5 Top Questions to Ask When Starting an Innovation Program

planningSo you want to start an open innovation program at your organization or company. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out where to start. As with any new program, there are a number of factors that you should consider before you embark. Today we’ll look at five top questions to think through.

1. What goal are you trying to achieve? First and foremost, consider what you are trying to achieve with your open innovation program. Are you looking for cost-cutting methods? Are you looking to engage your employees? Are you trying to connect with your consumers about their wants and needs? Evaluating your goals at the beginning will make it much easier to evaluate whether you’ve reached those goals at the end.

2. What are the stage-gates for each part of your process? This essentially means determining timelines for the different stages of your program: pre-launch planning, idea collection, idea refinement, idea review, and implementation.

3. Identify your target audience. Who are you hoping to reach? Once you know the answer to this question, you will be much better able to determine how to reach and engage that target audience.

4. How much participation are you expecting? Knowing your target audience and how to reach them is just a first step. Knowing how much participation can help define realistic team member responsibilities for dealing with responses.

5. Evaluate resources and responsibilities for team members. When this is one of your first tasks, it can help set the parameters for several of these other questions, as well as numerous other questions. It can also help you to assess where you might want to reallocate resources in order to accomplish one of your described goals.

These five questions are just some of the top questions and should not be considered an exhaustive list. For more insight into the benefits of open innovation as well as further items to consider before starting out, click here to download the Innovation Starter Kit.

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