The Portfolio Level is the aggregation of all single innovations. It serves as integration layer between the Innovation Level and the Organizational Level and connects the Strategic Drivers, Value Goals, Focus Areas and Challenges and organizational governance with the innovation process. A group of Innovation Coaches is the main actor on this level and facilitates Innovators and Innovation Teams in the progression of their Ideas.
In essence, Idea Generation is a matching process between improvement areas (demand side) and potential solutions (supply side). In order to stimulate that matching process, Idea Generation is about stepping out of the vacuum of the current organization and actively engaging in inspirational and outside-in perspectives such as customer feedback, hackathons or meet ups. The Innovation Coach is responsible for the continuous influx of Ideas into the innovation process and for the alignment of innovations with the organization’s Strategic Drivers.
The primary purpose of the Portfolio Kanban is to increase the flow of innovations through the innovation process. It is a method to visualize, manage, and analyze the prioritization of innovations from their inception to their embedding in the organization. The Kanban is managed by the joint Innovation Coaches to create and maintain an overview of all innovations being developed by the organization and to enable fast and transparent decision-making on the strategic direction of innovations and the allocation of resources and budget. For prioritization of innovations, the method of Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) is applied.
The Innovation Day is an event that is organized every 12 weeks by the Innovation Coaches. The main goal is to stimulate innovation and to showcase all the ongoing innovation initiatives. The Continuous Innovation Board presents a future outlook and their vision for the next period, the Innovation Teams demo the outcomes of their last SWICH or Scaling Up Experiments, Business Owners validate the delivered business value, and Innovators pitch their validated ideas. It is vital that all actors of all levels in the organization attend this day in order to achieve alignment and foster a culture of continuous innovation.
The total value of the portfolio of innovations is evaluated and managed by the Innovation Coaches, using Innovation Metrics. Measuring the success of an innovation is more difficult than it may seem as the business value that an innovation will generate is often based on assumptions. Traditional measurements methods such as Return on Investment or Net Present Value do not offer correct insights and therefore there is a need to use other metrics which can be applied to innovation projects. Innovation Metrics help Innovation Coaches to facilitate the CIB in making fast, transparent investment decisions at different points in the innovation process; to manage the progression of success of innovation projects; and to measure the impact that innovation is having on the business as a whole.
In the Embedding Phase, the Innovation Coaches are concerned with making sure that Continuous Improvement and continuous learning take place. This can happen in several ways:
- Innovation process improvement by aggregating all insights from single innovations.
- Translate key learnings to Business Owners to help them with adopting successful innovations.
- Fuel Innovators with best practices to improve effectiveness.