Maturing Innovation Management One Step at a Time

The fall conference season is winding down and this year I've had the privilege of attending and speaking at some great innovation events, sharing the newly launched Innovation Management Maturity Model™. From regional PDMA meetings in Dallas and Atlanta, to the national PDMA PIM conference, the Optimizing Innovation conference in NYC, to the Planview Horizons Annual Customer Conference, it's been a brain-filling couple of months.

In sharing the Innovation Management Maturity Model with conference attendees, there were two common questions: “What is it?” and, “How does it compare with PDMA’s new Innovation Management Standard?” Great questions!

The Innovation Management Maturity Model

So, if you’re not familiar it, the Innovation Management Maturity Model is a simple framework for organizations to assess the maturity of their innovation program on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most mature, specifically around the management of the people, processes, and tools supporting innovation.

The Innovation Management Maturity Model is a simple framework for organizations to assess the maturity of their innovation program on a scale of 1 to 5.

We developed the model as part of the Fourth Product Portfolio Management Benchmark Study to be able to discern what best practices the most mature companies are using to manage their innovation initiatives versus the less mature ones. The results of the research, which I was able to reveal in true “sneak peak” form at these conferences, are incredibly telling in regards to the required elements to successfully manage innovation.

You can evaluate your organization on the Innovation Management Maturity Model. Not only can you identify the current state on the scale, but also the desired end state, and then compare how your organization ranks with more than 700 product development professionals per the survey results. But I believe the real value in daring to compare lies in getting the conversation started within your organization, and, in some cases, educating upper management about what is really happening in the trenches when it comes to driving innovation and embedding it in the company culture.

Bridging the Divide

Once you’ve appraised your organization, if a gap exists between what your maturity level is today and where you think it should be to operationalize innovation, the cool thing is that the new PDMA International Innovation Management Standard Documents can come to the rescue to help you bridge the divide. Launched at the PDMA PIM conference, the Standard is a powerful “cookbook” to help companies implement or improve an existing innovation practice, using consistent definitions and powerful metrics, all with an eye on culture, leadership, and continuous improvement.

Consider accessing the free online assessment tool as a means to get the conversation started in your organization, assessing current state and desired end state.

A key publication from the complete set of seven PDMA Standards is the Standard Assessment Checklist. Similar to the Innovation Management Maturity Model, it is a 5-level maturity grid that ranges from “Investigating” to “Excellence” based on PDMA’s six elements of the innovation: culture, leadership, resources, processes, monitoring & measuring, and improvement.

Getting the Conversation Started

In short, the two frameworks are very complimentary. Consider accessing the free online assessment tool as a means to get the conversation started in your organization, assessing current state and desired end state, and then invest in the PDMA Standard package to implement your plan. Again, there is a wealth of benefit to be gained by just starting the conversation. Go ahead! Get started! Need encouragement? Reach out to me via email at cnauy@planview.com. I’m happy to offer tips and recommendations for getting started.

By Carrie Nauyalis

About the author

Carrie Nauyalis, NPD Solution Evangelist at Planview, is passionate about establishing customer partnerships, developing market positioning, defining field enablement strategies, providing market-based feedback into Planview product development, and being an overall evangelist and thought leader for the Product Development market. She is an active speaker, MBA guest lecturer, blogger, and vlogger on all things Product Portfolio Management, with warm places in her heart for the topics of innovation, Stage-Gate, and Agile.

Follow Carrie on Twitter: @PDPMprincess

Photo: 1 2 3 Light bulb vector icon from shutterstock.com

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