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30 Examples of Innovation Management

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Innovation management is the process of directing and controlling programs of creativity, experimentation and aggressive change. As a process, innovation management handles a large number of ideas that may be quite diverse and unlikely. Aggressive ideas are allowed to flourish but are then filtered, prioritized and tested quickly, safely and cheaply. The following are common steps in an innovation management process.

Idea Stage

Generating a large number of creative ideas and validating until your left with your best ideas that are documented as a business case.

Market Research

Innovation teams are expected to be well-versed in the current market including customers, competitors, product culture, technology and industry trends.

Lead Users

Engaging the users who are pushing your products to their limits.

Idea Generation

The optimistic process of generating creative ideas.

Idea Screening

Idea generation and screening are separated into completely different activities that require a different frame of mind. Idea screening is more of a pessimistic process of filtering ideas that are likely to fail until you are left with your best ideas.

Concept Testing

Testing ideas at the conceptual level. For example, pitching product ideas to lead users with a poster.

Business Experiments

Validating your best ideas by developing experiments that will produce useful data.


Developing partial implementations to test ideas.

Fail Often

Innovation management may track the number of failures in a period as a positive metric. For example, a firm that generates ten ideas and implements ten ideas might be unlikely to innovate as compared with a firm that tests thousands of ideas and implements ten.

Creative Problem Solving

The process of problem solving to fix failures. Innovation is associated with allowing things to fail. However, it is common to fix problems along the way, particularly for ideas that have high potential.

Business Case

Documenting the value of your best ideas as a formal business case as a means of communication to support strategy and decision making.

Design & Development

Implementing ideas in a lightweight and risk managed process that doesn't produce overly costly failures.

Market Fit

Developing strategies, goals and objectives in terms of customer needs, customer perceptions and the competitive environment.

Goals & Objectives

Defining goals and objectives. This is often a backlog of things you'd like to achieve.

Creative Direction

Design and development requires creative vision and direction.


A charrette is an intensive group process of producing design work.

Parallel Design

Creating multiple designs for the same project in a competitive process.

Ship Often

Implementing work in small chunks that are quickly put in front of customers. This typically involves creating a backlog of work that is prioritized for each development cycle.

Minimum Viable Product

Identifying the minimum set of work that is required to operationalize a product.

Risk Management

Identifying and managing risk. The more risk you take, the more important it is to manage it. As such, aggressive change and risk management aren't mutually opposed or inconsistent.

Innovation Culture

Developing a culture where aggressive change is a norm and expectation. An innovation culture also requires a creative environment such that people bravely offer ideas as opposed to hiding in mediocrity.

Change Management

The leadership of change.

Launch & Operations

The process of launching, measuring and improving.

Demand Generation

The marketing process of generating demand for a product or service. Innovation can be particularly difficult to sell if it requires customers to change their habits and methods.


Launching on a limited basis to reduce risk and gain information for improvement.


The commercial launch of innovations.

Moment of Truth

A moment of truth is a type of customer interaction that is a strong indicators of the success of a product or service. For example, when customers first throw a new bowling ball or first need to return an item to an ecommerce seller.

Feedback Loop

Establishing systems that allow your results to be measured to drive improvement or evaluate a pilot or product.


Comparing your results to your industry. If a product is truly innovative it represents a large improvement over the best results in an industry.

Innovation Metrics

Metrics that are relevant to innovation such as time to market and time to volume.

Product Management

Where innovation is successful, it soon requires traditional product management processes such as identifying and managing competitive threats.

Lessons Learned

Where products fail, there is an effort to learn from failure to recover value such as knowledge. In some cases, a failed product points the way to a new idea that is far more valuable.


Where innovation launches a minimum viable product that is shown to be valuable it often makes sense to rapidly improve quality.
Overview: Innovation Management Process
The process of managing programs of creativity, experimentation and aggressive change.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about innovation.
Business Models
Concept Testing
Cost Innovation
Crash Of Ineptitude
Design Thinking
Discontinuous Change
First Principles
Innovation Risk
Inventive Step
Latent Demand
Market Fit
Naive Innovation
Prior Art
Proof Of Concept
Speculative Design
Systems Thinking
Technology Winter
Throwaway Prototype
Trough Of Sorrow
Value Creation
More ...
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