Spiraling INTO control
Dr. Jose Briones builds bridges, the kinds that close gaps when managers are faced with two uncertain ends.
Dr. Jose Briones
Briones is currently the Director of Operations for SpyroTek Performance solutions and specializes in innovation management, product development and ideation. His approach to innovation comes from experience in R&D, marketing, and business development—a career he says gives him a perspective on innovation from all sides of the process. He plans on sharing that perspective at the Back End of Innovation conference in Boston next month, in a talk about his “spiral” innovation system and how it can improve innovation program success rates.
To hear more about Dr. Briones’ innovation methodology, register for the Back End of Innovation Conference Oct. 9-11, 2012 at the State Room in Boston.
Briones’ innovation program applies a “true spiral approach” to market and business development. This means that a project will potentially go through each stage of innovation or development more than once, allowing for better understanding and more effective changes as the process continues.
“Management needs to change its expectations,” he said. “It’s going to take multiple passes at each level to get the results they want. With this, they will increase their precision and will be able to measure progress in innovation.
“While Waterfall and Stage-Gate innovation methods work very well for incremental and sustained innovation projects, they have always been slightly problematic for new projects or those that have a high level of uncertainty,” Briones said. “Because it is impossible to get all of the information you need in one pass, you need to supplement these traditional innovation methods with a spiral technique in order to learn what you need to go forward.”
In other words, this system bridges the gap between wild chaos and guesses and what managers need to know in order to allocate resources effectively.
Briones’ approach begins by classifying projects by their degree of uncertainty. Based on this categorization, companies can better determine the correct tool sets and resources to allocate to each project in their portfolios. The more uncertain the project, the fewer resources it will receive until more information is known.
“Start by putting something out there as soon as possible in order to get feedback on it,” Briones said. “It is much more effective and you will learn a lot more from it than just from theorizing.”
Briones has found that the most successful projects start by getting something “good enough” out there, gathering as much information as possible, then perfecting them in stages. Visiting and re-visiting each stage of innovation insures that you learn as much as possible about a project, preventing ineffective resource allocation and surprises down the road.