In the social media case various user-contributions were abundant and welcomed. This is not common as yet. This case focuses on how user innovation can be fostered in a producer-led organization. The topic is another social media application, Opettaja.tv (teacher.tv), a resource portal developed for school teachers by the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE. This organization has for decades rested on its producing and broadcasting skills but has now come to realize that it may need to develop alternative competence through working with innovating users. The redesign project of Opettaja.tv was chosen as a pilot by YLE and us, as the present Opettaja.tv site is in active use, but significantly less so than estimated and in regard to the potential it could have for supporting teachers across the land. YLE recognized that a major reason lay in its inability to present and organize (the considerable amount of) information in Opettaja.tv for teachers, and the need to rather have this done by the teachers themselves.
To date, our engagement with the project has been in the mode of consultancy project that introduces techniques and procedures by which YLE can engage users in the development work. This has given us good access to study the trials as well as the overall organizational uptake of user-led innovation approach. The Academy project broadens our presently possible data gathering further into the organizational uptake of user innovation led approach. It further allows us to analyze and report the data we have been able to generate (but not analyze scientifically) on the development and execution of user-led innovation techniques The case specifically focuses on four interrelated issues: a) user-led analysis of product functions and features, b) testing and development of techniques for the identification of lead users (and lead user innovations), c) redesign of Opettaja.tv utilizing lead user methodology, and d) introducing user-led product development methods to YLE organization.
The methodology for user-led analysis of product functions and features is being developed in the on- going project with YLE, and it will be experimented in laboratory studies and refined in the Academy project. Currently known techniques for lead-user identification – analogue finding, pyramiding and trend identification – will be applied in Opettaja.tv context and further developed. Lead user methodology, enriched with findings from a) and b), will be applied to Opettaja.tv and a new product concept will be developed. We will follow and study the YLE organization through interviews with affiliated organizational actors, recordings of meetings with users and YLE developers and analysis of documents pertaining to the evolution, continuation and spread of user-led product development methods in the organization.