How many great ideas turn into great products?
Ideas have many beginnings and often start as inklings and insights by people who think of creative solutions to their day-to-day challenges. Some of these are truly breakthrough ideas but are not yet fully formed. Others may be good ideas but they don’t fit the needs of the organization. How does an organization sort through all of the data and pick the right ideas?
Without the right framework, great ideas can be lost. Regardless of where the ideas originate, organizations need strong processes to collect, evaluate, and manage their ideas. Innovation Process Management (IPM) is a methodology to make sure the best ideas rise to the top and are acted upon. According to Wikipedia, “Innovation Management is the discipline of managing processes in innovation.” The key word in this definition is discipline. The process does not have to be rigid; it can be very flexible but it is important that you have one and that you use it.
IPM is not dependent on a tool. Can a tool make the process easier? Of course, but it is not required. What is required is a disciplined, repeatable approach to managing your innovation process life cycle. This concept was reinforced recently through an article published by the Project Management Institute (PMI), March, 2013: “Governing Creativity: Marrying Project Management with Innovation.” In this article, a Booz & Company study looked at barriers to innovation. The number one obstacle was difficulty translating ideas into projects. A strong IPM methodology that includes the discipline of Project Portfolio Management makes the difference in moving from a collection of ideas to a few well-managed projects that produce new or improved products and processes.
Every business has unique needs and we believe your innovation process must be a good match for your corporate culture. It needs to be flexible as well as repeatable and disciplined. If you are interested in learning more about our approach to innovation, please contact us for more information.