4 Essential Steps to Promote Innovation and Ignite Your Business Growth
If you need an innovation in your organization you have to practice a project management methodology that has no specific framework, so the best methods for achieving innovative results in projects is much closer in relationship to Agile than Waterfall.
The main approach that will enable the teams a flexibility to make decisions and to take innovative action more closely describes risk management (than either agile or classic approach) and contains 4 phases:
- Define goals, objectives and schedule
- Project planning phase
- Project implementation phase
- Monitoring and control
In this article, we will explain these phases, i.e. how to apply this framework in your own organization.
Define goals, objectives and schedule
In many cases, when you want to allow your teams to innovate – you make panic because it seems like you opened yourselves up to increasing number of pathways and through countless pointless changes.
By starting the project with a clear definition of the goals, objectives, and schedule, every decision that the manager and the project teams make in regards to a project can be made in the context of what the established measurements of success have been established.
In some cases, much of the changes and delays come because these measurements of success are only weakly defined or are partially applied.
You should ensure that it won’t happen in your projects, so you should enforce milestones definitions and meetings along the way, where the progress is measured against the results. Planning in this context will help you to successfully focus your teams and your managers.
Project planning phase
In all project management methodologies, planning is very important, and it takes the most time and has the capacity to define the steps that will terminate your projects to a halt.
If you want to enforce innovation, it is important that you don’t define very strict goals and timelines, thus enforcing your project team into positions where their liabilities and timelines are so well documented – that they become glorified order takers and box checkers.
To avoid the chances of loose planning and to promote innovation in your projects, it is best for you to do the necessary planning that enables you to define clear check-points and milestones while letting you see the correct starting point, but not to not be planned so rigidly that every activity is completely pre-determined.
Project implementation phase
Implementation phase in any project is a point where you as the executive or project manager are going to have ensured the established goals and objectives, and the planning that was done at the outset.
In the implementation phase, your project teams will have the chance to follow the goals and objectives that you laid out at the beginning of the project.
Many managers and leaders do not understand what the process of innovation should look like in the organization, so they will face many challenges in the implementation phase.
Every organization looks different when it is innovating, but a few things are present in all innovative environments:
- The teams are encouraged to find solutions, not just to perform tasks.
- Failure can occur and when it does, it is viewed as an opportunity to learn and grow.
- Teams are encouraged to connect, share ideas, and collaborate.
- The management promotes honest communication at all levels.
These are only a few things that will appear in your corporation when you have created an innovative environment.
Project monitoring phase
In order to monitor the project successfully, you have to define clear goals, outcomes, and schedule established. When you’ll perform this step, you should have some indicators that you can use to establish check-in points and points of reference for your project.
In the monitoring phase, in order to avoid the chance of micro-managing and to suppress the type of behavior and thinking that encourage innovation, you should make sure that you frame your questions and feedback in fairly simple terms. Thus – you must ensure whether you meet the goals, the schedule, and the performance requirements, or you exceed them, or not meeting at all.
When you will get this feedback, you can begin to make changes to your project by using questions to uncover the reasons for the success or under-performance of the different phases of your project.
The usual steps that you could apply are: to prepare for change and to initiate (request a change).
By reinforcing a change – you will strive towards fulfillment of goals, schedule and performance requirements. In many cases, you should continue to monitor the new activities. It will probably be necessary that you should reinforce the new approaches and habits that are necessary to create the new outcomes. This process can sometimes be irritating, so it is important to keep in mind that communication is the key to successful change. An effective communication will help you in the transition processes and will give you a chance to achieve the results you desire.