An innovation process and software framework
Clearly there's a significant disconnect between these figures, and we believe one of the important reasons is that innovation is still so poorly defined from a process and systems perspective.
As many of you know, we at OVO have been working to define an "end to end" process that supports innovation, and to define the tools and software necessary to support that process. Much like a purchasing process has defined phases or steps, and enabling software, or as a sales team has defined phases or steps and underlying CRM software, we believe innovation needs to be defined from a process point of view to be repeatable, and will need integrated software applications as the number of people and number of ideas increase.
To that end, we've put together the following diagram to start a discussion about innovation processes and tools.
At the top, in green, are activities in the innovation process, starting with identifying trends and customer requirements. In the arrow are the steps we advocate for an innovation process: generate ideas, capture ideas, evaluate ideas, develop as products or services and launch the new products or service.
In blue are the data and system requirements to support each phase of the innovation. These are divided into two sections: software or data that support a specific step in the process (eg brainstorming software supporting the "Generate" step) and software or data that supports the entire process, which is represented at the bottom of the graphic. These applications or data requirements span the length of the process and include requirements like capturing metrics across the process and reporting across the process.
By creating this framework, we are trying to forecast what we think will happen to innovation, and use analogies from the ERP world and CRM world. Increasingly, firms value consistent, collaborative information that enables a business process. This means that the existing software applications that support "innovation" will have to consolidate and support the entire process in one component framework or integrated solution, just like the way ERP consolidated from financial software, purchasing software and inventory software. Innovation is an important and necessary business process, and probably the least well supported from the standpoint of process and software today.
This framework is one we've put forward as a representation of the processes and tools necessary for repeatable, successful innovation. If you care to, please comment or provide your feedback. I think if we practitioners, consultants and interested bystanders can create a consistent vision for the future of innovation and the tools and processes necessary for success, we can help our clients and business partners become more successful.
Let me know your thoughts and what you would change in the framework.