The Innovation Funnel is a mechanism that enables a constant stream of ideas that can be screened for viability. It's a tool that helps companies and individuals to innovate successfully. This article provides a practical explanation of the Innovation Funnel. After reading, you'll understand the basics of this powerful innovation tool.
What is the Innovation Funnel?
The Innovation Funnel is a mechanism that enables a constant stream of ideas that can be screened for viability. The Innovation Funnel, also referred to as Funnel Management Process, is a popular approach for innovation that is used by many companies to create an innovative and realistic action plan.
The core of the Innovation Funnel is to generate as many ideas as possible, a large portion of which will be refined and converted into concrete development plans. This creates a funnel-like shape, from lots of ideas to a few ideas. As the best ideas will remain, the Innovation Funnel is an excellent tool to prioritise ideas and ensure that the best will be fully developed and advanced projects, products, or other innovations can be launched.
The idea of the Innovation Funnel originates from the world of sales. The idea was that it takes lots of potential customers to qualify for making a deal as a company, and that it takes lots of ideas and brainstorming sessions to evaluate whether a new product or service will be profitable.
Henry Chesbrough subsequently changed the concept by making the funnel permeable. He came up with the term 'open innovation' and proposed that ideas can and must come from individuals within the organisation, but also from external customers and partners. The ideas enter the funnel on the left side. Ideas can exit the funnel on the right side and move on to third parties.
Criteria in the Innovation Funnel Management Process
The Innovation Funnel Management Process demands that each idea is carefully and constantly screened and compared to several rules, criteria, and filters. Here, it's important that the Innovation Funnel Management Process isn't limited to generating new innovations or processes, but also that there are ongoing projects that must constantly be scrutinised by means of the previously established criteria to ensure that they function optimally.
The employees or the team must draw up criteria regarding feasibility and the time schedule of the innovation plan. Examples of criteria include:
To what extent does the idea meet the customer's ...
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