A Framework for Managing the Innovation Process

Topics: Innovation, New product development, Idea Pages: 22 (6155 words) Published: January 9, 2013
A Framework for Managing the Innovation Process

Niek D du Preez1 , Louis Louw2
Stellenbosch University, Department of Industrial Engineering, South Africa 2 Indutech (Pty) Ltd, Brandwacht Office Park, South Africa innovative and free thinking. Yet even Edison realised that a lot of perspiration is required in balance with the inspiration. Any innovation management framework should thus include a good combination of structure and flexibility in order to successfully deploy all the elements of successful innovation. Fig 1 depicts the process as viewed by the authors.

Abstract--Successful innovation requires an integrated design process, i.e. integration in the design of the enterprise, the design of the product, as well as the design and implementation of new technologies. Such an integrated design effort requires good collaboration and management of the designs, and should be supported by efficient knowledge management techniques and tools. If innovation is to help a business grow and improve its competitiveness, it is also important to plan the innovation carefully. Though some ideas may just “fall from the sky” or “come out of the blue”, an organisation should also have a strategic vision of how the business and the enterprise should develop. The Enterprise should not wait for the innovation to arrive arbitrarily, but rather proactively plan for innovation incorporating market trends, the competitive landscape, new technology availability, and changes in customer preferences and trends in order to create fruitful terroir conducive for innovative thinking. Such an enterprise will also pro-actively manage the knowledge supply chain that supports innovation. This paper presents a combined convergent and divergent approach for managing innovation within an innovation landscape that contextualise domains, role-players, decision points and knowledge network components . The Innovation management model specifically focuses on the use of roadmapping for planning and deploying innovation within a collaborative deployment environment. A case study illustrating the use of parts of the framework within the insurance industry is also presented.

Fig. 1 - Components of the Innovation life cycle

I. INTRODUCTION Innovation is widely recognised by industry and academics as an essential competitive enabler for any enterprise that wants to remain competitive and survive and grow [5],[7]. Surveys such as the annual innovation survey from The Boston Consulting Group [1] however, suggest that although the importance of innovation is fully realised by most enterprises and they continue to spend more and more on innovation, many of these initiatives do not generate satisfactory profit or competitive advantage. The problem does not lie in the invention part or the generation of innovative ideas, but more in the successful management of the innovation process from an idea to a successful product in the market [12], [13], [18]. Booz Allen Hamilton [11] found that a common denominator among successful innovators is “a rigorous process for managing innovation, including a disciplined, stage-by-stage approval process combined with regular measurement of every critical factor, ranging from time and money spent to the success of new products in the market." This seems to be in stark contrast to the traditional wisdom that inventions cannot be planned, but require

This paper presents an innovation process model developed by combining concepts from various available new product development and innovation process models published in literature and practical experience obtained from various industrial applications. This model is presented as a roadmap to guide users through the innovation process. The paper introduces different innovation processes as well as new product development models from the literature. Through synthesis important generic characteristics and components of current innovation process models are identified. A new...

References: [1] [2] Boston Consulting Group (2006). Innovation 2006, online at
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