How to STOP Innovation Project WASTE | Driving Eureka! #9


This week the lead article will challenge how you think about project management. It's about how to stop innovation project waste.

The book excerpt lays out why in the faster paced economy we need to increase our innovation speed. 

The craft cocktail is the Sazarac on the of the first in my mind best cocktails ever created.




The Root Cause of Why 50% of Innovation Value 
is WASTED & LOST During Development

The root cause of innovation waste is due to the application of the wrong style of project management during development. To be clear I NOT against the structure and accountability of project management systems and software. They help get things done. The classic approach works very well when there is very little uncertainty and invention required on a project. 

Recall - classic project management sets up a list of requirements and tasks. They are assigned to people to execute. They are then checked on conformance to requirements. It’s a system of accountability - transparency and focus.   

The classic approach is also known as the “Waterfall” approach to projects - the idea is defined and then executed. Today - companies are using various methods to avoid this at the “front end” of innovation - however they are not seeing high ROI from the effort as they are focusing on the wrong place - THE REAL WASTE for Innovation is in DEVELOPMENT not the front end.  

With Innovations, and in particular BIG IDEA Innovations, two separate studies find that classic project management results in a 50% decline in value of innovations during the development process. This is because the aim of classic project management is very much the tactical - Plan, Do, CHECK, Act cycle of work. The focus is on task completion. When a task is found to be hard to execute then it often gets a “RED FLAG” in the software - and soon those responsible identify a compromise on the innovation so to not slow down the project. These changes are often small - however overtime the impact is the previously mentioned 50% decline in the value of the innovation. 

The alternative approach is a more dynamic form of INNOVATION Project Management. IN this case the system and software is a hybrid - with low uncertainty tasks being managed in the task completion manner. And high uncertainty tasks being treated in a Cycle of learning approach or Plan, Do, STUDY, Act. Here - rapid cycles are used to discover, invent and problem solve in such a way that the entire idea gets bigger, bolder not smaller. Again the research finds that instead of a 50% decline companies realize a 28% growth in ideas during development when they use this approach. 

Recently, we announced IE Trailblazer, the 4.0 version of our innovation project management software for teams and ThinkStormer our innovation acceleration software for individuals. To see a demo on them from our recent innovation conference CLICK HERE.  




Driving Eureka! Book Excerpt
It's Not a Theory - The Pace of Business
Has Really Changed

In the past, there was little urgency to change what we offer or how we work. It was possible to create a for-profit or nonprofit company based on an innovative service or product and to market it to the same customers for years.

Over the career of most senior leaders, the life cycle of profitability for new products and services has been long. It has not been uncommon for a company founder to innovate and for the life cycle of their offerings to last for two generations. Children of innovators, if they managed the family business right, could have a great career. By the third generation the marketplace usually changes such that it needs to be reinvented if the organization is to survive. Sadly, most don’t and only 3% of family businesses make it to the fourth generation.

In the past, it has been possible to succeed even with an inferior product or service in your region. This was because customers didn’t know that there were other alternatives available in their town or country or the world that offered greater value for the money. 

The internet has changed everything. Today customers have the ability to know more about what alternatives exist in the world. It gives them the ability to painlessly compare value for the money. It also gives them the ability to share their experiences with other buyers, making it hard for companies to make false promises. For example, when you put a new “design skin” on the same old product, customers quickly figure out that your “improvement” is just skin deep.

Today, a business doesn’t last for a generation. In many industries product or service life cycles are now months or years.

If you'd like to read more order now by clicking HERE - If you already have the book head on over to your favorite online book store and tell everyone how much you enjoyed it!



Brain Brew Whiskey Academy The Sazerac

The Sazerac one of the greatest cocktails of all time!

Brain Brew Whisk(e)y Academy:
The Sazerac

The Sazerac was invented in New Orleans.  It was originally created with Cognac (French wine brandy). Today it’s often made with whiskey.  Sometimes it’s made with a blend of brandy and whiskey. 

In my mind it’s a big sipping cocktail - best enjoyed listening to fine Dixieland Jazz music of Louis Armstrong, Pete Fountain or the PRBB Dixieland band - that my Dad helped found and played trumpet in. For a limited time only you can download the music from their second album - just CLICK HERE.


Absinthe (Pernod or Herbsaint)
Simple Syrup
Craft RYE Whiskey (I prefer Noble Oak Rye Whiskey)
Peychaud Bitters

Step 1: Pour a little absinthe (Pernod or the original Herbsaint) in a rocks glass, tilt the glass to cover it - discarding the excess.

Step 2: Add ICE plus one teaspoon of simple syrup (50/50 mixture of sugar and water)

Step 3: Add 1.5 to 2 ounces of our Noble Oak RYE whiskey - or a local Craft Rye whiskey.

Step 4: Add a lemon twist and two drops of Peychaud Bitters IMPORTANT

Step 5: Stir a lucky 13 times and enjoy

NOTE: Some fanatics chill the glass and don’t add ice. I don’t as I prefer my rye, which is classically at a 48% alcohol a little diluted.

Doug Hall

The Driving Eureka! Newsletter is a compilation of case studies, new techniques, thought provoking insights, an occasional rant, and excerpts from my books 



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