Innovation_How to become fast and furiousThese days most companies are actually technology companies. Think connected watches, driver less cars and automated assembly lines. And in technology, speed is the name of the game; the quicker a company can innovate and produce a product the better it fares in competition with others in the same industry.

If you are responsible for product innovation at your company, you probably feel a lot of pressure on your shoulders. To pick up the pace of product innovation, since hyper-competition is a reality for most of us.

Why is there so much pressure to innovate quickly? According to Forrester Research, Forrsights Budgets and Priorities Tracker Survey (2012), the top 3 drivers for innovation pace acceleration are:

  • Rising pressure to reduce costs (70%)
  • The need to improve the capabilities of your product/service (70%)
  • Increasing expectations from customers (68%)

And speeding up the innovation pace benefits your business in many ways, primarily:

  • Delivering product that customers actually want
  • Short-cutting your competition
  • Generating more revenue rapidly

Unfortunately, most new product development projects are hit by delays. According to Forrester Research, the reasons for these delays are as follows:

  • Unclear or changing requirements (53%)
  • Quality issues (36%)
  • Delayed decisions (27%)

In order to avoid these setbacks, you need to be efficient and stop working in silos. Work as a team instead to accomplish more in less time.

One of the top three success factors is getting the timing right. If you wait until you have all the answers to get is usually too late.

The second success factor in innovation pace acceleration is continually listening to your customers. After all, you (should!) design products to meet their needs. And it is quite challenging to question your "current" customers about their "future" needs!

Lastly, the small steps approach is always better. Look for small wows instead of chasing THE big home run.

Keep these three principles in mind and you will see your innovation speed up and with it the ability to compete with the best companies in your industry.

Patrick Sirois

At Triode, we specialize in developing new products and services for complex industries like medical devices and transportation. We work with you closely to help define product strategy, with an emphasis on reducing the risks associated with innovating in these sophisticated and often regulated consumer-oriented environments.