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What Top Performers Do Differently to Stay Ahead

The Innovation Performance Framework: What Top Performers Do Differently to Stay Ahead

How do you ensure your organization is going to be successful at launching new products to market? Launching successful products is no longer pure luck, it’s about how you work and what you focus on. It’s less about how much money you spend and more about how you spend it.  At Horizons – The Planview Customer Conference – Michelle Jones broke down The Innovation Performance Framework for Planview customers and explained the four proven drivers of success. She also shared trends from a recent survey conducted by Stage-Gate international titled, “Innovation Performance: Critical Drivers of Success,” and what top performers are doing differently to stay ahead along with key takeaways.

Here’s a quick recap of the highlights for our blog readers.

The Innovation Performance Framework – Four Proven Drivers of Success

According to Stage-Gate, exceptional innovation performance results from mastering the four key success drivers: Innovation Strategy, Portfolio Management, Stage-Gate®, and Culture Leadership.

1. Innovation Strategy – Supports business goals and guides investment decisions. Top performers are:

  • 7 X more likely to have clearly defined strategic arenas to give the innovation program direction
  • 8 X more likely to have resource consciously allocated to strategic buckets
  • 9 X more likely to use innovation roadmaps to lay out major developments

Takeaway: Adaptability is key to a solid innovation strategy and the ability to make quick decisions within your portfolio as opportunities arise.

2. Portfolio Management – Optimize and allocate resources to maximize portfolio value. Top performers are:

  • 6 X more likely to have a well-defined portfolio management system in place
  • 7 X more likely to do an excellent job at ranking and prioritizing projects in the portfolio
  • 2 X more likely to ensure resource spending in the portfolio truly reflects the business’ strategy

Takeaway: Organizations must be flexible and invest in the right set of projects.Planview Product Development Webinar

3. Stage-Gate (Idea-to-Launch Process) – Design and improve idea-to-launch models that truly work for your organization. Top performers are:

  • 6 X better at being customer-centric with strong customer focus
  • 5 X more likely to be flexible, adaptable, and have a scalable process for project size, type, and risk level
  • 7 X more likely to apply good gate governance practices including well defined go/no go decisions points, decision criteria, and gatekeepers

Takeaway: Agility – execute the full range of innovation types.

4. Culture and Leadership – Develop and advance innovation capabilities to empower results. Top performers are:

  • 5 X better at creating a climate that is not risk-averse – some risk-taking is encouraged
  • 5 X better at being open to communication and sharing idea and concepts
  • 7 X likely to have senior leaders provide strong visibility support to innovation

Takeaway: Create an environment that embraces disciplined change.

Rank yourself against these metrics and consider how your company measures up. Then, use these statistics to your advantage as you move toward improving your innovation strategy and idea to launch process. For more information on this  benchmarking research, visit

Stay tuned for the next blog where we will discuss the second half of Michelle’s presentation, where she shares tips for developing a winning strategy taken from the bestselling book, Product Innovation and Technology Strategy.

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Maura Melis
Written By

Maura Melis is a demand generation specialist at Planview, focusing on product portfolio management solutions. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA concentrated in marketing with a minor in advertising.