Innovation Management Driven by Innovation Software
8 minutes, 3 seconds read
Innovation management can be a game changer for businesses of all sizes. It can give you a competitive advantage that generates short-term pay-offs while securing the long-term future of your organization. Using innovation software enables companies to easily crowdsource ideas, test concepts, and streamline management processes. In this article, we look at what innovation management is and how it can be used to improve customer experience, product development, and profitability.
What Is Innovation Management?
Innovation management is the process of organizing and implementing programs that collate, refine, and execute new ideas. Although it’s commonly associated with supply chain management, it’s actually a much wider concept that applies across every element of the workplace. Streamlining idea generation and delivering on innovation efforts is something that every employee can contribute to. But in order to be done successfully, it requires management and oversight through systems, processes, or innovation software.
Innovation is crucial to survival in modern business. The rate of technological advances and the rapid execution of new business models make it increasingly hard to keep up. Although companies understand the value of innovation, many find it difficult to do in practice. Which types of innovation should you focus on? How do you come up with good ideas? And who is going to execute them when everyone is so busy? In an increasingly competitive business environment, many organizations are turning to innovation management as a solution.
The traditional approach to research and development has evolved in recent years. According to research by PWC, ‘Open innovation (61%), design thinking (59%), and co-creation with customers, partners, and suppliers (55%) are all far more prevalent models today than traditional R&D (34%)’. This crowdsourcing approach to innovation is proving far more effective than other methods. Involving customers in the development process leads to better products and services that truly address their needs. By leveraging the collective intelligence of employees, businesses are able to improve internal processes. This increases efficiency, productivity, and profitability while developing a powerful innovation culture.
Why Is Innovation Management Important?
Having a management system for your innovation program is essential for its success. Many businesses struggle to generate and develop ideas into real-world executions. Without a business process for collecting suggestions, filtering out the best ones, and then testing them, progress comes to a standstill. Having a management system drives innovation so that new ideas have a clear pathway for development. It ensures that everyone knows what the next step is and who is responsible for it. This keeps innovation moving forward, resulting in a constant stream of new ideas and business improvements. It’s this continual progress and incremental innovation that can give organizations a huge advantage over their competitors and enable them to become (or maintain their position as) industry leaders.
How Do You Manage Innovation Successfully?
The key to successful innovation is having a process for collecting ideas and transforming them into reality. Internal employees are the main source of people-powered innovation for 60% of companies, so it’s crucial to have an idea management tool that collates their suggestions. Innovative teams also extend to technology partners, channel partners, and customers, which means your innovation processes should incorporate them too.
When developing an innovation management program, it can be helpful to ask the following questions.
- Who can give us new ideas or improvement insights?
- What’s the best way to collect and filter their suggestions?
- How can we avoid delays and bottlenecks?
- Who will be responsible for selecting, testing, and rolling out a new innovation project?
- How can we measure a program’s success against its goals?
By considering these key aspects, you can define the criteria that any innovation platform or process will need to meet. Innovation management software is a popular tool for managing ideation and implementation since it streamlines the entire process. But it’s also possible to collect ideas and follow up manually, although this tends to be more complex and time-consuming.
Innovation Software & Management Tools
Innovation software is the go-to management tool for large-scale organizations. It simplifies idea collection, filtering, selection, and implementation. With a digital platform, you can capture all of the complex innovation data in one place and easily track the progress of different projects. It helps with every stage of the innovation process:
- Identifying ideas – collating suggestions and feedback from multiples sources.
- Evaluating options – filtering the best ideas so you can focus on those with the most potential.
- Executing experiments – testing and trying out different ideas on a small-scale to assess viability.
- Implementing projects – launching proven ideas on a large-scale so that the wider organization can benefit.
- Measuring outcomes – tracking results and data reporting against goals and business objectives.
You’ll notice that innovation software can support the entire process, rather than just the idea collection. This differentiates them from idea management software which tends to focus on the initial stages of innovation like collating suggestions. It doesn’t provide an end-to-end solution for companies that want to implement their ideas. Yet this is the part that many organizations struggle with so it should be supported by digital solutions. Unfortunately, most platforms shine an idea spotlight that’s directed solely on creativity but doesn’t help translate into execution. Innovation software like Rever is different – it helps with managing change and innovation at every step of the process from start to finish.
Rever drives successful innovation management by enabling frontline employees to capture, communicate, and implement new ideas. Small changes lead to continual improvements that scale over time. Instead of a few experts managing the R&D process, Rever decentralizes your continuous improvement program so that it becomes accessible to everyone. This engages employees and enables them to experiment with test concepts and implement new ways of doing things.
The Rever platform facilitates action and helps avoid frustrating ‘paralysis by analysis’. By testing new ideas on a consistent basis, you can generate a valuable innovation portfolio of viable solutions. Rather than undertaking excessive amounts of research and creating detailed business plans before making decisions, companies are able to pilot schemes. By trialing new approaches, innovation is allowed to flourish with little to no downside. Experiments are run on a small scale and with minimal investment, so organizations have nothing to lose. Yet many of these tests end up being highly successful and improving the way things operate on a large-scale.
A continuous improvement approach is often more practical than holistic change. For large corporations or international enterprises, rolling out big projects can be a challenge. But making small tweaks is much easier and still has a meaningful impact on business results. Innovation software can facilitate communication between stakeholders, management teams, and employees so that the implementation of ideas is much easier.
Digital platforms also make tracking and measurement of innovation strategy a breeze. Requesting written reports and complex spreadsheets can burden staff with extra administrative chores. But software records actions, progress, and results instantly, so that you always have access to the latest project updates. Innovation managers can run reports and generate data at the touch of a button and analyze the results immediately.
Innovation management (and idea management) ensures that good ideas are shared and acted upon. It provides a project management framework for collecting feedback, selecting the most promising options, and then implementing them. It enables you to be disruptively innovative and create a culture of continuous improvement that gives companies a competitive edge. Using a software tool to manage the process makes everything simpler and easier. Your company benefits from proven approaches instead of having to build its own from scratch. And over time, these upsides are also reflected in customer satisfaction, organizational culture, and your bottom line.
How Rever Can Help
Our innovation software can help you to implement the key management principles. Rever is all about sharing and reusing, doing and tracking. Continuous improvement becomes a hundred times easier with our innovative kaizen software. Using Rever’s dashboard, you can monitor the performances of your teams, the summary of their impact, and easily identify the people making the biggest difference at your company.
Rever Cycle is our version of the PDCA methodology and guides your teams on the exact steps to follow to execute their own ideas. It allows them to capture the entire process, from identifying a problem to experimenting and implementing a solution. They can use it to capture the before and after with pictures, notes and drawings, making their ideas a reality in no time. The time of your team is too valuable to be wasted in handmade drawings and complex explanations.
At Rever, we believe that anybody can be a knowledge worker and thrive. What makes us human is the capacity to grow our intellect and will, and to use them for good. We observe, especially at work, that most people are asked to stop thinking and do as they are told. We want to change that. We enable people to achieve their full creative potential.
Interested in learning more about Rever or how the principles of lean manufacturing can benefit your business? Then get a demo today with one of our friendly lean management experts.
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