Definition

innovation process management (IPM)

Contributor(s): Kristen Lee

Innovation process management (IPM) a systematic approach to nurturing the creative capabilities of employees and creating a workplace environment that encourages new ideas for workflows, methodologies, services or products.

In information technology (IT), innovation processes often fall into one of two categories: "pushed" or "pulled." A pushed process occurs when a company has access to existing or emerging technologies and wants to find a profitable application for it. A pulled process occurs when a company focuses on the customers' needs and tries to figure out a new or better way to meet them.

Gartner's recommendation to IT leaders interested in launching an innovation management program is to follow a disciplined approach. Here are five steps Gartner recommends IT leaders and their companies take to develop an innovation management program:

    1. Strategize and plan: Settle on an agreement of the vision for the initiative that is also in line with business goals. Then establish the resources and budget, and integrate the vision with IT and business plans.
    2. Develop governance: Establish a process for making decisions. This includes identifying and engaging stakeholders, agreeing on who is in charge and what the flow for decision making is, and also having feedback mechanisms in place.
    3. Drive change management: Have systems by which people can communicate and socialize via multiple channels; get buy-in from stakeholders at all levels; and assess which open innovation initiatives and cultural shifts will help the company optimize contributions to innovation.
    4. Execute: Make sure to draw from a wide range of sources to generate ideas for innovations that will transform the business, align the initiatives with business goals, and then update and drive new elements of the initiatives in response to changing business requirements.
    5. Measure and improve: Once the innovative initiative is in place, monitor and measure how it has affected business outcomes. It is also important to seek feedback from stakeholders and to continue to study innovation best practices and case studies from other organizations. Also make sure to continually drive improvements through process changes and upgrades.
This was last updated in April 2016

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