Discovery Stage

Ideas are the feedstock or trigger to the process, and they make or break the process. Don't expect a superb new product process to overcome a shortage of good new product ideas. The need for great ideas coupled with high attrition rate of ideas means that the idea generation stage is pivotal: the goal is great ideas and lots of them!

Many companies consider ideation so important that they handle this as a formal stage in the process, called Discovery. They build in a defined, proactive idea generation and capture system (Figure 7.1-5). Ideas are fed to a focal person, who then gets a decision at figure 7.1-5 A System for Idea Capture and Handling

CO W

Fundamental research and technology developments

Voice-of-customer research and lead user analysis

Trend analysis and strategic planning

Competitive analysis

Creativity events

Alliances, partners, and suppliers

Idea suggestion scheme for employees

Customer and sales force requests_

With an Innovations Champion as

Focal Point

Feedback to submitter or source

Feedback to submitter or source

Others in Company

Gate 1. Go or kill ideas are archived in an idea vault, while teams are assigned go ideas to move forward into Stage 1.

Many activities can be built into the Discovery stage in order to stimulate the creation of great new product ideas. Such activities include undertaking fundamental but directed technical research, seeking new technological possibilities, working with lead or innovative users17 or undertaking product value analysis with custom-ers,18 using voice-of-customer research to capture unarticulated needs and customer problems,19 competitive analysis and reverse-brainstorming competitive products, installing an idea suggestion scheme to stimulate ideas from your own employees, and using your strategic planning exercise to uncover disruptions, gaps and opportunities in the marketplace.

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Project Management Made Easy

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