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Product Portfolio Management

The Business of Innovation

Published By Patrick Tickle

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  • Just-in-time
  • 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

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Patrick Tickle Written by Patrick Tickle Chief Products Officer

Patrick Tickle is responsible for the company’s Products organization and leads the Planview team that continues to deliver the most innovative portfolio management solutions to the marketplace. Patrick brings over 20 years of experience in product management, product development, and marketing across a wide range of technology solutions. Prior to joining Planview, Patrick served as Vice President of Marketing and Product Management of ITM Software where he executed category development and product definition. He has also held a variety of product management and marketing positions at Terraspring, Inc. (an enterprise software company acquired by Sun Microsystems), MIPS, and Silicon Graphics. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of North Carolina.