Previously in the Standardization Series, we argued that the worth of a management standard addressing innovation will chiefly rest on its ability to provide guidance on how to achieve sustained success through new product, service or business model development. But how will this “guidance” be generally received and which are the key drivers for the adoption of innovation management standards? The following article explains.
Much like the practice of innovation, the process of standardization too has been with us for quite some time. In terms of management system standards, one of the most successful applications to date is seen in Quality Management (QM), where the famous ISO 9001 has generated over 1 million certifications worldwide over the past decade.
Whether a standard in Innovation Management (IM) will follow the same trend is certainly a question of credibility and especially time. One frequent dilemma is whether QM accounts for the systematic part of innovation. Why does one need a separate IM system to guide this part?stakeholders frequently ask, signaling a potential contact area that needs to be explored further. KTH Royal Institute of Technology for example, is currently in the process of establishing a project that will take a closer look at this parallel and attempt to shed some light from different perspectives.
What is an Innovation Management System
“a set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organization to establish innovation policies and objectives, and processes to achieve those objectives” [CEN/TC 389 N 106, 2012]
Finally, whereas QM standardization has reached maturity, IM is still in an early phase. For practitioners to engage and acknowledge the usefulness of an innovation management standard, benefits need to be clear, and deliverables need to be at hand. Yet as of today, IM standardization is moving from an inception to an elaboration phase, with the first document finalized (a “Technical Specification” in standardization language) and scheduled for publication in mid-2013.
Key drivers for innovation management standards adoption
With an official document under way, it is equally important to cast a critical eye upon the complex dynamics and drivers that will influence the adoption of innovation management standards.