How to innovate?

Change, improve, innovate!

Keyboard key with a question mark

The bad news: There are no quick fixes! No one-size-fits-all solution. No silver bullet.

The good news: Numerous maturity models offer guidance. Maturity models describe best practices within certain areas, for example software engineering and IT service management. Some models also specify an evolutionary path for organizations to follow – from ad hoc to more mature processes.

Popular models include CMMI for software engineering and systems development, ITIL for IT service management, and the EFQM Excellence Model for business management.

In addition to models, general purpose approaches to process innovation exist. Popular approaches include Lean (focuses on optimizing process flow and reducing waste), Six Sigma (focuses on Statistical Process Control), TQM (focuses on reducing errors during production and administration), and BPR (focuses on redesign of organizational processes).

The not-so-good news: Models and approaches to process innovation have to be adapted to the organizational context (organizational culture, political climate, IT infrastructure etc.) and the failure rate is high. The failure rate of Software Process Improvement efforts is, for example, estimated at 70%! There are many pitfalls of process innovation.

The even-better news: enlisting the help of process experts will not guarantee success but will improve your chances. Please contact me if you want to know how I can help you plan and evaluate your process innovation effort.