• Cause of consultation

Innovation Management

Innovative technologies and business models are identified and implemented through successful project management.

Approach to Innovation Management

1. Innovation Strategy

The company’s innovation strategy is defined. Among other things, this strategy includes the long-term goals and the approach and direction of the company’s innovation activities.

2. Generating and Evaluating Ideas

Ideas are generated and evaluated using brainstorming, customer feedback, market research and other methods.

3. Prototype Development and Testing

Once an idea has been selected and evaluated, a prototype is created and tested with the aim of refining the idea or recognising any problems at an early stage.

4. Innovation Portfolio Management

The innovation projects are managed and prioritised based on:

  • potential benefit
  • risk
  • costs
  • strategic orientation

5. Implementation and Market Launch

After a successful prototype test, the product or service is launched on the market.

6. Review and Learning

The success or failure of the innovation is measured and evaluated in order to utilise learnings for future innovations.

7. Culture and Leadership

Organisational structures and culture that support and promote innovation are developed.

Here you will find a detailed description of the individual process steps:

The definition of an innovation strategy is a crucial step in innovation management. It serves as a fundamental guiding principle for the company and sets out the long-term goals and the general direction of the company’s innovation activities.

The innovation strategy includes the identification of areas in which the company aims to innovate, be it products, services, processes or business models. It defines how the company will deal with innovations – from idea generation and evaluation to development, implementation and commercialisation.

In addition, the innovation strategy should clearly define what resources will be allocated to these activities, including financial investment, personnel and technological resources. It should also define the mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating innovation projects and the criteria for their success.

An effective innovation strategy is also closely linked to the company’s overall strategy and should focus on supporting the achievement of the company’s strategic goals. It should take into account current market trends and customer needs as well as future challenges and opportunities that may arise from technological, social or economic changes.

This process begins with the generation of ideas that can form the breeding ground for innovative projects and initiatives. There are numerous ways to generate ideas. One approach is brainstorming, a creative method in which teams come together to think freely and without constraints about different concepts and possibilities.

Customer feedback is another important source of ideas. By listening and interacting with customers, a company can gain valuable insights into what needs are unmet or what problems need to be solved. In addition, market research, including analysing trends and observing competitors, can provide a deeper understanding of market dynamics and potential opportunities.

Furthermore, companies can generate ideas through the use of technologies such as data mining, artificial intelligence and machine learning. These tools can help to recognise patterns and connections in large amounts of data that might otherwise be overlooked.

Once a number of ideas have been generated, the next step is to evaluate these ideas. This process involves reviewing each idea for its feasibility, its potential for a return on investment, its alignment with the company’s strategic goals and other relevant factors. The evaluation helps to select the best and most promising ideas that can be pursued and turned into concrete innovation projects.

In innovation management, the step of prototype development and testing is of enormous importance in order to turn a selected and evaluated idea into reality. This process serves to create a physical or digital model of an idea that can then be tested and further developed.

The development of a prototype enables companies to evaluate the feasibility, functionality and potential of an innovative idea. A prototype can be used to overcome technical hurdles, test usability and optimise the overall design and expression of the idea. A wide range of technologies can be used, from simple sketches or 3D printing to complex digital models.

Once the prototype has been created, the testing phase follows. Here, the prototype is tested under real or simulated conditions to see how it works and how users react to it. The aim is to check the performance of the prototype, recognise any problems at an early stage and further refine the idea.

Testing can be conducted internally within the organisation, or it can involve external users or customers to gain a broader range of feedback and insights. User feedback is particularly valuable to understand how the target group perceives and uses the product and where possible improvements could be made.

Innovation management involves managing, monitoring and prioritising various innovation projects to ensure that the company’s resources are used efficiently and that the projects are in line with the company’s strategic objectives.

Innovation portfolio management takes several aspects of each project into account. Firstly, the potential benefit of a project is considered. This could be the expected financial gain, for example, or how the project contributes to strengthening the company’s market position or other strategic benefits.

At the same time, the risk of each project is also considered. This can include the risk that the project will fail, that it will cost more or take longer than expected, or that it will have undesirable side effects.

Cost is another important factor. This is the total cost of the project, including the cost of developing, implementing and maintaining the innovation.

Finally, the strategic orientation of a project is also considered. This means the extent to which the project is in line with the company’s long-term goals and mission.

Based on these factors, each project in the innovation portfolio is evaluated and prioritised. The projects with the highest potential benefit, the lowest risk, the lowest costs and the strongest strategic alignment are generally prioritised higher.

After successful prototype development and extensive testing, the implementation process begins. In this phase, the innovative products or services are fully realised within the company. This can include production on a larger scale, the integration of the new service into the existing offering or the preparation of the company for the use and support of the innovation.

The market launch is prepared in parallel to the implementation phase. A carefully and strategically planned market launch is crucial for the success of an innovation. It typically involves creating marketing and sales plans, preparing launch strategies and materials, training sales and customer service teams, and preparing for post-launch customer feedback.

Once the implementation is complete and the go-to-market strategies are prepared, the product or service is brought to market. The launch is often a combination of targeted marketing and sales activities, customer training, press releases and other public announcements.

After the market launch, the market monitoring and customisation phase begins. During this phase, companies collect feedback from customers and monitor the market to see how the product or service is being received and whether any adjustments need to be made.

In this phase, the focus is on measuring and analysing the success or failure of the implemented innovations. Various evaluation methods and metrics are used to enable a comprehensive assessment of the implemented innovations. These can include both quantitative aspects (such as sales, market share or customer satisfaction) and qualitative aspects (such as customer feedback, employee feedback or the impact on the company’s image).

The review of innovation results enables the company to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the innovation process. It helps to understand which elements of the innovation were successful and which were not, providing valuable insights for future innovation initiatives.

In addition to reviewing success or failure, learning is another crucial aspect of this phase. By collecting and analysing data, drawing conclusions and applying these findings to future projects, the company is able to continuously improve its innovation process. This can be done, for example, by organising follow-up workshops, creating lessons learned documents or conducting employee training.

The culture of a company refers to the shared values, norms and behaviours that prevail within an organisation. A culture that promotes innovation is characterised by openness to new ideas, a willingness to change, tolerance for risk and failure, and an atmosphere of collaboration and mutual trust. In such a culture, employees are encouraged to think creatively, propose new ideas and initiate change.

Leadership also plays an important role in creating such a culture. Leaders need to communicate a vision for innovation, set clear goals and create a supportive environment. They should encourage their teams to try new approaches while creating a safe environment where failure is seen as part of the learning and development process. They should also be able to overcome resistance to change and encourage the participation and commitment of all employees.

Furthermore, the organisational structures of a company should be designed in such a way that they enable and promote innovation. This can be achieved, for example, through the creation of interdisciplinary teams, the provision of resources for innovation projects or the implementation of processes for finding and evaluating ideas.

Further Information

THE MAK’ED TEAM has a wealth of experience in the successful implementation of digitalisation projects. Below you will find further information on the approach to digitalisation in the various areas of the company, project examples, case studies and more:

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