The innovation timing determines the innovation success. Innovation projects fail when the environment goes unnoticed, when TTM takes first place instead of innovation quality, when planning ignores technical risks, when the right milestones are missing in early innovation phases, or when innovation teams fail to precisely meet quality milestones.

Innovation projects fail if the environment goes unnoticed. Examples are the fast breeder in Kalkar or alternative drives for motor vehicles, which did not survive the political change or sinking oil prices.

Innovations come too soon if they are not mature and are soon replaced by quality products. Current examples are wearables and tablets, whose markets are now dominated by APPLE Watch and iPad, not to mention the iPhone, which focuses almost the entire industry profit on itself. At APPLE, innovation quality has top priority over TTM.

Ignoring technical risks is very likely the dominant cause of the delay in innovation projects. If it is chosen as the planning premise that success will be mandatory and nothing will go wrong, then there is no reason to reserve resources such as time, money, human, and technical capacity. However, in reality something always goes wrong, as no pressure from above helps. One example is the production hell of TESLA.

The absence of the right milestones in early innovation phases, which are linked to the innovation quality, is widespread. Sometimes there are only few and then only technical milestones like in the pre-development phase. Sometimes a pragmatism replaces the missing experience like in start-ups. Sometimes standardized early milestones are run over like in supplier projects, because there is still time later. Sometimes the early phase in very big Innovation projects such as airplanes and buildings is very bureaucratic and time-consuming overloaded with huge project plans, which, however, ignore critical features. What they all have in common is that the quality of innovation can not be measured in real time.

Timing is the ability of musicians and dancers to keep pace and rhythm. Timing distinguishes good and bad performances of music and dance. Timing errors propagate in orchestras and in dances.

The same applies to innovation projects. If the on-time delivery of innovation quality at milestones is low, low delivery reliability will continue. Experienced former CEO Augustine provides empirical value for innovation: Reports are almost always available on time and in full on the milestones; however, the projects are only three-quarters complete; the additional time required is one third; this third continues from milestone to milestone. Resist the beginnings! Or differently: Each task can be fulfilled in one-third more time than currently estimated.

We advise you to plan and steer the innovation timing for your constant innovation success.