Before starting the actual product elaboration (taking the concept and turning it into a market-ready product), innovators need to have some form of project management methodology in place for the new project. It is widely acknowledged that there is a high percentage of failure of innovation projects, in addition to exceeding budget and overrunning timescales. Mindful of this, establishing and utilising project planning processes and techniques aim to improve innovation success by ensuring that a strategically aligned portfolio of innovation projects in terms of risks, timescales and efficient use of resources is maintained. After an appropriate project management methodology has been chosen, it should be adapted to the requirements of the organization that will be using it. The adopted project methodology need not to be specific for the PaCS domain, and can be a methodology which is reused across the organization.
The steps taken in the management and planning of a project depend on the methodology chosen, however the following generic phases in project management can be identified:
- Scoping the project and define objectives
- Obtaining formal approval to start the project
- Execute the work packages
o Gather requirements
o Design the solution
o Implement the solution
o Test the solution
o Refine the solution
- Monitor the project progress and performance
- Close the project
It is important to see that these steps are project management steps, rather than project execution steps. Known project management methodologies such as PRINCE2 and PMBOK describe project management steps, unlike other, more executional-aimed methods such as Scrum, which place the focus on project execution steps (i.e. the execute the work packages step from the list above). Any innovation process should outline both project management steps as well as project execution steps. Management steps such as scoping, obtaining formal approval, monitoring and closing activities are mostly independent of the project subject, but the execution steps could be tailored further to the PaCS domain.
In the next section the focus will therefore mainly be put on the execution steps, rather than on the project management steps. It is to be noted, however, that general project management steps are crucial to have in place as well. Therefore, two best-practice project management methodologies (PRINCE2 and PMBOK) focusing on project management steps are briefly introduced in the remainder of this section, preparatory to describing the execution steps in more detail in the next section.
Prince2, or Projects in Controlled Environments 2 is a non-proprietary generic project management method. Used extensively by the UK Government, PRINCE2 is also widely recognized and used in the private sector, both in the UK and internationally. The PRINCE2 method is in the public domain, and offers non-proprietorial best practice guidance on project management. It originated in 1996 (based on older project management methods) and is now used worldwide by many thousands of organizations. (What is Prince2, 2014)
The core of the PRINCE2 methodology is structured in seven processes (PRINCE2):
Directing a project runs from the start-up of the project until its closure. It is aimed at the project board, which manages and monitors via reports and controls through a number of decision points. It is important to see that this process does not cover the day-to-day activities of the project manager.
Starting up a project & initiating a project are two related processes of PRINCE2. Whereas the start-up process can be considered a pre-project process designed to ensure that the pre-requisites for initiating the project are in place (based on the project mandate), the project initiation process is primarily aimed at obtaining formal agreement in order to proceed with the first stage of the project.
Then, the managing stage boundaries process provides the project board with key decision points on whether to continue with the project or not.
Next, in the controlling a stage process, monitoring and control activities of the project manager are described. A project manager needs to ensure that a stage stays on course and must be able to react to unexpected events. This process forms the core of the project manager’s effort, being the process which handles day-to-day management of the project. Activities such as reporting, reviewing, authorising work to be done, etc. are part of this process.
Sixth, it should be ensured that planned products are created and delivered. Continuous feedback to the work packages descriptions as well as continuous follow-up can help the project manager in achieving this objective. This is described in the managing product delivery process.
Finally, the closing process is started. Many projects are closed in a non-official way: they come to a natural end, or project members slowly start paying less attention the project. However, a controlled project closure can prove very valuable to an organisation: a formal approval of the customer is obtained, lessons learned are documented, etc.
The Project Management Body Of Knowledge is a comprehensive set of standards and guidelines (originated in the US vs the UK origins of Prince2) for managing projects. (PMI, 2014).
PMBOK defines 5 processes, largely comparable to the ones defined in PRINCE2 (Lowe):
The initiating process group process is performed when defining a new project or a new phase by obtaining formal approval to start the project or phase. Next, the planning process group process is required to establish the scope of the project, refine objectives, and to define the course of action supporting the original objectives of the project. The executing process group is responsible for the actual execution of the work defined in the project management plan. Next, the monitoring & controlling process group track and review the progress and performance of the on-going project. Adequate actions might be taken to identify areas that are susceptible for improvement. Finally, the closing process group finalizes the project, similar to the closing process in PRINCE2. Each process is described in terms of inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs to be produced (Haughey, 2014).
It is pertinent to note that management-focused methodologies (such as PMBOK or PRINCE2) can perfectly be used in combination with execution-focused methodologies (such as Scrum). These execution-focused methodologies are described in more detail in the elaboration subtheme.
Complementary Innovation Management Techniques
Innovation Management Tools (IMTs) consist of a range of tools, techniques and methodologies that help companies to adapt to circumstances and meet challenges across the innovation lifecycle in a systematic way, and can be integrated within general project planning frameworks. The deployment of IMT supports the capability of innovators to manage, assess and implement innovation in products, services, processes and organizations. Reflecting the diverse nature of innovation management components, (D'Alvano & Hidalgo, 2012) developed a taxonomy of IMT typologies and their associated methodologies and tools, which is illustrated in the Table.
Table IMT Typologies
Formulation and Scenario Analysis
Specialized Internet Search Engines
Regulatory Changes Reports
Patens, brans, industrial models and copyright analysis
|Idea Generation Techniques||
|Idea Selection Techniques||
JTBD (Jobs to be Done)
Innovation Project Portfolio
Strategic Alignment Test
Select Criteria Importance Research
House of Quality
|Project Innovation Planning Techniques||
Project Management Programs
Critical Path Method (PERT/CPM)
Automated mode of contracting
|Product/service Innovation Techniques||
Operation Simulation Systems
|Process Innovation Techniques||
|Market Innovation Techniques||
House of Quality
Market Trend Studies
Brand Positioning Studies
Quantitative Research – mass surveys
|Learning Organization Techniques||
Source: (D'Alvano & Hidalgo, 2012)
Derived from a synthesis of studies (Adams, et al., 2006) identifies seven categories of innovation management categories (illustrated in Table 2) which pose relevance to project management with reference to innovation: inputs, knowledge management, strategy, organization and culture, portfolio and commercialization.
Table Innovation Measurement Categories
|Category||Measurement Areas||Measurement Methods|
|R&D metrics||R&D intensity - Ratios between expenditure or numbers employed in R&D roles and some expression of output|
|Expenditure||Quantitative - total expenditure, expenditure expressed as a proportion of sales or revenues, and expenditure by item (organizational department, patent, innovation or scientist|
|Number of people committed to the innovation task - Subdivided into skillsets/demographics/ units|
|Propensity to innovate - Kirton (1976) ‘adaptor–innovator’ continuum; Bruce (1994) innovative behaviour measure; Patterson (2003) Innovation Potential Indicator|
|Facilities/ Physical resources||Physical resources/facilities, equipment can be counted or measured in dollar terms|
|Use of systems and tools||Creativity tools; Quality/management tools|
Count the number of ideas generated
in a period; the range of tools and techniques
|Imported tangible knowledge||Patents|
Causal mapping, story-telling and the use of metaphor
|Intangible knowledge assets||
Difference between market value and net
|Information flows into and within the firm||
Linkage measures with external organizations and sources; measures of internal information gathering processes; measures of customer
|Information gathering||Project reviews and the use of technical reports|
|Innovation Strategy||Strategic management||Quantitative interpretations of new product and market activity|
|Strategic orientation||Whether the organization has an innovation strategy; commitment to differentiated funding|
|Management and leadership||
Qualitative questions, signs of commitment
in annual reports
Organizational Culture and Structure
|Innovation Management||Functional differentiation, specialization and integration metrics|
|Situational and psychological factors||Enabling factors, flexibility measures, The Team Climate Inventory (TCI); the KEYS instrument for assessing the work environment for creativity|
|Autonomy||Degree of personnel freedom, decision making|
|Morale and motivation||Reward, trust and job satisfaction|
|Vision||Kirton’s adopter–innovator inventory; team climate inventory|
|Risk||Failure tolerance, learning, gambling,|
|Portfolio Management||Selecting innovation projects||Return on investment, Scoring models; Economic and beneﬁt models|
|Project efﬁciency, tools,||Comparisons between budget and actual (project costs, project duration, revenue fore- casting); stage-gate process, Phased Development, Product and Cycle-time Excellence and Total Design|
|Communications and collaboration||Committees, numbers of meetings and contacts, percentage of projects in co-operation with third parties|
|Commercialisation||Innovations to market||Marketing, sales, distribution and joint ventures, measures of launch proﬁciency (salesforce, distributional and promotional support)|
Source: developed from (Adams, et al., 2006)
- Status Report :
- Lessons Learned :
Change Request Register :
- Decision Document :
Formal Closing :
- Project Description Document :
Risk Register :
Adams, R., Bessant, J. & Phelps, R., 2006. Innovation Management Measurement: A Review.. International Journal of Management Reviews, 8(1), pp. 21-47.
D'Alvano , L. & Hidalgo, A., 2012. Innovation management techniques and development degree of innovation process in service organizations. R&D Management, 42(1), pp. 60-70.
Haughey, D. (2014). The project management body of knowledge (PMBOK). Opgehaald van http://cdn.projectsmart.co.uk/pdf/pmbok.pdf
Lowe, D. (sd). PRINCE2 and PMBOK core processes. Opgeroepen op 2014, van http://www.donlowe.org/project-management/seven-core-processes/prince2-and-pmbok-core-processes/
PMI. (2014). PMBOK Guide And Standards. Opgeroepen op 10 21, 2014, van PMI: http://www.pmi.org/PMBOK-Guide-and-Standards.aspx
PRINCE2. (sd). PRINCE2 processes. Opgeroepen op 2014, van http://www.prince2.com/prince2-processes
What is Prince2. (2014). Opgeroepen op 10 21, 2014, van Prince2: http://www.prince2.com/what-is-prince2