If all goes well you will have successfully elaborated the ideas, have secured funding for them and now need to get down to business and implement. You may not be out of the woods quite yet however. The very nature of innovation is that you will be trying to implement something new or out of the ordinary for your business. It is critical that you recognise that this is not a business as usual (BAU) project. You are likely to be building new capabilities within your organisation as you go or contracting with new partners to get the delivery done. Given these factors it is likely that you are still managing a significant amount of delivery risk.
It is therefore critical that you have the right team on board and are following a robust process. In addition to your typical project management activities you will need to navigate your way through a change process in your organisation and perhaps with your customers or business partners. Recognising that you are delivering a project as well as a change will be critical to your success. All too often businesses deliver the innovation project but not the supporting change. This is often explained away by stating that the innovation was ‘before its time’. What is really meant is that the target audience was not prepared and managed through the change process. The product/service worked but the customers simply could not accept it. It may have been desirable, feasible and affordable but it was still not adopted.
During this step it is critical that you revisit the insights gathered in Step 1. You need to look at the barriers to adoption and understand the change journey from the end users perspective. Your implementation work plan needs to put the same amount of emphasis on the change management activities as the core product/service delivery activities.
This is where Deloitte is quite different to other consultancies providing innovation services. We really get change management, it is a core service offering for our consulting team and as a result we understand what it takes to make change stick.