The innovation process is using new technology to come up with new products and services that will enable a business stay relevant in the market. It is not only new technology but also new methods used to solve market problems and making the business remain relevant also qualifies as innovation process.
The innovation process is all about business survival and business relevance in the market. In an era where customer needs and demands are wide, varied and changing rapidly, innovation process is key to a business’ survival.
Finding a solution to a business problem in a radically new way which is beneficial to the business is also innovation process. Businesses might use old methods in a new way which might be very beneficial to both the business and the customers.
Stages of innovation process
Invention and innovation are two different things whereby invention is coming up with new ideas while innovation is coming up with new ideas that can be implemented and be beneficial. Innovation process, therefore, involves a number of stages so as to actualize the whole process.
The following are the innovation stages:
- Setting targets and identifying problems – The process of innovation starts here where a business identifies a problem to be solved in an innovative way. Apart from problem solving, setting a target is also part of the innovation process. The targets set need to be achieved in an innovative way and so the target itself is a reference point. This first stage of innovation process can involve experts in the business as well as any other persons involved in the business who can make contributions.
- Analysis of targets and problems – When a business is faced with a problem, proper analysis of the problem has to be done before coming up with a solution. Even when setting targets, proper analysis has to be done so as to be able to come up with innovative ideas which all contribute to the innovation process. Apart from problems and strategies, analysis extends to studying market trends, customer needs and business demands. It is also imperative to look at and analyse what competitors are doing in order to come up with unique and innovative ideas.
- Design – After analysis, hypothesis and conclusions are made. The business owner is able to discover new things that previously he didn’t understand. All these lead to the need of a design of ideas portfolio where innovation can take place.
- Implementation – This is the step where the innovative ideas are transformed and put into functional concepts. It is at this stage where the ideas give rise to a new product that is put on the market to test whether it is acceptable or not. A prototype into the market to test the reception into the market is also part of the implementation. At this stage, the business will be able to know if the customers like the new product or service, and if they are willing to pay for it.
- Commercialisation – This is the final step where the innovations which have already been tested are put into full-scale production. Finally, when the new product hits the market, the innovation process is completed.