It’s important to explore a lot of ideas—some good,
some mediocre—in order to identify the best one
and develop truly innovative products.
In this first phase, solicit ideas from various
sources across teams, innovation labs, customers,
suppliers, partners and even competitors. Then
log them in a central repository where each idea is
measured against defined criteria and given a score
based on a weighted average formula.
The formula could comprise parameters such as
cost, return on investment, payback period, market size, strategic alignment rank and risk. Once
top-ranked ideas have been selected, ideally using
a portfolio management system, prioritize them
based on enterprise resources availability.
Examine the ideas with your team to pick the best,
most innovative idea. The bubble chart is an indispensable tool for depicting the ideas portfolio. For
example, the horizontal axis can represent cost, the
vertical axis can represent risk, bubble size can represent ROI and color can represent status. Ultimately,
the team will have to deliver a business case for the
idea and submit it for final approval.
Without a rigorous and tailored framework to
manage the innovation practice, realizing the benefits of innovation endeavors is unlikely. Instead,
the process collapses due to problems, such as the
lack of a chief innovation officer, the wrong ideas
being implemented or the lack of a post-imple-mentation process that measures actual benefits
against forecast ones.
When an organization has a formal innovation
framework that is properly aligned with business
strategy and governed with key indicators, it’s easy to
decide whether innovation is on track or derailed.
Lay the foundation for a robust, structured
innovation framework, led by a chief innovation
officer and adopted by all other teams, in three
phases: Ideate, innovate and capitalize. Here’s a
guide for successfully setting up this framework.
For an innovative environment to stand on
its own, it needs a little scaffolding first.
BY KAREEM SHAKER, PMI-RMP, PMP