Monday, May 19, 2014

How to Accelerate Idea Validation

It is important to involve diverse talent, use the same main parameters, not to compare apples and bananas

Digital lifts the business and world to the next level of innovation era: The difference between the winners and the losers in the marketplace is not determined by their respective capacities of efficiently solving existing problems with old logic or finding cool concepts (even though it is important too), but by having the differentiated capability to effectively identify, frame and deal with the right problems, or the future issues through the new lenses, with the tailor-made concept as well. Achieve innovation effectiveness before improving innovation efficiency. But more specifically, how to accelerate idea validation from innovation management perspective?

There must be a purpose of accelerating the evaluation process... and where is it that you need it to be accelerated in the front end, concept development or NPD phase? It's about to have a purpose such as, stay ahead of competition in the delivery process. It's about to be able to get all the way around the task, to see it from all interests. It's about creating a structure that delivers what your need! The analytical tools contains those that deal with the comprehensive discovery of the problem-solution space, together with selection criteria, allows objective (not subjective) identification of both existing needs, existing problems and the future problems that will face a respective market segment and niche in tech course of evolution. This is where the true competitive edge is since no one considers them today.

It is important to involve diverse talent, use the same main parameters, not to compare apples and bananasGood idea evaluation is a critical part of successful new product or business development. The basic goal of idea evaluation should be to quickly and thoughtfully weed out potential projects that are not a good fit for your particular business, and then you can focus on the good ideas. So to accelerate a process, businesses need to create an environment that brings together the people from inside and outside the walls of the company in a collaborative way, the various "innovation actives" they perform, and the information that they need. It is important to use the same main parameters, not to compare apples and bananas; to involve more diverse people in the evaluation phase, and make it very fast and easy for them to participate.

Concept evaluation typically requires a few weeks of work and around 50% pass rateThe evaluation questions may include: voice of the customer, quantitative estimate of customer value, technical feasibility, performance targets (technical and cost), commercial feasibility (business model, channel to marketplace), business case and value forecast, safety, health, environmental, and regulatory, competitive technologies, etc. A GO decision meant that the project is approved and resourced. A little over half of these approved projects are eventually commercialized. The GO/NO-GO decision would be made at the senior/middle management level.

Information may be one of the most time intensive pieces to the innovation puzzle (X)
Information is growing exponentially and it is humanly impossible to explore all of the "art" out there around a subject or technology. That being said, on a broad scope, there are some of the important bits and bytes of information needed when evaluating a new market, new technology or any opportunity:
1) Facts about X: definition, benefits and shortcomings, applications, and technologies.
2) Root causes of X. What’s the problem needs to be solved.
3) Components or operations of X, what can interact with X, and what parameters X might have.
4) Who else is using X.? Who are the industry players? You also learn what the trend of X is. Identify important technology trends, including potential next-generation innovation waves, as well as the key players who are involved in their development.

As the speed of change is accelerated in businesses nowadays, thus, innovation becomes differentiated business capability to adapt to such digital new normal, and idea validation is crucial step in managing innovation portfolio effectively; do it with standard, speed and skill.

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