Organizations today are under immense pressure to deliver innovation to market faster than ever before. But how can large established companies effectively sustain corporate innovation? And are they fully equipped to do so?
Looking back over our client’s advances during 2017, we see five key areas that repeatedly yield fruitful ground for improving innovation processes and support.
David Munt, Managing Director and co-founder of GenSight, has over 20 years of experience in new product development solutions and shared his comments on these top 5 critical areas for delivering a successful product launch: “While these 5 top tips are by no means exhaustive, they definitely cover the key areas where we keep seeing opportunities for large and successful organizations to improve their innovation processes and support systems. Even if you just focus on these, business performance will improve.”
- Collaboration and Communication
Collaboration and effective communication is key. It is essential that project managers and team members have a shared knowledge base where they can engage, communicate and share across the entire innovation pipeline. Cross-functional collaboration and high quality information collection ensures that everyone has access to the most up-to-date information and resources, maintained and updated in real-time.
Not only does this mean that project managers and team members can quickly and easily share key documents, spreadsheets and project plans; It also means goals are clearer and there is greater visibility or strategic objectives and priorities.
From individual projects to the whole portfolio, the projects you select today will determine the shape and prosperity of the business in the future. However, if there are too many projects with unclear scope, how do you identify the projects with the best potential?
You can improve your decision quality with the right information, and to do this you need to assess your whole portfolio. Explore and compare alternative scenarios. What is the probability of success?
Once you have a clear idea of your priorities, you can allocate resources accordingly. Top down criteria based prioritization enables you to focus resources on the best projects to accelerate growth. However, if you lack the time and resources, you have a much higher failure rate.
- Minimize Risk
It is imperative you manage uncertainty in an objective way, with judgements based on facts. The most up-to-date risk analysis tools will use multiple criteria – technical and commercial – to give you an informed assessment. These assessments are combined with financial analytics to enable you to see which projects offer best return versus risk trade-off and help you manage and track specific risks and issues that affect a project.
By considering both technical and commercial factors that influence the likelihood of project success, your forward planning will be more robust and realistic.
- Appropriate Governance
The best innovating businesses build an appropriate level of governance into their planning, interacting with all stakeholders and cross functional teams throughout the entire development stage. ‘Appropriate’ means matching the process to the type of innovation and project, and having flexibility to support different workflow methodologies.
Ensuring that all the right inputs are obtained – customer feedback, market outlook, technical assessments to name just some – provides valuable data and delivers tangible insight that can be used to make better business decisions based on information rather than a hunch.
- Speed is Essential
Companies are facing increasing pressure to reduce their cycle time, yet improve their new product success rate. You need a systematic and quality approach to ensure things happen as they should, without cutting corners. Therefore, sensible ways to accelerate development need to be built into your system, helping you to gather the right information to get it right first time.
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