Generate Higher Returns from Your Innovation Investments: 4 of 10

Mar 21 17:42 2009 Bryan Seyfarth Print This Article

One way to establish market differentiation is through the introduction of innovative new products.  Establishing that differentiation is one thing, but maintaining it is quite another.

One way to establish market differentiation is through the introduction of innovative new products. Establishing that differentiation is one thing,Guest Posting but maintaining it is quite another. Here we have put together a ten part series on how to generate higher returns from your innovation investments.

From our series of highly informational articles, companies will learn: how to treat innovation as a cross-functional business process, how to align innovation execution and business strategy; how to create sustainable innovation; how to train your senior executives to successfully execute innovation initiatives; how to effectively manage process and project management; how to measure performance of your processes; how to ensure broad stakeholder buy-in; how to understand the importance of product roadmaps; how to provide the tools necessary for successful product innovation; and finally, how to ensure that portfolio management coincides with process management.

Here is one of the ten practices that leading innovators use to increase the payback from innovation spending: Training Your Senior Executives to Successfully Execute Innovation Initiatives.

Training Your Senior Executives to Successfully Execute Innovation Initiatives

It’s imperative that senior management comprehend and actively support the processes that govern and drive innovation within your organization. Unless your executives know the role they need to play in those processes, it’s unlikely that your organization will see anything more than incremental improvements in its return on innovation spending. Senior leaders need to understand:

1. The benefits of having a structured, automated innovation process.
By providing a common framework for executives and process owners to review and discuss project information, you will enable them to make better, more informed decisions. This provision will also help development teams execute more efficiently on product plans.

2. How to prepare for “go/kill” decision meetings about proposed new products.
If an executive has visibility to key projects in your development pipeline, and understands the impact (positive or negative) that those projects will have on the top and bottom line, he/she will make investment decisions more quickly and confidently.

3. The function and value of using specific, consistent scorecard criteria to evaluate new product ideas.
This practice dramatically heightens the probability that your organization will end up focusing on winning, high-value projects.

4. How to manage gate meetings to get the information needed for sound investment and resource allocation decisions.
It’s imperative that executives be willing to play an active role in facilitating project decision-making. Your organization can help them to be proactive rather than reactive by involving them in projects from the start.

For more information on the top practices that leading innovators use to increase their returns on innovation spending, look for the next article in our ten-part series: Effectively Managing Process and Project Management.

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About Article Author

Bryan Seyfarth
Bryan Seyfarth

Bryan Seyfarth, Ph.D., is director of product marketing for Minneapolis-based Sopheon Corporation. He is the product leader for Accolade®, the company’s flagship process and product portfolio management solution, and for Vision Strategist™, Sopheon’s strategic product planning and roadmapping software.

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