An innovation pipeline is a process businesses use to generate new ideas, test them, and bring them to market. This pipeline aims to help companies achieve their goals by providing a framework for innovation.
This article will discuss the innovation pipeline further, including how it differs from an innovation funnel, its benefits, how you can define it as a business owner, and how you can measure its success.
What is an innovation pipeline?
An innovation pipeline is a business structure for achieving company goals using consistent and innovative processes and approaches.
This framework suits various innovation-related tasks and activities, including creating new products, processes, strategic partnerships, business ventures, and deploying systems and human resource initiatives.
If you want to consistently:
- Remain on top of shifting customer demands and competition
- Maintain speed in delivering products and services
- Track your progress
- Produce something distinctive and innovative to stay relevant
Then you need to develop an innovation pipeline.
The innovation pipeline is a cyclical process
The innovation pipeline aims to help companies create new products and services continually. With an innovation pipeline, you can re-evaluate and improve commercialized ideas.
That way, you may rapidly and affordably prioritize the ideas showing the most significant potential and progress out of many concepts you wish to test.
The innovation pipeline defines innovation programs.
An innovation pipeline outlines the fundamentals of innovation initiatives, including how your team generates new product ideas, how you decide which ideas will turn into prototypes, and how you will work with your core stakeholders to build and improve your current concepts.
When you have a clearly defined innovation pipeline, your team understands what’s required to bring an idea to fruition and can take specific actions to make it happen.
The innovation pipeline provides a structure for launching new products and services.
An innovation pipeline is a key to successful product launches because it offers a roadmap for developing and commercializing new products.
By following the steps of the innovation pipeline, you can ensure that your product is ready for market, that you have the necessary support from your team, and that you are prepared to handle any challenges that may arise.
The innovation pipeline helps organizations focus on solving customer problems.
Businesses create innovation pipelines with innovation strategies in mind. Consequently, these strategies target and solve specific customer needs or problems. Focusing on customers’ needs can develop products and services they will love.
The innovation pipeline is flexible.
The beauty of the innovation pipeline is that it is flexible. You can tailor it to the specific needs of your organization. You can make it fit your organizational structure, whether you’re a small business or a large corporation.
Additionally, the innovation pipeline can help businesses improve their products and services in response to customer feedback and changing market conditions.
The innovation pipeline makes it easy to measure progress.
You can track your team’s progress and ideas when you have an innovation pipeline. This way, you can quickly identify where there are bottlenecks in the process and make adjustments accordingly.
Furthermore, this pipeline includes several steps, beginning with ideation and ending with commercialization.
Each step in the process is essential. Businesses can track their progress by measuring their success in generating new ideas, validating them through market research, creating prototypes, and scaling and commercializing them.
Hence, with an innovation pipeline, you can evaluate and improve your ideas before you develop them, produce them massively, and release them for public use.
Difference between an innovation pipeline and an innovation funnel
An innovation pipeline focuses only on the step-by-step progression of an idea, while an innovation funnel focuses more on an idea’s status to determine what happens next.
The innovation funnel is a familiar framework for businesses. It offers a more straightforward method of tracking and managing ideas. However, the innovation pipeline is gaining popularity because it provides a more comprehensive view of the innovation process.
The innovation pipeline offers several advantages over the traditional innovation funnel:
- The innovation pipeline helps businesses prioritize the ideas showing tremendous potential and progress out of many concepts you wish to test.
- The innovation pipeline eliminates the need for constant progress reports by offering a clear visual representation of where an idea is in the development process.
- The innovation pipeline alerts you to potential problems early on and allows you to take corrective action quickly. By contrast, the innovation funnel offers no such warning system and can often result in businesses investing time and resources into ideas that never make it to market.
Overall, the innovation pipeline is a more effective way for businesses to manage their ideas and product development processes. The innovation pipeline is the way to go if you want to streamline your innovation process.
Benefits of creating an innovation pipeline
There are some benefits to creating an innovation pipeline:
1. Good flow of action
The innovation pipeline helps ensure a good flow of actionable items from ideation to commercialization. This pipeline includes many steps, each of which you must complete before the next one can begin.
In effect, this pipeline feature helps prevent stagnation in the innovation process and keeps things moving forward. Additionally, it ensures you can thoroughly vet your ideas before they are scaled and commercialized.
The innovation pipeline of each organization will be unique based on its business model and the resources available. Overall, using this innovation framework will help you organize your efforts.
2. Create products that customers like
Businesses may respond to client input and shifting market dynamics by improving their goods and services with the help of an innovation pipeline.
Organizations may better determine where there are constraints and make modifications by tracking the development of their team and ideas via various processes.
Additionally, an innovation pipeline aids firms in prioritizing the concepts out of a large number that is showing the most promise and advancement. This way, companies can concentrate on the most promising ideas and provide products that clients genuinely want.
3. Boost competitive advantage
The innovation pipeline is a flexible system that businesses can customize to their specific needs, giving organizations a competitive advantage over those not using this framework.
Many customers consider it somewhat or highly essential that the firm they purchase from is innovative. Thus, customers seek out firms that deviate from accepted norms and take novel approaches.
While some may find this difficult, we believe it gives you a chance to outperform rivals. And you can accomplish that objective with an innovation pipeline.
4. Align innovation with business goals
The innovation pipeline is a great way to ensure that your innovation efforts align with your business goals. By clearly understanding the steps involved in taking an idea from conception to commercialization, you can ensure that your team is working on the right things.
With every initiative, the innovation pipeline can help you think and evaluate how it will impact your business goals. As a result, you can be sure that your innovation efforts align with your overall business objectives.
5. Encourage a better innovation culture
The innovation pipeline can also help to encourage a better innovation culture within your organization.
By making the innovation process more transparent, you can help to engage employees and get them excited about the work that they’re doing. Moreover, by being aware of every step in the process, employees can better understand how their work fits into the bigger picture.
In turn, this can help to foster a more collaborative environment where everyone is working towards a common goal.
How to define the innovation pipeline
The innovation pipeline is a great way to organize your innovation efforts. However, before you can start using an innovation pipeline, you need first to define it for your organization by:
- Understanding the steps involved in taking an idea from conception to commercialization. Once you have a clear understanding of the process, you can start to map out the pipeline.
- Assigning responsibility for each stage of the pipeline to ensure that you properly manage each stage of the process
- Establishing KPIs for each stage of the pipeline to track the progress of your innovation efforts and identify areas for improvement
Example of an innovation pipeline
Companies use their innovation pipelines to create new products and services. Businesses can alter the framework however they want. However, a primary innovation pipeline includes the following elements:
- This framework begins with ideation, the process of producing new ideas. As these ideas come into place, organizations review them and categorize them into relevant groups in preparation for the management review.
- As the management reviews these ideas thoroughly, the pipeline labels them “in review.”
- Once done, the team prepares a project proposal and submits it.
- Again, the pipeline places an “in review” status on the proposal.
- Depending on the management’s decision, the idea is either approved or rejected, so the pipeline labels them as either “approved” or “denied.”
How to measure the success of your innovation pipeline
The best way to measure the success of your innovation pipeline is by tracking the number of new products and services that are successfully commercialized. However, there are other ways to measure the success of your innovation pipeline, such as:
- Number of ideas generated
- Number of ideas reviewed
- Number of ideas approved
- Number of prototypes created
- Number of prototypes successfully tested
- Number of new products and services commercialized
By tracking these metrics, you can get a clear picture of the effectiveness of your innovation pipeline and identify areas for improvement.
Discover innovation pipeline
An innovation pipeline is a powerful tool that helps businesses achieve their goals.
By understanding the steps involved in taking an idea from conception to commercialization, companies can better align their innovation efforts with their business goals. Additionally, the pipeline can help to encourage a better innovation culture within the organization.
When properly defined and managed, the innovation pipeline can help businesses create new products and services and measure the success of their innovation efforts. By tracking the right metrics, organizations can identify areas for improvement and ensure that their innovation pipeline is working effectively.
Use innovation software today to discover an innovation pipeline that fits your needs. Book a demo with Accept Mission now.