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How To Measure Innovation Part 4 : Taking Action

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The last couple of weeks we’ve been running over some of the best metrics that you can track in order to ensure the success of your idea management scheme. If you haven’t read the previous posts, we recommend that you have a look, as they will take you through the early stages of sourcing ideas where we separate how ideas are segmented and what your community can tell you in Part 1, how to find out how reliable your idea selectors are in Part 2, went through what makes a successful idea in Part 3, and so we can finally reach our final stage, Actioning.

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So you’ve followed best practices in creating the right creative environments, measured that your culture of innovation was in check, and you got some good ideas to move forward with. You ensured your reviewing process was reliable and fair, and took a large chunk of those good ideas forward with you. You’re now aware of the 3 key points of a successful business idea, and can begin to look towards implementation.

So, what numbers and metrics can we look at to see how successful this stage of your process is?

Firstly, we need to look at experiments. Every idea deserves some experiments. Due to the inherent risk taken on whenever trying something new, many ideas need different looks before they find the right fit. An Idea may be absolutely game-changing, but unless it is understood and implemented properly, no good can come from it. This teaches everyone to understand an idea’s strengths and weaknesses, and how to position the idea to maximise its positives and marginalise its negatives. Measure the total number of experiments for a group of ideas, and calculate the average.

Track the time needed to make final decisions. While this process shouldn’t be rushed, participants will expect progress on final decisions, as failure to do so undermines credibility. Consistency of time taken across ideas is more important than hyperspeed decision making.

The ratio of ideas selected for a full launch. The determinant for success of this phase, and the entire process in general, some might argue. While the percentage of ideas that make it from sourcing will be low, the percentage of ideas that made it through the Decisioning phase to ideas being launched should be high.

And finally, you should be tracking the projected and realised value of ideas put to full launch. Even well after launch, these numbers should be followed with great detail. Such numbers are critical in establishing credibility amongst senior executives, and proof of ROI that is greater than the cost of implementation is certain to see your budget increase.

So that about wraps it up, the most important numbers and metrics you should be following throughout your innovation process. While this has been relatively detailed, it’s not exhaustive, and numbers to track will vary across organisations. The start is knowing where to look, and what you do with these numbers matters just as much.

To learn more about integrating innovation on a company-wide scale on a sustainable level, we’ve got a fantastic event on October the 9th about defining innovation and integrating to your business culture. This event will also feature Waitrose, Cisco and innovation author Cris Beswick. Sign up now for our breakfast event, as spaces are limited.

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