A First Comparative View of Actual versus Planned Innovation Diffusion - Launching without Money or Resources


Dear all – with an initial case study almost completed a quick insight into the developing narrative which will potentially form the key case study presentation of our upcoming conference article (see https://open-european-innovation-network.blogspot.com/2020/04/online-cirpe-2020-8th-cirp-global-web.html).

Structurally the maturity level structure used for research purposes is aligned to industry standards (see Schwabe, O, Erkoyuncu, J.A., Shehab, E. (2019) “On The Change of Cost Risk and Uncertainty throughout the Life Cycle of Manufacturing Products.” Published February 18, 2020. Elsevier, Procedia CIRP Volume 86, 2019, Pages 239-244. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212827120300044) and consist of 5 levels:
  • Level 5: Project Launch and Delivery
  • Level 4: Request for Quotation
  • Level 3: Request for Proposal
  • Level 2: Request for Information
  • Level 1: Explore Strategy and Scenarios
  • Level 0: Do not use

If the Litmus Test (see https://open-european-innovation-network.blogspot.com/2020/04/innovation-diffusion-litmus-test.html) has been scored perfectly (therefore with a ""5"" for every question), then the innovation is expected diffuse as shown  in the image by “Curve A: Diffusion” (amber colored) from ideation to a market saturation level of 84% (“Curve B: Diffusion” - blue colored) at maximum speed. This corresponds to maximum maturity level of "5" which signals launch and delivery maturity under the assumption that context variables do not change during project duration).

For research purposes this maximum speed was defined as the time needed for project completion as committed to by the relevant project manager. At 100% time, the time needed for 84% diffusion by the project will be been exactly met. Faster completion is not considered since it represents an undesired variance) and any efforts for evolving the innovation from TRL 1 to TRL 9 are also not considered. If the Litmus Test has not been scored perfectly, then the diffusion time will increase as shown by “Curve B” for the base study example of a manufacturing execution system implemented in a part of an organization. Important to note is that the confidence scores of the Litmus Test will signal how robust the forecast diffusion curve is.

The Case Study 1 data indicates that a maximum total of almost 70% diffusion is achieved (“Curve B: Total” - green colored) in double the projected time. “Curve B: Diffusion” suggests a ""wave pattern"" of adoption, yet this warrants further investigation since the underlying model assumes launch of the next adoption phase only when at least 84% of the adopters in a phase have been forecast to adopt the innovation. Discussions with the relevant project manager suggest that the forecast diffusion patterns represent a robust view of the project history and that, based on the scoring of the Litmus Test the priority variables needing attention for the shifting the actual projection to the ideal projection were drawn from the tab “Factor Pareto” and pointed to clarification of and commitment to financial funding and resourcing since, as is often the case in practice, projects will proceed based on "faith" that needed issues will be resolved, versus ensuring that all prerequisites are fully met before launch. This case example equated to a maturity level of "2" which means that the robustness is suitable for exploring options only.

While the launch of projects without confirmed financial funding and resourcing may appear surprising to the researchers, it was a phenomenon consistently affirmed by interviewees and thus while a “known known” in practice the Litmus Test Assessment potentially provided more quantitative evidence of the impact this will have on project delivery. A further benefit seen by applying such maturity level perspectives through such tools as the Litmus Test is that it provides a more objective foundation for discussions between project managers and stakeholders seeking to launch efforts as quickly as possible. In this specific case the maturity level of “2” is significantly lower than the maturity level required for launching (“5”) and clear actions are recommended for achieving this.

This discussion and imaging of the narrative will continue as we gather further cases.

P.S. If you are interested in learning more please visit us at www.innovation-web.eu, our LinkedIn Group at https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8779542/, our blog at https://www.innovation-web.eu/entov-hvm-blog, our Researchgate project page at https://www.researchgate.net/project/Open-European-Network-for-Enterprise-Innovation-in-High-Value-Manufacturing-ENTOV-HVM, our Sourceforge page at https://sourceforge.net/projects/entov-hvm/  and our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2014779865300180/. You can also follow us via Twitter: @owschwabe (#innovationweb) and the LinkedIn Group page https://www.linkedin.com/company/entov.

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