to the development of solar panels in the energy sector (e.g. SunPower), to metal cutting solutions for milling (e.g. SECO Tools).

"The secret of Rapid Learning Cycles is to pull innovation from your teams with the right strategic intent, team structures, processes, systems and metrics that help teams stay focused despite high uncertainty and change."

To do this, the Rapid Learning Cycles framework helps teams first identify the decisions most likely to trigger loopbacks: high-impact and high-unknown decisions. Then it supports those teams identifying what they need to learn first to make those decisions.

This means the team can pull learning forward, i.e., build the knowledge they need to make a good decision, at the same time they delay the decision as long as possible to preserve flexibility. This is the key of any successful innovation process: delay decisions that can be delayed and maintain flexibility until you gather knowledge. When teams do that, they make decisions with the right people, at the right time with the best available knowledge.  The decisions are much less likely to be changed later, eliminating long, slow loopbacks so that innovation gets to market faster.

How to get started

Rapid Learning Cycles is a breakthrough framework which will have a substantial impact on your organization’s ability to deliver innovative products.

Next Agents is the first affiliate of Rapid Learning Cycles in the Nordics and we will support you in every step of the agile revolution! We will help you to identify a pilot, run it, remove obstacles and expand the framework to all the necessary teams! Above all, we want to empower your business to grow and be self-sufficient, so we will teach you the framework and make sure you can implement if by yourself in the future.

It sounds as simple as it is, a robust agile method that can be applied to any product or service and in any industry. And you can do it. Just like IKEA once made functionality and design available to the masses, Rapid Learning Cycles makes Agile available to all innovations and all industries.  Join the revolution.

"Next Agents is the first affiliate of Rapid Learning Cycles in the Nordics and we will support you in every step of the agile revolution!"

Embedded in the RLC agile framework are several steps to prioritise work. Key Decisions and critical Knowledge Gaps are identified and take antecedence so nothing critical is left behind.

Interested to know more? Rapid Learning Cycles is for you if:


  • Innovation and product development takes too long, or your programs are always late.
  • You have a mission-critical innovation that needs to get to market as early as possible.
  • You have recently had an innovation process deliver disappointing results and you want to make sure it never happens again.
  • You want more capacity to do more programs without adding more people.
  • You have a great idea you want to get to market faster while guaranteeing high levels of motivation and satisfaction on your teams

The books

Book "The shortest distance between you and your new product" by Katherine Radeka.
Book "High Velocity Innovation" by Katherine Radeka.
Book "When Agile Get Physical" by Katherine Radeka and Kathy Iberle

[1] Product Development and Management Association Survey – Lee and Markham, 2016; Markham and Lee, 2013.

[2] Harvard Business Review – Rigby et al.,2016.