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Visualization Tools Raise Your Innovation Awareness

Does your company struggle to brainstorm new products and services? Visualization tools such as road-mapping software and patent-citation systems offer insight into the pipeline of promising ideas. Here's how to pick technologies that fit your innovation approach.

Approaches To Innovation

Strategy-driven innovation relies on strategic objectives to drive innovation efforts. It's a top-down approach because it involves C-level input and is usually characterized by a vision to create new deliverables that will capture prospective customers in new markets or new customer segments in existing markets. Strategy-driven innovation efforts must be tracked to ensure that they remain aligned with strategic objectives. The strategy-driven approach is typically supported by road-mapping tools.

Product-driven innovation sustains or develops an existing product or service. It's a middle-out orientation because it is owned by discrete product management groups that already exist. Product-driven innovation is usually focused on design- develop-deliver processes that take concepts from an initial idea to eventual implementation in the market. This approach is typically supported by product lifecycle management (PLM) and new product development (NPD) applications.

Idea-driven innovation is focused on triggering, harvesting and developing ideas. It's a bottom-up orientation because anyone can contribute a good idea, and it often involves idea-generation campaigns that may, in turn, support strategy- or product-driven innovation efforts. Idea-driven innovation is usually about identifying and understanding the commercial potential of an idea, and it is most often supported by idea-management applications.