An Excerpt from “New Insights for Driving Innovation in Product Development” Webcast
This is part two of my three-part series on a recent Planview hosted webcast titled “New Insights for Driving Innovation in Product Development: Is Your Organization a Lean, Mean, Innovating Machine?” featuring Sanjeev Pal, Research Manager of Product, Project and Portfolio Management Solutions at IDC, and me. Previously, I shared our discussion on trends in the marketplace. Now, let’s look at examples of the business of innovation.
Industry Examples of Innovation
Sanjeev discussed three technology companies to illustrate how both software and hardware trends are causing companies to change the way they operate in order to be more flexible and innovative.
- Google®Google, a “constant innovator,” as Sanjeev calls it, has gone from simply being a search engine to offering services such as Gmail and Google Plus, as well as the Android operating system. Google Plus isn’t that different from other social networks, but is a small step towards the social network paradigm of the future. Being innovative doesn’t necessarily mean you have to reinvent the wheel. Innovation is really when a company takes an existing product and modifies it to make it more unique and desirable.
- Microsoft®The second company he covered was Microsoft, who is currently trying to redefine itself. Is it a hardware company or a software company? It’s also facing a dilemma as to whether it should abandon Windows and develop an entirely new operating system or if it should just improve its existing product to be more like the competition. While Microsoft has an innovative product in the Xbox Kinect, one innovative product can’t keep a company profitable for the long haul.
- Apple®Lastly, he discussed Apple, who like Google, has evolved from simply offering computers, to having multiple product lines. He highlights the iPad to illustrate how Apple has used innovation to distinguish its product from the rest of the tablets in the marketplace. He also discussed the impact of the loss of Steve Jobs.
Sanjeev listed various techniques that organizations have used since the 1970s to streamline operational processes for improved efficiency. The techniques include:
- Total quality management
- Six Sigma
- Lead production
- Lean Six Sigma
Companies need to be constantly making operational improvements. The faster you can collect innovative ideas and determine feasibility, the quicker it will generate products people want. Not only will it improve the products, but the process to facilitate innovation consistently.
My final installment of this series will cover the role software can play in product innovation. We encourage you to listen to the complete webcast to hear Sanjeev cover these topics in more detail. Listen to the complete webcast.
Related post: Trends in Innovation