DMAIC for Innovation (Part 2)

Braden Kelley is an innovation and change specialist, the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire, an InnovationExcellence.com co-Founder, and is the creator of the Change Planning Toolkit™ and a book on the best practices and next practices of organizational change (January 2016 release).

Given that people have expanded the use of the DMAIC methodology (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) beyond strict use on improving quality and reducing variability to be used on continuous improvement projects, I thought why not stretch it a bit further and create a DMAIC for innovation? Continuing from Part 1, let’s now have a look at what such a creature might look like.

Define
Imagine that you work for an automobile manufacturer and I were to task you with solving the following technical challenge: “How would you make our automobiles use less gasoline?”

Think about what your approach would be. Now, some of you might focus on making the automobile lighter, others might focus on making the engine more efficient, still others would focus on making it more aerodynamic and a few of you would think about ways to make an automobile that ran on something other than gasoline altogether.

Ask the innovation question in the wrong way and you will get different innovation results than you expect. Here are some key things to consider:

  • Any successful innovation effort begins with a cross-functional innovation leadership team sitting down and defining what innovation means for the organization, establishing a common language and communicating this out to the organization in a clear manner.
  • While it may be good sometimes to have people going …

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If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

- Jack Handey

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