The product is currently sold across
South America and Africa, and engineers are working on MAPEC 1. 5,
scheduled for release next year.
“In today’s economy, you have to
create a culture where it is okay to try
new things and look to the future,” Mr.
Campos advises. “And the only way to
do that is through strong management
That means executives must allow
teams to break the rules every now and
“You need to be willing to encour-
age people to be innovative, even when
it results in failure,” he says, though
he admits that “a lot of companies are
adverse to that.”
All that said, companies still need to
keep track of their innovation efforts
to make sure teams aren’t going too far
over the cutting edge.
“You need a framework that incents
innovation, and includes measures,
scorecards and methods of review to
manage the risks,” Mr. Bills says.
Putting measures and gate reviews in
place to track the progress of innovation
can dramatically reduce the risk of failure and help project teams adjust their
plans as needed.
Project managers should also consider bringing in the gatekeepers from
finance, legal and purchasing from the
beginning to help guide decision-making, Mr. Bills suggests. This might prevent key players from weighing in (and
possibly killing a project) after time and
money have already been invested.
Even in tough times, innovation is a
necessary risk. That risk just has to be
“It’s not a matter of taking the risk
or leaving the risk,” Mr. Khalifa says.
“Doing business means taking risks.
But you can create a structure and culture to manage the risks and improve
your odds of success.” PM
Even in tough
is a necessary
risk. That risk
just has to be
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