Estabish a Distributed Innovation Group
In an article entitled "Teaming Up to Crack Innovation and Enterprise Integration, James Cash, Michael Earl and Robert Morison suggest to establish a Distributed Innovation Group (DIG)
to deal with the problems of harvesting innovations, allocating resources and coordinating development in large companies. Such a DIG could perform the following tasks:
- Scout for new ideas and untapped potential in current technologies.
- Scan the external environment for emerging technologies.
- Facilitate participation in idea forums.
- Act as a center of innovation expertise.
- Publicize promising innovations.
- Fund and serve as an incubator for promising innovations.
(Source: HBR Nov 2008, p90-100)
Brainstorming New Product Development
NPD requires the resources from the customers, sales & marketing, NPD engineering, sustaining engineering, customer service, cost accounting, planning, purchasing, production, assembly and last but not least the supplier.
All these departments have a great deal of information that if not shared at the inception stage of a new product could result in failure to launch the new product to production.
We have a brainstorm session on the front end, at the idea stage, and tap all the above mentioned resources before we can say 'go for it'.
A lot of time and money is invested into creating a new product; a meeting of the many minds from different departments will make a stronger foundation when proposing a new idea and making the decision to move forward with new product.
After the project is approved, the core team is created, and the project is scheduled. The core team can now access and tap all the resources at participating departments and invite these departments to future meetings at an appropriate time.
Fibally, there are less road blocks by having such a brainstorm session early on.