When launching a new innovation, whether it is a product or service, it is important to ensure that all steps of the innovation process have been carefully reviewed and completed. This will ensure that any errors and problems during the process are avoided and that the chances of succeeding are at the maximum they could be. In other words, an innovation is a step-by-step process and not a single stage. Several authors have attempted to define these stages, yet one of the most predominant models is the Innovation Circle which is compromised by three main phases, the Creation phase, the Implementation phase and the Capitalisation phase. Each of these phases concerns a different stage of the innovation and it should therefore be managed accordingly.
The first step is the Creation Phase and it is where it all starts. It is the time that all the processes and operations are explored and organized. This phase can be divided into three sub-stages:
a. Firstly, all external incentives that have triggered the innovation process, such as declining customer satisfaction or new technologies, must be explored and analyzed.
b. The next step is all about generating ideas. Here, different types of stimuli must be used in order for allow ideas to develop. Some examples include brainstorming sessions and open sessions. At this stage, it is important that you keep the customer value as a priority
c. The last step of the Creation phase is the FCP (Function Creation Process) and it involves the transformation of ideas into action. During this step, risks must be identified and assessed.
The second step to the Innovation Circle is the Implementation phase and it is where all the magic happens. This is the time that the new product or service starts to take shape. Again, this stage is divided into two sub-stages:
a. The first stage is the Product Creation Process (PCP) and it includes the creation of the product or service according to specifications of the FCP. During this stage the product is tested and a prototype is being developed.
b. The second stage is Market Introduction and it is the time all aspects of introducing the product to the market are being examined. This stage feeds the following third phase of the Innovation Circle.
The final step to the process is the Capitalisaton phase and it has to do with the commercialization of the product or service offered. The main goal of this step is to create value and it is divided into three sub-stages:
a. The first stage is Order Realisation Process (ORP) and it is concerned with the firm’s logistics and the production of the new offering.
b. The second stage is Service Realisation Process (SRP) and its main goal is to provide, manage and integrate any additional services to the process.
c. The last stage is Utilisation and it is concerned with the management of the new product’s profits and revenues including the margin and costs.