Moving the Innovation Needle: Optimism and Metrics


By: Anne Orban

Benchmarking and crystal ball gazing meet in a compact survey by the PDMA Foundation conducted in September/October 2014.  We offer you this short synopsis of the results of the PDMA Foundation‘s Innovation Index: a report on how NPD managers see the future for innovation in 2015.

Using the survey results you can compare your company’s innovation growth or contraction. You can see how your innovation portfolio of breakthrough, more innovative and incremental projects balances by comparison with the surveyed companies.  As an indication of your innovation potential, you can compare how involved your management is in NPD and the proportion of company professionals involved in innovation.

Overall, new product development managers are bullish on innovation for 2015.

Innovation expectancy was measured by innovation managers’ indication that innovation would increase or decrease in 2015. 57% of innovation managers expected innovation to increase in 2015 with only 2% of innovation managers expecting innovation to decrease.

On the assumption that the more professionals a company has who are devoted to NPD, the more potential a company has for innovation, the Innovation potential for 2015 was calculated at 29 on a scale of 0 (no potential) to 100 (full potential).

Management involvement in innovation is expected to increase in 2015. 47% of survey respondents expect that management involvement will increase in 2015 and 7% expect that it will decrease. For benchmarking purposes, respondents indicated that in 2014 CEO’s spent slightly more than 20 hours per month involved in innovation, that CMO’s spent slightly more than 25 hours per month, and that CTO or CIO managers spent 55 hours per month involved in innovation.

For 2015 there is an expectation that company innovation portfolios will slightly increase in the proportion of breakthrough and more innovative products and decrease in the proportion of incremental new products.  The biggest increase of 6% is expected in the category of more innovative products.  Specifically, survey participants indicated that for 2014 the NPD portfolio was comprised of 61.6% incremental, 27.7% more innovative and 10.6% breakthrough new products.  In 2015, the expectation is that the NPD portfolios will show a decrease in incremental innovations to 59.6%, an increase in breakthrough innovation to 11% and a 6% increase to 29.4% from 2014’s 27.7% in the more innovative new products category.

However you measure up, Innovation Focus wishes you a stellar 2015 developing and launching more innovative new products!!

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