One of the things we recognize as we work with customers about to undertake this kind of initiative is that it can be daunting. There is a lot to do. Further, the work can be risky from a personal as well as professional standpoint. It would be great if we could just show up, deliver and implement the software, and then you would have success. It is tempting to think of innovation governance in this way. However, we all know that this initiative is not primarily about a software implementation. First and foremost, this is a business process improvement initiative.
There are a number of best practices that lead to a successful innovation governance implementation, including:
- Approach this engagement as a business process improvement initiative; software is only an enabler.
- Improving innovation governance is a journey with the goal of sustainable, profitable revenue from new products; plan the implementation in phases.
- Avoid complexity and over-engineered processes.
- Focus on decision making first and tasks second.
- Avoid the “trough of disillusionment” which can create a barrier to adoption. This is where new business processes are not accepted by everyone, project team is frustrated and there is a loss of executive focus.
- Launch is when the most important work begins. There are four key business milestones that require careful planning to ensure success:
- Innovation process workshops to introduce the new processes to the organization,
- Initial gate meetings where the new processes are used,
- Initial portfolio meetings where the new processes are used and
- Deployment review to evaluate the new processes, determine organizational adoption levels, identify changes needed to further optimize the processes and then plan for next steps.