Innovation Management

Why is Innovation Management important?

An organization’s ability to innovate is recognized as a key factor for sustained growth, economic viability, increased well-being, and the development of society

The innovation capabilities of an organization include the ability to understand and respond to changing conditions of its context, to pursue new opportunities, and to leverage the knowledge and creativity of people within the organization, and in collaboration with external interested parties.

“An innovation strategy is an essential tool for product development and continued growth in difficult times” (Cooper and Edgett, 2009)

Accialini Consulting offers specific support to Innovation Management. Innovation Management allows organizations to respond to external or internal opportunities, and use its creativity to introduce new ideas, processes or products.

Innovation Management is not relegated to R&D, but it involves employees at every level in contributing creatively to a company’s product development, manufacturing and marketing.

By utilizing innovation management tools, management can trigger and deploy the creative capabilities of the work force for the continuous development of a company.

The design and engineering stage is very important because at this stage most of the product life cycle costs are engaged. Previous research shows that 70–80% of the final product quality and 70% of the product entire life-cycle cost are determined in the product design phase, therefore the design-manufacturing interface represent the greatest opportunity for cost reduction (Yan-mei, Zhou, 2009).

Front End Innovation

The Front End Innovation is the starting point where opportunities are identified and concepts are developed prior to entering the formal product development process. Innovation on the Front End is where exciting breakthroughs are created through a process that allows for creativity and value creation in a systematic manner different from the formal development process.

In the Front End, idea genesis, opportunity validation, and concept development are dynamic and consists of adaptive interactions between involved participants with varied skills. They create, evaluate, analyze and iterate many alternatives and external technologies into potential breakthrough opportunities. The final result is a product concept including potential external technology partners, conceptual business model, preliminary product specifications, and the formation of a corporate sponsor team, a startup action plan, and Go/No Go milestones for insertion in to the formal development process.

The process is described as follows:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge” A. Einstein

Idea generation is described as the process of creating, developing and communicating abstract, concrete or visual ideas. Although Idea Generation is an abstract and creative phase, however it can be even more effective by using some tools like

  • Brainstorming
  • SWOT
  • TRIZ

Concept selection is the process of evaluating concepts with respect to customer needs and other criteria, comparing the relative strengths and weaknesses of the concepts, and selecting one or more concepts for further investigation, testing, or development.

Concept selection includes both financial and non-financial analysis. Financial evaluation is then based on one of the basic financial indicators:

  • Net Present Value (NPV)
  • Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Payback period

Non-financial evaluation is based on a first screening, called pass-fail approach, and a more detailed evaluation, called scoring approach.

Concept Protection deals with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). IPR include patents, copyrights, industrial design rights, trademarks, plant variety rights, trade dress, geographical indications, and in some jurisdictions trade secrets.

It is fundamental, before starting to develop a new product, to answer the following questions:

  • Am I allowed to develop the product? In other words, do I have the Freedom to Operate?
  • If yes, is it worth to protect my Intellectual Property? 
  • If yes, what is the best way to protect it?

Once the concept has been selected and protected, it is important to specify product requirements. This iterative phase is critical for the success of the product: indeed, more details are added to our concept, which can lead to a modification or even a change of the selected concept. In this sense, the Quality Function Deployment and the Kano Model are useful tools. 

Innovative projects are by definition high-risk, therefore it is important to manage risk properly. Risk Assessment is a term used to describe the overall process or method where you:

  • identify hazards and risk factors that have the potential to cause harm (hazard identification);
  • analyze and evaluate the risk associated with that hazard (risk analysis, and risk evaluation).

A preliminary plan is necessary to estimate resources, costs and time schedule. Gantt Chart is the most widely used tool.

The Product Innovation Charter is the heart of any organized effort to commercialize a new product and contains the reasons the project has been started, the goals, objectives, guidelines, and boundaries of the project. It is the “who, what, where, when and why” of the product development project.

Innovation Management Toolkit

The Innovation Management Toolkit includes a set of tools that allow managers and users to cooperate with a common understanding of processes and goals. 

The Toolkit has been thought to support Professionals who are approaching to the Innovation Management word. More in detail, this toolkit has been thought to provide support in the early stage of a product life cycle, from idea generation to manufacturing assessment. All downstream steps will not be covered.

The Innovation Management toolkit is available on

Innovation Management System

An organization can innovate more effectively and efficiently if all necessary activities and other interrelated or interacting elements are managed as a system.

An Innovation Management System (IMS) guides the organization to determine its innovation vision, strategy, policy and objectives, and to establish the support and processes needed to achieve the intended outcomes.

We support organizations to develop their own IMS according to ISO 56002 Standard, which provides guidance for the establishment, implementation, maintenance, and continuous improvement of an Innovation Management System for use in all established organizations.

Innovation Management Masterclass

A Continuing Professional Development (CPD) process helps you manage your own development on an ongoing basis. Its function is to help you record, review and reflect on what you learn. It’s not a check-box document recording the training you have completed. It’s broader than that.

We consider CPD a strategic factor for a company growth. For this reason, we developed a specific Training Program for people who wants do develop their skills on Innovation Management.

Check out our Innovation Management Masterclass Program here:

For more info, please contact us.

Additionally, an e-Learning solution is available on our platform:

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