Friday, March 13, 2015

Innovation Process: Why Most Get It Wrong and How to Do It Right

Prototyping, Iteration, Brainstorming…Misunderstood, Misused and Abused



By Marc Dresner, Senior Editor, IIR




John Crombie
What most people think they know about best practice in the innovation process is probably wrong.

That’s according to John Crombie, Co-Founder and CEO of UpStart Product Development and former R&D principal engineer with Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon.

Crombie says a lot of conventional wisdom around the innovation process today—not just with regard to medical devices, but in general—is flat out backward.

“One of the most inefficient processes you can have is an iterative one.”

Take iteration, for example…

“One of the most inefficient processes you can have is an iterative one,” Crombie told me in an interview.

“People like to tout how iterative their approach to innovation is, when in process excellence and process improvement you want to minimize iteration because it’s waste,” he said.

“The purpose of prototyping is not to make iterations of a product in order to refine it.”

Moreover, Crombie says prototyping may be the most misunderstood and misused tool in the innovation tool box today.

“Prototyping is abused,” said Crombie. “The purpose of prototyping is not to make iterations of a product in order to refine it; the purpose of prototyping is to define your requirements and get to true specs.”

In episode one of Forward Focus 2015—FEI’s expert interview series—John Crombie corrects some major misconceptions around the process of innovation and outlines an elegant approach to make it work.

Check it out here on FEI's YouTube Channel or simply watch below!





ABOUT FORWARD FOCUS
Forward Focus is a special interview series featuring thought leaders and experts at the forefront of innovation.

Forward Focus is brought to you by FEI 2015—the 13th annual Front End of Innovation conference—taking place May 18-20 in Boston.

For more information or to register, please visit www.frontendofinnovation.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR / INTERVIEWER 
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a trade publication for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

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