Delivering resultsOrganizing for innovation

CRCF Grant Recipient

CRCF grant recipient

We're a CRCF grant recipient! We at Organizing4Innovation are proud to announce that we’ve been awarded a grant through Virginia’s Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund (CRCF) by Governor Ralph Northam. Our data analytics project will advance our ability to provide effective and efficient innovation project management. 

Our Goals

This project, titled “Using Team-Learning and Teamwork-Quality Indicators as Objective Performance Assessments to Vet Early-Stage Innovation Teams”, aims to eliminate areas of uncertainty when managing innovation projects. Billions of dollars go towards unstructured, poorly-executed projects that are doomed to fail. Therefore, we want to analyze the behavioral factors that successful teams exhibit in order to solve this problem.

The objective of this research project is to investigate if we can assess and predict the progress and performance of early-stage innovation projects with predictive analytics.

Part 1: Investigate the current innovation management practices of law firms: Completed, see our report on Managing Innovation in Law Firms

Part 2: Investigate when and where innovation teams in law firms need support: Ongoing.

Part 3: Develop predictive analytics that can predict the likelihood a team will get to concrete results within 6 months: Call for teams ending May 1, 2021

Our Approach

We already know that teams perform differently based on how often they update their information, how they build on each other’s ideas, how they challenge each other, how they choose to test their assumptions, and the quantity and quality of the documentation they provide. However, we have yet to use our observations to establish criteria for predicting the future performance and progress of a team. 

This accomplishment would be a significant step for innovation managers, particularly those working with few teams and/or in small organizations. In our experience, organizations often struggle with comparing the innovation teams in their portfolio. Our project, according to a manager at an international engineering firm, “would finally enable [him] to compare apples to apples.”

Your Innovation Project Manager

Essentially, we plan to create YIP - Your Innovation Project Manager on demand. Like a "Fitbit" for innovation teams, that makes it easy to track how you do, how your progress and performance compares to others, and that provides information about where and how you can improve your performance.  YIP will tell you what to work on, when, and how.

Just like a Fitbit takes the concept of “getting in shape” from an abstract idea to a series of actionable items, YIP will allow us to take innovation from a lofty goal to a manageable, step-by-step process. We expect to provide teams with data that will:

  1. Motivate team members to improve their cooperation, contributions, and overall innovation
  2. Help team members understand where they succeed and where they fall short
  3. Give team members actionable feedback to improve their performance
  4. Produce more reliable time estimates for innovation projects

Fundamentally, our goal is to give every team the opportunity to excel, because the force that drives innovation isn’t ideas, but the people behind them. As Ed Catmull puts it : “If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a good team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better.”

Get involved!

If this sounds interesting, there are still a few ways you can participate:

  • To build the predictive analytics model, we are looking to support early-stage innovation projects of law firms. We will assist these legal innovators with creating their project description and business case.
  • To test our predictive analytics model, we are looking for service organizations that support 20+ innovation initiatives per year. We would like to work with 10-15 of your teams and compare their progress and performance against your portfolio, with the goal to demonstrate the advantages YIP brings in terms of getting better innovation results faster.

Please contact us, if you are interested in participating or testing YIP as part of this research opportunity. We would love to work with you!

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