Objectives

It is quite difficult to define objectives to measure the success of your innovation endeavour. We share some ideas for inspiration in this article by taking into account each phase of our end-to-end innovation process.
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Bernhard Doll

Business Design Maverick

1. Introduction

Measuring success is what managers love. And we share this passion. However, it is a bit challenging to find the "right" success criteria for various phases of the End-to-End Innovation Process and for various purposes of the innovation management system. We have listed for your inspiration a couple of objectives as success criteria you might find useful for building your innovation management system:

Define objectives in a way that there is not much space for individual interpretation and an easy way to measure them. Use the OKR methodology to define both objectives and measurement: "I will [objective] as measured by [key result]".

2. Research & Development

No.

Objective

Measurement

OKR

1

Number of "golden (knowledge) nuggets" used in ideation

Count the insights in ideation workshops that have been translated into an idea that ended up in your ideas portfolio

2

Number of hits on "insights reports" (e.g. intranet, knowledge base)

Look at your usage statistics of your online knowledge base

3

Time from defined search field / trend to documented insights in days

Measure the average research time from trigger to documentation

3. Ideation

No.

Objective

Measurement

OKR

1

Number of ideas created for defined strategic direction and documented in standardised format

Count number of ideas on your idea portfolio

2

Number of people in your organisation who are super happy to invest there precious time on 1-X of these ideas

Count number of people (and their bosses) who have committed time and resources for some ideas

3

Overall "value" of your idea portfolio in terms of business opportunity and transformation potential

Difficult to measure in absolute numbers. We often track how the "value" changes over time...as an estimation

4. Business Design Sprints

No.

Objective

Measurement

OKR

1

Number of success-critical hypotheses tested in a Business Design sprint (aka learning performance)

Count the number of Hypotheses & Experiments

2

Number of projects in which the Guiding Principles haven't been fundamentally compromised

Count the projects. Well here it is wise to check the reportings from the project teams

3

Average number of iterations needed before project is ready for next stage (go-to-market)

Count the iterations per successful projects

5. Go-to-Market

No.

Objective

Measurement

OKR

1

Number of projects ready for market launch

Count the projects

2

Time from launch to "break even" point

Measure the time when your "burn rate" (negative free cash flow) hits the 0-line

3

Financial success of lauded products, services and business models

Count revenue. gross margin, margin contribution what your Head of Finance needs ;-)

6. Organisational Transformation

No.

Objective

Measurement

OKR

1

Number of employees who have been trained on innovation and ask proactively if and when they can join their first / next project

Difficult to measure. HR and middle management should know

2

Number of successful projects beyond the today's core business

Count the projects

3

Assimilation of new "innovation work culture"

Qualitative assessment based on 360 degree feedback talks with employees

Don't apply financial performance criteria (e.g. revenue potential, profit margin, ROI) too early in the innovation process. You will kill "fresh" ideas beyond your core business instantly. Measuring innovation is not that much about crunching financial numbers!