- Innovation happens in a company or a project team when leadership sets up a culture and environment for it. Senior management should first define why innovation is important, how success is going to be measured and how it will be rewarded.
- Define a standardized innovation project life cycle. This definition should include a description of the interim products that are expected at the end of each of the major phases.
- Innovation is a social process: It’s about the people in the process. Creativity and new ideas always come from different sources. Therefore, flexibility, constant team interactions and empowerment of team members should be embedded in the process.
- Innovation is all about failure. Enough room to fail fosters creativity and eliminates barriers that could seriously limit our ability to change. But knowing when to stop a failed project is also important. Leave bad ideas quickly.
- Always pilot-test what you are proposing before taking it to a full scale. Gain enough data to either modify what was defined initially or to definitely cancel it, if the product or service developed is not successful.
- Innovation doesn’t have to mean new product development. Manufacturing processes, delivery, distribution, customer experience and financing are all fertile grounds for innovation.
- Project management itself needs to be innovative. Adapt the tools and techniques to the type of projects that you have. If you think, for example, that agile or lean tools can be beneficial, test them and use them.
The views expressed within the PMI Voices on Project Management blog are contributed from external sources and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of PMI.
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