The process of innovation is a highly structured process. It is actually very easy to implement, as it begins with a problem and finishes with making a profit. Hence, innovation process management is perfect for businesses. Yet, very few businesses have actually implemented it properly. Hopefully, this step by step guide will help you.
A Step by Step Guide to Innovation
- What is the problem? The problem can be a goal that you haven’t achieved yet as well. All organizations have problems, be they in sales, products, costs, processes, staff, and so on.
- Make a challenge out of the problem. Challenges help people think creatively and to the point. For instance, if your product is poor, the challenge could be finding ways to improve the program. It could also be presented as a call to action. For instance, it could be “draw design possibilities for product X”. You must formulate your challenge properly in order to innovate as well. The challenges must properly address what the problem at hand is, in order for any solutions to become innovations.
- Challenge the team. You should have a full innovation team on board, preferably with an experienced innovator. You have to give them free reign to come up with creative ideas without interruptions. There is no such thing as a stupid idea, after all.
- Collaborate on the ideas. Now that you have a bunch of ideas together, your team has to join up to create something that could actually work. It is likely that the same idea has been formulated in different ways several times, and getting everybody together will allow you to create a single idea out of all these ideas.
- Combine and evaluate them. You should now have a list of ideas that everybody has worked on together. Evaluate each of these ideas individually and then think about whether or not some of them can be combined to become one idea. Once that happens, the one idea has to be evaluated again as well. If someone criticizes an idea, ask them not just to say the idea is bad, but also to come up with ways to improve on it.
- Develop practical ideas. Now, you should be left with some creative options and you need to turn these into realities. Creating a prototype is vital to successful innovation. If you are lucky, all the ideas will work perfectly. In reality, however, only one of them may be successful. Hence, you should not waste excessive time and money on delivering a full product range, sticking instead to a single prototype to be tested.
- Implement your ideas. Once the prototype phase has passed, you will know which ideas will and will not work and what their effects are. It is now time to implement them.
This literally is the entire process of innovation. It is actually a circular process, because each idea that is generated is a new problem in its own right. Furthermore, the effects of implemented ideas create new problems as well. Good luck and never stand still.