Innovation: No Silver Bullet
By Patrick Tickle, Executive Vice President of Products
Companies often propel themselves to the frontlines of the market with a startling innovation. This innovation can differentiate an organization
and gain it legions of fans. However, for companies that strike gold, sustaining momentum for the long term-still presents a formidable
Technologies affecting all sectors are keeping the pace of transformation at an intensive clip. For product-driven companies this means
that ongoing innovation is necessary if they aim to stay relevant. Many experts have examined the dynamics, culture, and processes that
feed innovation. Data, analysis, software, methodologies, theories, and success stories contribute value and can move an organization
According to world-renowned professor, speaker, and author of Innovation You, Jeff DeGraff Ph.D., long-term creativity and
innovation consists of a portfolio of attributes. The “guru to innovation gurus,” as he is known, believes the idea of a portfolio may be
somewhat disappointing- it means there is no way to point to a single, successful initiative. “Innovation is a cauldron of
ingredients: a collection of bits here and there that bubble to create ongoing breakthroughs,” said DeGraff.
It makes sense. With decades of advising the ‘who’s who’ of innovative companies, DeGraff finds an organization needs powerful insights and
expertise, in addition to a culture where people can drive forward innovation and own it. Beyond the people, the organization needs the
resources, time, and money to explore possibilities. Companies often invest the diligence on products that will never make it to market; to
find the winners there must be losers. In the absence of a crystal ball, product developers have to get creative, research, and make a
myriad of decisions. In the midst of all these pressure points, product developers also have to hurry to seize their windows of
With these variables and more, DeGraff’s “portfolio” and “ecosystem” for innovation is more than logical. However, the devil is in the
details. How does an organization manage ongoing innovation across expanding product lines? Based on the 2011 Planview Product Portfolio
Management Benchmark Study, more than 70 % of companies interviewed plan on refining their product development process, have begun refining the
process, or are evaluating new tools. Of hundreds of product managers surveyed, across industries, it is clear that many companies
experienced in product development are looking for solutions to support their portfolio.
On May 10, DeGraff and luminaries in the field of innovation will be presenting at PIPELINE 2012, www.pipeline2012.com, a
virtual, one-day, free-to-attend, cross-industry conference. For those innovating, join us along with hundreds of product development leaders
from across the globe for inspiration and strategy. This is just the tip of the iceberg!
Patrick Tickle is responsible for the company’s Products organization and leads the Planview team that continues to deliver the most innovative
portfolio management solutions to the marketplace.