Innovation are more than just ideas that create value. These ideas need to be aligned with an organization’s strategy and create value to be an innovation. Processes help take this idea and systematically helps analyze its strategic fit, build on the hypothesis, test it and help roll out the changes necessary to make the innovation a part and parcel of the operations. Processes also help measure the success of such changes with appropriate metrics through various project and program management frameworks.
Often innovation may arise from one of two knowledge domains, explicit domain and the tacit domain. True breakthroughs happen when both these converge – where we leap into a completely new way of doing things through scientific- technological means by directly addressing tacit things -like consumers’ needs and wants. Facebook and Google have pioneered in this type of innovation both fueled by technology and the changing psyche of the consumer. Innovations of this nature challenge traditional methods of working and organizing and typically create new markets. Whilst process design and flows are key to a sustainable organization are they effective where innovation of such capacities are concerned? The answer lies in how flexible and agile are these processes.
Processes may prove to be rigid and provide challenges in situations where technology and requirements are volatile. It also makes supporting integrated and unstructured work efforts difficult. With our play in the AR/VR space we understand how quickly technical and delivery milestones change. We realize that context is king – when it comes to processes. The dynamic nature of the market, and the growth curve that these technologies currently experience means are we need to use processes to set some boundaries and guide our mental models but not limit them. Often pre-built process models can be used as a baseline to build or dynamically amend to suit the context we are in. For best results and enabling innovation at the speed it needs to be in today’s market – Process needs to be driven by the context – Goals to be met, time at hand and resources available. Dynamic processes are challenging to conceive as it breaks the traditional thinking of process as a rigid way of working.
To be valid (let alone grow and thrive) we need to break through this structured flow chart driven process methodologies and thinking to one where processes are semi structures guidelines, driven by business events and require embedded decision making. I am sure as we are poised to ride the wave of augmented and virtual technology innovations – the related frameworks and support processes will also need to be reinvented.