Today, more than ever, product innovation is critical to maintaining competitiveness in today’s fast-paced, global market. Yet, as market studies show, many companies find it hard to assess and advance their ability to innovate across the product portfolio. Tools and methods for managing product development in organizations abound, yet none really provide a cohesive framework for assessing a company’s innovation program encompassing the people, processes, and tools needed to speed time to market.
In a recent Tech Clarity Insight white paper, industry analyst Jim Brown asks: “Product innovation is critical to differentiate and remain competitive in today’s fast-paced, global markets. Bolstering innovation to a core competency helps manufacturers drive higher revenue, lower cost, and mitigate risk. So why is it so hard for companies to improve innovation performance and drive meaningful business value?”
A very good question. Why is it very hard? At VietnamWorks we have always tried to empower innovation with different techniques even we have implementedinnovation accounting however as part of new year resolution we are also asking ourselves this question, how can we measure and improve our company innovation level. We found interesting articles on this matter that have tried to consolidate maturity model and innovation in order to measure the maturity level of innovation such as TIM foundation, PlanView or HIMSS.
There are three factors which are essential to an effective innovation program: people, processes, and tools. PlanView's model encompasses the entire full product lifecycle from idea to launch and through to end of life. While the industry is hyper-focused on idea to launch, innovation does not stop there. Being able to manage it once each product is in market is important, as are the processes, effort, and money necessary to terminate it.
Based on my experience of exercising innovation at VietnamWorks, this is my understanding of the levels based on HIMSS is as below:
- Level 1 (Non-Functional) and Level 2 (Developing). Organizations at these levels tend to share many concerns, reflective of the fact that both lack, to a greater or lesser extent, the technological and process support structures that would lessen data, communication, and planning problems.
- Level 3 (Inconsistent). Organizations at this level have crossed the technology chasm from their lower maturity level colleagues by using technology to plan, find and leverage information, and keep execution on track. With gated commercialization processes in place and established process, resource, and project managers breaking down communication silos, these organizations are seeing definite benefits of moving up the maturity model.
- Level 4 (Consistent) and Level 5 (Optimizing). These organizations have embraced the journey of advancement and, by and large, recognize that innovation maturity is not accidental. They have invested in planned growth across people, process, and tools to drive faster yet sustainable and repeatable innovation practices. They have formed cross-functional project teams that support open innovation; their processes are dynamic and adapt to change; and they leverage product portfolio management solutions to do it all.
After adopting and implementing Agile Blueprint at VietnamWorks, we stumbled upon a decision that we need to have a mature and modern product development innovation framework in order to get the right ideas to market, at the right time and cost with a product innovation solution that supports the entire product lifecycle is a key to sustainable growth as well as incrementally innovate current products while we develop our next breakthrough. Hence we are working on a new blueprint as it is shown in image below: