Never Be Confused About Innovation: A 3-Part Model Makes it Clear
Lesson #3 of Turning Ideas into Market-Winning Products.
Scaffolding is used to create buildings. It is an essential element that supports people and materials, allowing construction to occur. Scaffolding is also essential for making the complex clear. With the proper scaffolding, or framework, more complicated processes and practices can be identified, related, and understood. This lesson presents a three-part innovation model that will be the scaffolding for your innovation projects.
Why This Lesson is Important and What You Will Learn
After reading this lesson you will be able to illustrate the essential three-part scaffolding for turning ideas into market-winning products.
3-Part Innovation Model
Product innovation practices can be separated into three areas:
1. The Managed Front End: MFE activities generate those “Eureka” moments that result in viable product concepts. Rest assured, there is a method to the madness. People who are successful at MFE work establish processes and structures to deliver concrete results from within their creative environment. Their ideas become product concepts, which are then moved into a new product development process. You may be more familiar with the term “fuzzy front end” but fuzzy is a misleading term for what actually occurs. Instead, product innovators manage uncertainties in the front end as they uncover what customers need and how to create value for them.
2. The New Product Development Process: The phases of activities introduced in lesson 2, including Conceive, Plan, Develop, and Qualify organize the work that turns concepts into products. Unlike the MFE, the NPD process is disciplined work driven by milestones. During the NPD, product concepts either become features of products launched to customers, or are killed or tabled along the way.
3. The Product Lifecycle: Once in the market, the Product Lifecycle becomes the product manager’s focus to optimize the product success as it moves through the market stages of introduction, growth, maturity, decline, and retirement.
Fundamentally, innovation means doing something new. If you are doing what you have always done, you cannot be innovating. A helpful way to remember the need for doing something new is…
In∙no∙va∙tion = in a new way
The 3-part innovation model provides the scaffolding for doing things in a new way. Recall the quote from lesson 1, which is why the model is so important…
The Big Picture
How do ideas become market-winning products? The model above illustrates the scaffolding used for specific processes that lead to products customers value.
- “Eureka” moments are guided through the Managed Front End, resulting in viable product concepts.
- These concepts take shape through a structured process and eventually transform into products that can then be launched to a market.
- Once in the market, the product manager focuses on maximizing the product’s performance through the Product Lifecycle.
Being asked to be more innovative or take on a roll with a product team can seem like a daunting task. Even if you are taking control of your own career and learning more about product development, management, and innovation to further your success, you’re dealing with an overwhelming amount of information.
Just like the old joke goes, “how do you eat an elephant – one bite at a time,” learning about product innovation can involve many bites. But now you have an important tool with the 3-part innovation model – scaffolding to hold the concepts and practices used by product developers and managers.
Chad McAllister, PhD
Chief Product Master at Product Mastery Now
P.S. This course helps you build scaffolding for creating products customers love. If you have frameworks you already use, add them to your scaffolding.