Measuring the Innovation Process – what you need to know

I could write a book about measuring the innovation process (I wish I had time) because it is such a large subject. This blog doesn’t aim to be a complete guide to measuring the process, more an opportunity to share some work I did around this subject a few weeks ago with a new client who is setting-up their key measures. I hope it is of use to others, but as always, any questions, contact me.

As is always the case with measuring activity and processes, a few critical measures against broad range of activities is better than tons of measures.

I split them into three categories: engagement, process and outcomes:

Engagement Measures

(this assumes you are using a software platform like TalkFreely (

1. > 75% of registered users login and participate. Evidence that staff are interested in participating

2. > 50% or more of registered users voluntarily rate idea. Evidence that Staff see value in helping qualify ideas by rating

3. >20% or more of provide comments. Evidence that Staff value in helping shape ideas and sharing knowledge and insights by adding comments

4. >10% or more of registered users enter an idea. Evidence that Staff see value in offering ideas to meet challenges

5. >75% of departments have launched at least 1 challenge within the first year. Evidence that Department heads see the value in actively engaging their staff in idea sharing and innovation (this one is crucial)

Process Measures

1. >2 ideas per quarter accepted and pursued to next stage per challenge. Evidence that there are enough quality within ideas to make setting challenges worthwhile

2. No ideas in the Live and Evaluation stage remain in those status’ for more than 30 days. Evidence that the Challenge sponsors provide the resource to manage the innovation process (that ideas don’t sit in the process without being dealt with). This is another crucial one. The best way to kill ideas is to allow the staff to feel it’s a waste of time because ideas aren’t ever implemented

3. The value of costed ideas (ideas that have been evaluated and have a record of ROI) in the innovation process grows by >10% per month. Evidence that you are able to manage a growing innovation portfolio

4. The NET value of the innovation portfolio is x times the cost of the Innovation Network. Evidence that there is a growing ROI for the innovation efforts

Outcome Measures

1. Staff engagement measures (most large organisations measure engagement) has improved. Evidence that the innovation effort have improved how people feel

2. Revenue from new products increased. Evidence that ideas for new products have been implemented resulting in increased revenue

3. Operational expenditure has reduced. Evidence that ideas that can reduce costs and save money can be found.

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Michael Allen




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