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Software’s Role in Innovation

An Excerpt from “New Insights for Driving Innovation in Product Development” Webcast

This is part three 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 summarized our discussion of market trends and innovation. Now, let’s talk about the role software can play in product innovation.

Software as a Solution

Sanjeev recommends that companies not only use industry-specific software, but software that understands the company’s processes. Generic software won’t be as effective or cost-efficient. Also, this software should be used in conjunction with the lean and operational improvement principles he discussed.

We then highlighted the role software can play in product innovation. Software can manage the mass amount of internal and external ideas companies receive. It links ideas to a product. Of course, not every idea is feasible within the current marketplace. Software allows companies to save these unused ideas for the future to continue the innovation process.

PLM and how product management software can help companies throughout the entire process was our next topic. Sanjeev illustrated steps within the product lifecycle related to product innovation:

  • Idea management
  • Product management
  • Virtual simulation of product
  • Product analytics
  • Supply management
  • Manufacturing process optimization
  • After market support

Although the process may vary, there should be a constant flow throughout the product lifecycle of innovation and collaboration. Also, this process doesn’t just apply to manufacturers. Product development organizations want to know how to foster innovation and track it throughout the product life cycle as well.

Finally, Sanjeev offered his closing thoughts and recommendations. He predicts that the sluggish economy will continue and has already become the “new normal.” Even if you implement several lean principles and practices, if you don’t innovate, your company won’t have a very secure future. He reiterates that this doesn’t have to mean creating a brand new, game-changing product, but rather can occur through incremental innovation.

To learn more about the topics I’ve covered in this series, listen to the complete Webcast New Insights on Driving Innovation.

Related post: The Business of Innovation

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Patrick Tickle
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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.