Microsoft announced its Innovation Process Management (IPM) initiative to help enterprises build a flexible IT platform to speed the process of innovation for competitive advantage and a higher return on investment.
In many industries, innovation traditionally has been a compartmentalized, top-down process run by a small team of researchers, designers or engineers. The rapid spread and high availability of collaborative technologies has changed that model. It is now widely recognized that the next great breakthrough in products, services and processes can come from people anywhere inside or outside an organization. Advancements in IT also make it possible for companies to design flexible processes to support innovation.
“Innovation really is a team sport, requiring close collaboration and the alignment of people, processes and supporting infrastructure throughout an organization,” said Don Richardson, director of Worldwide Innovation Management Sales Strategy at Microsoft. “Ideation, knowledge capture, knowledge management, project management and portfolio management all must be synchronized through a formal process to ensure that innovation projects yield success.”
“Innovation is a top priority in every industry we serve,” said Joe Boggio, director of Innovation Management Solutions at Microsoft. “Our customers want a systematic approach for managing innovation to garner greater yield, efficiency and speed; this initiative joins employees, suppliers and customers around a formal, end-to-end process to manage innovation for sustained growth.”
The primary challenges associated with IPM include capturing the best ideas from all levels of the organization, identifying and harnessing the right people and other resources both inside and outside the organization, coordinating innovation project teams, monitoring project progress, and measuring success. Organizations often do not have structured innovation processes in place to drive transparency, metrics development or cross-functional collaboration. Because speed and coordination are critical to many organizations’ success in innovation, an effective collaboration process is essential to turn insights into ideas and action.
Microsoft’s IPM initiative is focused on helping its customers apply information technologies to address the challenges of innovation by delivering solutions that enable corporations to manage the end-to-end innovation process with greater transparency, coordination and discipline. The Microsoft Innovation Process Management Solution is built on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and is a key component of the Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution, enabling organizations to facilitate the innovation process.
Microsoft’s unique approach to IPM is built around three key aspects of the overall process of managing innovation. The process is facilitated by Microsoft’s integrated EPM and business productivity infrastructure, which includes collaboration, unified communications, business intelligence, enterprise content management and enterprise search