“Front End of Innovation” – with agility towards innovation excel­lence

How can companies master innovation instead of becoming obsolete? For this, we developed a reference model. It supports navigation in the “Font End of Innovation”, while at the same time providing access to a compre­hensive set of methods.

This is important, because it is not possible to work in a linear and strictly process-oriented manner in the early innovation phase. It is rather vital to take heed of the fact that the starting point depends on the individual task, the starting condi­tions and the degree of maturity of the idea. With this said, it is generally necessary to pass through the process several times. In this context it is not only allowed but necessary to skip forward and back. It is rather difficult to track results gained in the early innovation phase. This is especially the case when it is about to create services and business models that signi­fi­cantly differ from the companies’ core skills and capabi­lities. Mostly, there is a lack of appro­priate follow-up processes and the Stage&Gate product develo­pment process is not designed for such tasks. Here metho­dical questions are, however, not the biggest issues when it comes to continue to proceed with the projects. It is rather factors like corporate culture and decision-making processes that slow down the innovation process. As a conse­quence, we have to expand the FEI model and increase the business agility of the company.