1. The Pandemic Pivot: The Need for Product, Service and Business Model Innovation
The pandemic and economic depression the world faces is a dark period for all businesses, but there are also opportunities. The companies that see the opportunities, and pivot to exploit them, will succeed, while those that fail to innovate will fade away.
In this pandemic war, there will be business winners and losers. Many firms have made fast pivots already, like distillers switching to making hand-sanitizer or clothing manufacturers making masks. Butwhat about the longer term? Many markets, industries and buyer behaviors have been dramatically altered forever, which begs the question: Will companies have to re-imagine themselves and create new products and new services, or perhaps even invent a new business model? Probably many will, and that’s already happening. The ability to pivot and innovate quickly thus holds the key to the future as the world recovers from the pandemic and the new normal starts to take shape. The article looks at how best to identify the right pivots by extending your business model and building on your core competencies; and then how to pivot more quickly by using Agile, Lean, and Iterative methods.
2. Digital Transformation and Its Impact on New-Product Management for Manufacturers
For the manufacturer undertaking new-product development, Digital Transformation means smart new products with embedded software. It also means combining software development methods with the more traditional gating process that manufacturers use. The result is a new more agile gating approach, called Agile-Stage-Gate®, already adopted by some leading manufacturers with very positive results. Digital platforms will also be needed to support the embedded software, thus requiring manufacturers to significantly modify their technology development methods. Finally, Digital Transformation offers new tools for product developers – from testing via simulations, to AI to invent or design the product – that greatly accelerate or enhance the new-product process.
3. Make the Right Strategic Choices in Product Innovation
From the editor of CIMS: When Innovation Management Report interviewed Robert G. Cooper, the long-time student of new-product development told us how studies shocked by finding how few companies “actually had a well-defined, well-communicated, well-articulated product innovation strategy for their business.”
Cooper is Emeritus Professor at McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business, ISBM Distinguished Research Fellow at Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business Administration, and President of the Product Development Institute. He went on to explain how the best-performing businesses in those studies did have most, if not all, of the elements of a robust innovation strategy in place.
He expands on his observations in the article below, drawing upon research by himself and associates at the Product Development Institute and McMaster University that probed the effectiveness of portfolio management in companies for a number of years.
4. Innovation and Technology Strategy – Three Elements in Place
Cooper pulls together the available research and shows that three key elements are needed for a business to prosper at product innovation – a clearly articulated innovation strategy for the business; effective portfolio management (making the right R&D investment decisions); and a robust idea-to-launch system. Precedes the discovery of the Innovation Diamond, but a good intro read.
5. Developing a Product Innovation and Technology Strategy for Your Business
This article summarizes the book by the same title, and provides a blow-by-blow description of how to create an innovation strategy for a business. Cooper and Edgett provide a framework for developing a product innovation strategy, including defining innovation goals and objectives, selecting strategic arenas, developing a strategic map (Strat-Map), and allocating resources. Also: how to employ strategic buckets and strategic roadmapping.