What makes a good Innovation Manager

The Innovation Manager leads a project team and is accountable for the results of a Business Design project. He / she is a MacGyver type of person with an overview of all activities involved in the Business Design project driving the project team to high performance. As part of the project team, he / she prepares and participates in workshops and works on content-related tasks in between. The Innovation Manager is also the link to other divisions in your organization. It is essential that the Innovation Manager is trained in Business Design before he / she kicks off a project.

Tasks
  • Defining the setup of a project (Project Charter)

  • Establishing a high-performance work culture

  • Preparing and moderating workshops

  • Getting the project team up to speed

  • Assigning and tracking tasks (rigidly)

  • Working on own content-related tasks (e.g. field research, prototyping)

  • Managing other stakeholders (e.g. sponsor)

Key Activities

The following table shows key activities for an Innovation Manager for each phase of the Business Design process:

Phase

Activities

Setup

  • Finalizing the project charter with Business Design coach and internal sponsor of the project

  • Preparing Kick-off workshop

    • Invitation to sponsor and project team

    • Room booking, setup & catering

    • Agenda

    • Tools & methods

  • Get-to-know calls with every team of the project team

  • Participating in a basic training on Business Design for the project team (and the sponsor) and ramp-up training for Innovation Managers

Discover

  • Facilitating the Kick-off workshop with the Business Design coach

  • Optional: Team-building exercise

  • Supervising the documentation of the workshop and execution of tasks (clear task definitions and assignments for the Discover phase)

  • Working on own tasks

  • Leading the weekly status calls

  • Preparing the Design workshop (see before)

Design

  • Facilitating the Design workshop with the Business Design coach

  • Supervising the documentation of the workshop and the further detailing of the results (with designers, prototyping engineers etc.)

  • Leading the first sponsor's sneak preview and reflecting the feedback with the project team

  • Optional: Preparing and facilitating a dedicated Validate workshop (if time was not sufficient in the Design workshop)

  • Making sure that each team members know exactly what to do over the next weeks to conduct the experiments (clear task definitions and assignments for the Validate phase)

  • Working on own tasks

  • Optional: Preparing and facilitating an IT-Deep-Dive workshop

Validate

  • Supervising the experiments and execution of tasks

  • Working on own tasks

  • Leading the weekly status calls

  • Optional: Joining regular sponsor's sneak preview (every 2-3 weeks) and reflecting the feedback with the project team

  • Optional: Supporting Validate activities (e.g. field research, prototyping)

  • Optional: Preparing and facilitating GTD - workshops

  • Optional: Connecting with external experts (e.g. start-ups, engineering experts)

  • Optional: Briefing the engineers and designers for prototyping

  • Preparing and facilitating the Review workshop

  • Preparing the final presentation / management proposal to the sponsor on the Decide workshop / D - Day

  • Preparing the Decide workshop / D - Day

Decide

  • Delivering the final presentation at the Decide workshop / D - Day to the sponsor

  • Recapping the feedback from the Decide workshop and planning of next steps (e.g. next iteration)

  • Supervising the documentation of the workshop and the entire iteration / project