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Strategic Planning for products and technology - how roadmaps ensure innovation and corporate growth

Does your organization have a clear innovation strategy that is understood and supported at all levels? Do you know where to focus R&D resources?  Where the market is headed, what your best opportunities are, and what disruptions are possible?

If you want to gain more control over your innovation future, one of the most powerful strategic planning tools is roadmapping -- in particular landscape maps and route maps.

Landscape maps link together market and technology factors, business drivers, capabilities and competitors. Route maps tell you what to do. Dr. Jay Paap has developed a proprietary framework around these maps and has helped many leading companies implement -- with significant results. He will share these techniques at his upcoming workshop "Product & Technology Roadmapping" on October 8-9 in Boston.

For a brief overview and visual picture of Landscape, Route Maps and Dr. Paap's framework, click here.

Open Innovation -- Growth Engine or Resource Drain?

Does Open Innovation really pay off for firms?  Who's getting the most bang for their buck - and how are they doing it?  One of the foremost experts on Open Innovation, Dr. Gene Slowinskihas seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of strategic alliances for over 25 years. His advice: Go for alliances that shake up an industry.  It is too easy to underestimate resources and end up spending more than planned without much return. Far better to do a few powerful deals than many which are  marginal. For quick tips on generating profitable growth through Open Innovation, check out our FREE article  Making Open Innovation Alliances Pay Off: 5 Keys to Success.  

Are Your Innovation Investments Paying Back?

Perhaps you're not measuring and managing the right things. If your company is still caught up in the decades-old "sales % from new products" quagmire, you need better metrics. What's wrong with "sales % from new products" as a measure of innovation? The same thing that is wrong with pushing R&D investments down to whatever projects barely clear the hurdle of "new product" and the same thing that is wrong with killing a product that owns the market and has a ridiculously high margin. The popular, but misguided "sales % of new products" drives both of these negative behaviors and reduces your R&D return on investment. 

  • A metric such as "margin growth over sales growth" backed by the following measurable actions including:
  • Patent or idea diffusion (not the number of patents, but how good they are)
  • Portfolio balance based on cash flow and payback 
  • Portfolio rate of return 
  • Customer value to feature match 
  • Early phase research decision autonomy

will drive better returns on your innovation investment. Check out Dr. Robert Tucker's tips on improving innovation metrics.

Tech Scouting & Open Innovation: Practices of Industry Leaders - Free Download

How are companies such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, Kraft, Monsanto, Corning and other global leaders innovating new products, expanding boundaries and growing their businesses? How do they choose their scouts, their partners, and the best opportunities?  For an overview, please download our recent research on the top practices.

Voice of the Customer Research Technique that Works (Free Download)

Visiting customers can be a very effective way to gain insights that can help differentiate your product in the marketplace by discovering unmet customer needs that your next release can help address. However, it is important to conduct customer visits properly. Dr. Ed McQuarrie author of Customer Visits offers 16 tips to make your customer visits as effective as possible in this free download.

Are You Actively Monitoring More than 5 Metrics?

If so, you could be wasting time and money. According to Wayne Mackey, impractical and inefficient metrics detract from work and waste time by becoming ends in themselves. A metrics program should include only the “critical few,” says Mackey. To read more click here. [requires brief site registration or FastTrack Membership]

A Maturity Model for R&D Collaboration

Where does your company stand with respect to global R&D collaboration? Maturity model describes four stages of offshore engagement, from least to highest potential value. [Requires site membership]

Examining the Strategic Impact of Investing in External Innovation

Survey by Goldense Group Inc. examines investment in external innovation assets versus innovation training - and the likely strategic impact.  [Requires site membership]