An Open Innovation Process emphasizes the use of external ideas and approaches to create and market new products and forces your innovation team to deliberately gather external insight from suppliers, partners, distributors, think tanks, and other external sources of information and technology. The method differs from those that came before, because it recognizes that the boundaries between the organization and others within the industry are more flexible, which, if used properly, create more impactful products or services.
What is the Open Innovation Process, and what are best practices, tools and online templates for teams and organizations?
Definition of the Open Innovation Process
Description of Open Innovation Process
The Open Innovation method is useful in an increasingly interconnected world; organizations cannot be as successful looking only at their current processes for innovation guidance. In addition, several opportunities exist to purchase a patent or license for another firm’s invention or to sell innovations not being used in the organization. By exploring these different options, the organization will have multiple innovative ways to develop new products and services and improve its bottom line.
The Open Innovation Process provides many advantages to the traditional innovation process:
- Through this process innovative ideas will either be developed with the help of several different sources or will be purchased from another organization, thus the cost of research and development is decreased.
- Drawing from the opinions of many individuals with different perspectives will improve the effectiveness of idea development. Specifically, the product or service will reach the market faster.
- Consumers of the new product or service are involved very early in the process, ensuring greater buy-in when the idea comes to fruition.
- Increased customer involvement early in the process will help to ensure that the product is being marketed to the right customers.
- There is an increased likelihood for collaboration between different companies within the industry.
However, these advantages need to be leveraged against potential pitfalls of the Open Innovation Process:
- Because this process requires the use of external collaborators, there is an increased risk that confidential information can be shared.
- Due to the potential breach in confidentiality, an organization could potentially lose its competitive advantage in the industry.
- It can be a very complicated process to integrate several diverse perspectives about what a product or service should be into one coherent idea. Additionally, it is difficult to determine how much influence to give each party invested in the process.
- The organization needs to spend additional time developing a strategy for approaching external collaborators and potentially creating a pitch to buy a license for another organization’s product or service or to sell an unwanted product within one’s own organization. Further, the organization needs to ensure it has the funds to do so.
- When using an Open Innovation Process, innovation strategies need to move beyond simply maximizing the profits of the new product or service but also need to include a metric to ensure that investing in external collaborators was a worthwhile use of time, money and effort.
Engaging externally with various stakeholders often means they participate in the open innovation process with or without monetary incentive. In some cases, external innovation can also include participation from different organizational departments, consumers of the product or service, or the broader community. Therefore, it is imperative that the organization have a strong presence in the community and the industry.
Tools & Templates
The Open Innovation Process often involves the use of a concept development map and concept testing. However, because the Open Innovation Process requires the need to organize the inputs of external collaborators, it is important to use software to stay organized such as spreadsheets and project trackers.
upBOARD's Online Open Innovation Process Tools & Templates
Unlike most traditional Open Innovation Process techniques, upBOARD’s online Open Innovation Process collaboration tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.
Learn more about upBOARD’s library of other innovation management online best practice tools and templates, including:
Agile Innovation Process, Business Case Development, Business Model Canvas, Concept Development, Concept Screening, Concept Testing, Customer Empathy Map, Customer Problem Statements, Design Thinking, Innovation Funnel Management Process, Innovation Horizons Model, Innovation Roadmap, Jobs to be Done, Lean Startup, Listening Hats, Open Innovation Process, Painstorming, Rapid Prototyping, SCAMPER, S-Curve Mapping, Stage Gate Process, Technology Life Cycle, Technology Scouting, and Teece’s Win-Lose Innovation Model.