Looking across the business world at large, it’s apparent that most organizations aren’t at a stage where innovation reporting is optimized. Innovation metrics maturity often depends on how long an organization has been reporting on innovation activity in the first place.
In answer to the question “How mature are your business metrics?” all businesses will fall into one of the below four categories:
- Emerging/Taking Shape
- Becoming routine
- Optimal and accessible
A survey conducted by InnovationLeader in 2021 concluded that two-thirds (66%) of respondents fell into the first two categories, with only 7% producing optimal and accessible metrics to program leaders and stakeholders.
This suggests that until now, organizations haven’t been focused enough on the metrics used for innovation. However, knowing what needs to happen to move from ‘Non-Existent’ to ‘Optimal and Accessible’ is more complex. The below roadmap from InnoLead research on 'Developing Innovation Metrics & Reports' (https://www.innovationleader.com/research-reports/Developing-Innovation-Metrics-and-Reports) is a suggested workflow that we have seen followed by a number of Wazoku customers:
Define what to measure: here we focus on getting the right information for the right audience. Deciding at this early stage what innovation program leaders and different teams in the business value makes it easier to focus on the key metrics.
Transition from activity to impact: in a previous blog post, we spoke about the differences between Activity Metrics and Impact Metrics. The transition from activity to impact will follow with how established the innovation program is. Knowing when to switch focus from one to the other is a sign of innovation maturity.
Demonstrate progress: when dealing with Activity Metrics, outcomes and financial benefits of innovation are difficult to identify. Having now moved to Impact Metrics, an organization should be able to demonstrate its innovation program’s effectiveness more readily.
Determine the right frequency of reporting: at the end of the roadmap are ticked off, the next decision is how regularly to review the key data. This is different for all businesses: depending on the scale, goals, and location. However, it is important to find what works for any particular organization here, otherwise reviewing these reports becomes less structured and less beneficial.
In this blog, we’ve discussed how businesses currently review innovation metrics, and the progress that many still have to make. We’ve also outlined a process that will help move from non-existent or ineffective reporting to a more beneficial outcome – where an organization consistently reviews the metrics that matter most.