Everyone in business is talking about innovation, but how does one actually innovate? Jennifer Bridges, PMP, shows you practical steps you can take to innovate by using co-creation and project management techniques.
Here’s a screenshot of the whiteboard for your reference.
In Review – Project Management Best Practices for Innovation and Co-Creation
Jennifer opened with some definitions. An innovation, she said, is a new method, idea or product. And co-creation is a process where brands and consumers work together to create better ideas, products and services.
Co-creation allows the consumer to co-construct the service experience to suit their context. This process is necessary for companies to grow and scale, as well as launch new brands, divisions, products and services.
Project management is the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet a specific success criterion at a specific time. This is usually done with the help of planning, scheduling and tracking tools.
Project management is needed to plan, execute and manage projects, lead teams effectively and achieve results, thereby materializing innovative ideas.
There are many different methodologies and strategies concerning co-creation, but Jennifer wanted to spotlight seven high-level steps.
- Establish the Vision: Ask yourself: what are you doing, where are you going, who is going there and why are you going there?
- Create a Blueprint: Now you need to figure out how you’ll get where you want to go by breaking down that journey into smaller steps.
- Value the Pieces: Layout the steps in a visual picture (a project timeline can help), and describe the value of each one.
- Present the Vision: At this point you show the customer your plan and have them sign off on the venture.
- Include the Details: Take the feedback of the customer, and incorporate it into your draft.
- Repeat the Process: Do this as many times as necessary to achieve a final blueprint.
- Execute the Blueprint: Now you’re ready to start.
Best Practices for Project Management
Project management is implemented as a means to actualize the process of co-creation. Jennifer suggested using these six steps.
- Apply Co-Creation Principles: Involve the stakeholders, suppliers and team members in the process.
- Present the Vision: Do so with a project kickoff meeting, and schedule regular meetings from there.
- Execute the Blueprint: Assign and align team roles.
- Encourage Proactive Engagement: Do this with both the customers and users during each phase of the project life cycle.
- Monitor and Track Progress: This is important to make sure you stay on track.
- Use Tools: Tools such as a project dashboard help to monitor project metrics and report on project progress.
Pro-Tip: There are many ways to promote innovation on your project. Be clear with goals and deadlines, while planning milestones along the way. And, always invite others to participate in the project planning. The wider the net, the more you catch.
Thanks for watching!
Today, we’re talking about project management best practices for innovation and co-creation, but before we start, what I want to do is get a baseline understanding of innovation and co-creation and how they relate to project management.
Well, first of all, innovation is a new method, idea, or product. Co-creation is the process where brands and consumers work together to create better ideas, products, or services.
And then this process allows the consumer to co-construct the service experience to suit their context. So as you can see, these are needed to grow and scale companies, launch new brands, maybe even divisions, or products and services.
Project management is the practice of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet a specific success criteria at a specific time.
So as you can see, the project management is needed to plan, execute, and manage the projects related to co-creation and lead teams effectively to realize the results from the co-creation or innovation efforts.
So let’s look at a few steps that are required for co-creation. So these are just high-level steps. There’s very detailed methodologies, different methodologies including design thinking around co-creation, but I just want to provide a few high-level steps so you can see how it’s related to project management and some of the best practices.
Well, first of all, in the high level, in co-creation, you establish the vision. What are we doing? Where are we going? Who is going and why are we even going?
So the second step is to create a blueprint. The blueprint tells how we will get there. So it breaks things down into smaller pieces.
So from the smaller pieces, you go through the exercise of valuing those pieces, so you’re literally drawing pieces according to pictures, and you describe the value of those pieces.
Then you present the vision to the consumer or the customer and let them validate it, let them break it down into more detail and add the detail to the blueprint.
Then you repeat the process as many times as you need until the blueprint becomes final, and then you execute against the blueprint.
So as you can see, project management is going to be very important to execute the blueprint and realize those results. So here are a few high-level best practices that we found very valuable for co-creation, and the whole innovation process.
So number one, I submit apply the co-creation principles to project management. Get the players involved. Involve the stakeholders, suppliers, and the team members to breaking down the blueprint into project executable deliverables.
So present the vision. So during your kickoff of the project, present that vision. Let the people know, let all these players know really what you’re building as a result of this project. Then use that not only in the kickoff, but also during regular meetings.
You also want to execute the blueprint. Assign and align the team members and let them know how valuable each one of them are to their role.
Then encourage proactive engagement of the customers and users during each phase of the project lifecycle, because as things change through the project, you want to be able to continue to have them validate and be involved as things change along the way.
Then number five, of course, monitor and track the project to ensure that you’re on time, on budget, and realizing the results you’re trying to get from the project.
And then use tools and dashboards along the way so it makes it easier for collaboration and co-creation.
So if you need a tool that can help you with your co-creation process, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.com.