In this article, we spotlight the ‘real’ factors from a successful year-long innovation programme, from the perspective of the team members.
We split the programme into three main phases:
- Phase 1 was focussed on brainstorming and idea prioritisation, supported by market research and analysis
- Phase 2 was a deep dive analysis which involved research with stakeholder groups across value chains, a detailed market analysis, conducting technology assessments, and a commercial analysis, etc
- Phase 3 was about preparing business cases as input to an investment decision meeting
Here are the seven factors that contributed to the programme’s success:
- A programme plan and structured process helped to focus the mind.
- Holding brainstorm workshops in different regions helped to engage staff and get their buy-in. We ran workshops in Europe and the US.
- Having a market-led approach (e.g. gathering customer/market views from different positions in the value chain) aided decision making, business case development, and investment decisions
- Swift decision making (e.g. deciding to park some projects) helped to maintain momentum and increase focus on the most attractive areas
- “Challenge sessions” with stakeholder groups from across the company helped to sharpen decisions and made the ideas and business cases more robust while communicating the new ideas across the organisation.
- Flexibility to extend the project timeline to match the organisation’s agenda.
- High levels of staff engagement.
These were the key success factors as voted by the project team. Two other points I would add are: (1) the importance of having senior management sponsorship and (2) to properly scope the programme – you can read more about scoping in one of our earlier blogs – click here.
Use the above as a checklist when setting up and managing an innovation programme. Any questions, let me know.
For more innovation tips, please visit: http://www.3inno.com/our-articles
Do you want to be more successful at innovation? I recommend the book Innovation Unplugged – helping managers prepare today’s business for future growth.
Director of 3inno