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Technology Innovation: Why Is it difficult?

front-end-of-InnovationTechnology Innovation is inherently difficult due to several key investment and execution challenges which include:

  • Advantage – There must be an advantage associated with the final product. The advantage must be greater than the inevitable problems and costs, or risk, associated with change by the end user. The funding sources must be convinced that the risk is acceptable to proceed with the development effort.
  • Timing – Timing is always important for investment and execution. Innovations can be discovered mid-development cycle after resources are already committed to other “higher priority” projects.
  • Existence of enabling technology – Sometimes the technology for innovation does not exist for a complete solution internally and needs to be found outside the organization, iterated, and combined to make a useful innovation.
  • Buildable – The solution must be buildable. That is, the solution must be easy to assemble, to test, and to maintain high reproducible quality.
  • Cost-benefit – There must be a clear, identified cost-benefit in terms of money, time, efficiency, or some other evaluation measure. The evaluation measure must be meaningful to the adopter with no immediate increase in end user costs.
  • Staged – The execution must be implemented in a staged approach to reduce risk of adoption.

These factors must be sorted out during the Front End of Innovation before introduction into the Formal Process.

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