Structured Innovation Process
Structured Innovation sounds like an oxymoron. But you can have a process for innovation just like you have a design, manufacturing or sales process.
A structured process can take many forms, but it might look something like this
1. Decided the general area of innovation
There is always a chance that someone will think of something 'out of the blue' that sets up a new direction for the company, but a successful structured process needs direction. Thus the fields where innovation are desired should be identified so as to fit in with the company strategy.
2. Find a customer 'need' or a problem to fix within that area
There are a number of different ways to do this. And by the way the customer can be an internal customer.
3. Come up with ideas
This is the creative bit and what many people think of as 'innovation'. Obviously there will be no innovation without this essential step, but it does not need to rely on your company having a tame 'mad inventor'. You can have a process for this activity too - unbelievable maybe, but true.
4. Shortlist the best ideas
You may well have generated too many ideas in the previous step, so you need a method for filtering out the less good ones.
5. Test the shortlisted ideas
Do some of test or tests on the shortlisted ideas to check out how well they are likely to perform, technically (including being practical to implement) and in the market.
6. Choose the best idea
Apply a further filter to determine the best idea with which to proceed.
7. Develop and productionise the idea
Now the idea needs to be turned into something concrete that can be made or implemented in the quantities needed, at a commercial price.
8. Launch the Innovation
When it is ready it can be launched into manufacturing and onto the market
9. Monitor its progress and come up with the next one
See how well it actually performs, compared to your predictions, see what you can do better next time. Plan a mark 2 version and at the same time move on to the next innovation.
To discuss how we can help your company to develop a structured innovation process, please contact us.
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