Monday, February 05, 2007

Measuring Innovation

The previous blog entry discussed Boston Scientific and their emphasis on innovation in the domain of medical equipment. Boston Scientific also has a strong program in place to measure and understand innovation and opportunities for innovation. Scott Engle (Director of Emerging Technologies and New Market Development) gave the next presentation. Scott focused his remarks on the methods and metrics used by the organization to identify areas for innovation. His critical point was that the organization needs to be one with its customers. Boston Scientific uses an extensive set of methods to gather ideas and insights from customers, and then uses these to identify areas for new product development. The organization has developed a Customer Perception Matrix to identify and map out customer needs and available products, based on features and drivers. Using this map, the organization can engage in directed innovation.

Another critical points that Scott made was the need to know when an organization has missed opportunities and it is not worth spending the resources to innovate, as a competitor has already secured an advantage.

Richard Traxler (Senior Manager, Technology Planning) gave a highly energetic presentation on the process used by Boston Scientific to conduct evaluations on core versus novel innovation projects. I must say the program that Richard has put in place is by far one of the best that I have seen. Novel projects are put through different review processes than core ones (most organizations still do not do this at all…). In addition, the ways used to start-or-stop these projects, and origination of these projects is also managed differently.

The strong understanding of the innovation process and ways to measure that process were fascinating. Thank you to all at Boston Scientific for sharing your knowledge!

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