The root cause of innovation waste is due to the application of the wrong style of project management during development.
To be clear, I’m not against the structure and accountability of project management systems and software. They help get things done. The classic approach works very well when there are very little uncertainty and invention required on a project.
Classic project management sets up a list of requirements and tasks. They’re assigned to people to execute. Then, they’re checked on conformance to requirements. It’s a system of accountability — using transparency and focus. The classic approach is also known as the “Waterfall” approach to projects: the idea is defined and then executed.
Today, companies are using various methods to avoid this at the “front end” of innovation. However, they’re not seeing a high return on investment from the effort, as they’re focusing on the wrong place. The real waste for innovation is in development — not in the front end.
With innovations, and in particular big idea innovations, two separate studies find that classic project management results in a 50 percent decline in the value of innovations during the development process. This is because the aim of classic project management is very much the tactical “Plan, Do, Check, Act” (PDCA) cycle of work. The focus is on task completion.
When a task is found to be hard to execute, then it often gets a “red flag” in the software. Soon, those responsible identify a compromise on the innovation so as not to slow down the project. These changes are often small, however, over time the impact often adds up to the 50 percent decline in the value of the innovation.
The alternative approach is a more dynamic form of Innovation Project Management. In this case, the system and software are a hybrid, where low uncertainty tasks are managed in the task completion manner and high uncertainty tasks are treated in a cycle of learning approach that involves Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA). Here, rapid cycles are used to discover, invent and problem solve.
The difference between “check” and “study” in the cycle of learning is a difference that matters. A check is tactical. It’s about ticking the box, as in “the activity worked” or “the activity failed.” A study is learning. It’s about thinking deeply. It’s a theory of knowledge. It ignites understanding and discoveries.
Importantly, during the early stages of PDSA cycles, it’s not uncommon for new discoveries to identify an even more powerful benefit promise than was currently envisioned, often representing a bigger opportunity. In fact, research finds that, instead of a 50 percent decline, companies realize a 28 percent growth in ideas during development using this PDSA approach.
To see a demo of Innovation Engineering’s Trailblazer project management software for teams, and ThinkStormer software for individuals, click here.
Doug Hall is the founder of the Eureka! Ranch, Innovation Engineering Institute andBrain Brew Custom Whisk(e)y. His newest book is DRIVING EUREKA! Problem-Solving with Data Driven Methods & The Innovation Engineering System. For a free one-hour audio book summary, visit www.DougHall.com/vip.
How Rylee Meek and ‘Social Dynamic Selling’ Launched Businesses to $100 Million
The Healing Arts Institute of South Florida International, Inc. Moves to Destroy Mental Health Stigma
Impactful Solutions Academy Turns Small Enterprises Into Multi-Million Dollar Businesses
Leadership4 weeks ago
Improving Compliance With Thought Leadership
Business2 weeks ago
E.Z.Smith IV Teaches How to Break New Grounds in the Fitness Industry
careers3 weeks ago
Home Business Ideas That Let You WFH Forever
Business3 days ago
Corporate Comedy Magician Chris Michael Leverages Online Space Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Business3 weeks ago
SoMin.ai Is a Gartner Cool Vendor in AI for Marketing
Entertainment4 weeks ago
Cosmo “Rockstarfari” Gordon on Taking Center Stage Within the Cutthroat Music Industry
Business4 weeks ago
Former Educator Helps Thousands Create Digital Products Amid the Pandemic
Business4 weeks ago
Don Anthony Jr. Leads the Youth Towards Actualizing Financial Literacy