In a recent study, McKinsey found that 84 percent of executives thought innovation was an important part of their growth strategy, but only 6 percent were satisfied with their innovation performance.
To be successful organizations must deliver solutions to their customers that are innovative, but they must also consistently deliver them in less time than their competitors. So how do you do that? How do you constantly innovate while reducing the time from idea to solution?
The answer is in how you plan. You must ensure your product development is always pursuing a well-defined, strategic, growth path. That’s where the idea of product roadmaps come in. A roadmap defines the broad direction your products will take as they evolve, providing guidance to short term project efforts.
Project teams can then focus on delighting customers’ current demands, advancing the product along the roadmap, and delivering solutions that leverage current technological capabilities in ways that have never been achieved before. When product and project teams have to reinvent what innovation looks like with every release the chances of failure increase. When they can use roadmaps as their guide, the right solutions become much easier to define.
Of course, those roadmaps have to be defined in the first place. Organizations must invest in innovative product managers who not only understand their markets and customers, but who are also prepared to challenge accepted norms, asking "why not" whenever a new opportunity arises.
Innovative roadmaps, executed by innovative organizations will result in consistently innovative products and services that delight customers and drive sustainable value.