Innovation of Business

and the
Business of Innovation™
 
Toolkit - Concept

 

Concept InnoKit

 

Quick View: Imagine you manage a powerful idea machine, perhaps R&D or an engineering department. Imagine that your machine works so well that you have far more ideas than you can implement. You need to evaluate and choose the best.
Faced with a fixed or declining budget, you need to focus on the very best ideas. Prioritizing makes sense, yet Stage Gate formulas can miss great opportunities because the development team doesn’t have cognitive tools for presenting.

The product InnoKit does the job thoroughly, yet an ideal solution is a quick analysis that teams can do for themselves. In the process, those teams may find qualities and features not identified before. The Concept InnoKit is fast, compact, and supports early decision making by empowered teams. The process can be used to evaluate projects for funding,  technologies for transfer into product pipelines, possible products for development, and even scientific results for dissemination.
    
The result is a product prospectus, not a Strategic Identity. This suite of processes is specifically designed to enable investment decisions.

The key is what questions will be asked and what processes used to develop useful answers in a short period of time. Concept analysis also clarifies needs for market and/or technical research. With practice, Concept Analysis can be done quickly by a proposal team.

A second application is development of new teams or projects. Concept Analysis offers quick, team led decisions about readiness to work with management on a larger investment.Funded ideas then have a foundation for full Innovation Pre-Planning.

The Concept InnoKit: Development of a partial Strategic Identity for an idea, technology, or formative product. Development of a sufficient view of an idea to enable go-no/go decisions on funding, technology transfer, and priority of this idea with respect to other uses of resources.

Technical Concept: Current and potential features and functions of the final innovation. Probability of technical and financial success.

Application Concept: Current and potential user capabilities and/or business opportunities enabled by the innovation. Expected user applications.

Market Concept: Potential users, competitors, and partners. Rough estimates of size, accessibility.

Value Concept: Synthesis of business and/or customer needs met and benefits delivered if the innovation reaches market.

Completion Concept: Vision of a commercial innovation and what would be involved in turning idea into final product. Ideas about partners in that development. Limited ideas about marketing the potential.

Attractiveness Concept: Evaluation against other innovations in the product pipeline. Choices of criteria specific to this technology inside the business or licensing criteria by potential partners.

Brand Concept: Integration of value concept with name, functional class, and slogan.

Value Promise:

Product and business concepts sufficiently well developed for initial investment decisions.

Objectives:

  • Best use of innovation funds.
  • Reduced risks of under-funding a worthy idea.
  • A resource for self-evaluation of ideas and prototypes by innovation teams.
  • Focus on market strengths to balance technical excellence.

Benefits of prioritized ideas for

  • Best ideas first: Ability to manage portfolios of innovation concepts
  • Risk management: Less risk of funding weak projects while stronger opportunities are lost in the volume of possibilities.
  • Opportunity generation: Ideas converted to concepts by seeing the idea through a range of perspectives
  • Brand development: Funded ideas that meet the criteria of the corporate brand
  • Confidence: Though not a full business case, a far more complete analysis than a technical justification

Tactics:

  1. Decision making: Facilitated brainstorming to enable clear decisions by an empowered team. Each concept is addressed via a suite of questions. As each concept is completed, the team makes a go/no-go decision based on concepts in place. For instance, if no important user capabilities are found, the analysis would end there.
  2. Review and augmentation of decisions (team-developed lists, rankings, descriptions, and wordsmithed statements) across the full range of concepts. Reporting simplifies access to both data and results. Synthesis extends brainstorming by integrating results from later decision topics back to earlier topics. Sometimes key but unrecognized issues are added during synthesis.Synthesis
  3. Statement of Identity: Synthesis continues by integrating all results into a compact Summary of Results and then again into a one-page Statement of Identity.
  4. Confirmation: The team re-assembles to view results, see changes developed during synthesis, and confirm or change the decisions made and reported. Confirmation enables use of these Pre-Planning decisions is a wide range of business functions, including especially innovation and marketing.
 


 



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