Companies with application excellence are often ailing in new product generations and in disruptive innovations. Individual innovation successes sometimes obscure the long-term ailing innovations.

Lessons learned of the projects do not help to identify the root causes of innovation excellence. Hence not exactly resilient measures then drive innovation effort without achieving innovation excellence. Only resilient root causes and know-how of Innovation Engineering lead to company-specific measures for innovation excellence.

Excellent applications have typical root causes, visible for example by the following indicators:

  • The development strategy is focused on customer projects of existing product lines. Development targets and solution technologies are known.
  • The impact of sales on the leadership of development is very high. Developing capacities for innovation projects are diverted quickly to customer projects.
  • The product engineering process is described for customer projects with a focus on the interaction between departments. It is standardized and enforced.
  • Descriptions of process, methods, and procedures of applications are largely absent. Though the methods expertise is claimed, it is actually little used. FMEA is regarded primarily as waste.
  • The engineers are proud of their pragmatism, are specialized, experienced in applications, and have not read scientific publications since long.
  • Target conflicts are usually resolved on the basis of priorities.
  • Development lead time is in line with expectations. Gateways are mostly respected. Development quality is praised by customers. Developing costs are indeed opaque, but largely under control by the development managers.

Excellent new product generations and disruptive innovations have other root causes. Indicators include:

  • The development strategy is part of the very long-term competitive strategy. Development targets and solution technologies are new.
  • Innovation projects are carried out undisturbed.
  • Uncertainty and insecurity determine the early project phases.
  • Versatile, and also new know-how is available.
  • The developers have proven methodological expertise in analysis and concept design. Some have a doctorate.
  • Target conflicts are resolved not only on the basis of priorities, but also by inventions.
  • The development performance is measured such that even the technical development risk is transparent at all times.

The root causes are different from company to company. We advise you to uncover the root causes of your company and to go the way from application excellence to innovation excellence.