Product details

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Authors: George S Day
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: "Harvard Business Review", 2007
Length: 20 pages

Abstract

Minor innovations make up most of a company''s development portfolio on average, but they never generate the growth companies seek. The solution, says Day - the Geoffrey T Boisi Professor of Marketing and a Co-director of the Mack Center for Technological Innovation at Wharton - is for companies to undertake a systematic, disciplined review of their innovation portfolios and increase the number of major innovations at an acceptable level of risk. Two tools can help them do this. The first, called the risk matrix, graphically reveals the distribution of risk across a company''s entire innovation portfolio. The matrix allows companies to estimate each project''s probability of success or failure, based on how big a stretch it is for the firm to undertake. The less familiar the product or technology and the intended market, the higher the risk. The second tool, dubbed the R-W-W (real-win-worth it) screen, allows companies to evaluate the risks and potential of individual projects by answering six fundamental questions about each one: (1) is the market real? explores customers'' needs, their willingness to buy, and the size of the potential market; (2) is the product real? looks at the feasibility of producing the innovation; (3) can the product be competitive?; and (4) can our company be competitive? investigate how well suited the company''s resources and management are to compete in the marketplace with the product; (5) will the product be profitable at an acceptable risk? explores the financial analysis needed to assess an innovation''s commercial viability; and last (6) does launching the product make strategic sense? examines the project''s fit with company strategy and whether management supports it.

About

Abstract

Minor innovations make up most of a company''s development portfolio on average, but they never generate the growth companies seek. The solution, says Day - the Geoffrey T Boisi Professor of Marketing and a Co-director of the Mack Center for Technological Innovation at Wharton - is for companies to undertake a systematic, disciplined review of their innovation portfolios and increase the number of major innovations at an acceptable level of risk. Two tools can help them do this. The first, called the risk matrix, graphically reveals the distribution of risk across a company''s entire innovation portfolio. The matrix allows companies to estimate each project''s probability of success or failure, based on how big a stretch it is for the firm to undertake. The less familiar the product or technology and the intended market, the higher the risk. The second tool, dubbed the R-W-W (real-win-worth it) screen, allows companies to evaluate the risks and potential of individual projects by answering six fundamental questions about each one: (1) is the market real? explores customers'' needs, their willingness to buy, and the size of the potential market; (2) is the product real? looks at the feasibility of producing the innovation; (3) can the product be competitive?; and (4) can our company be competitive? investigate how well suited the company''s resources and management are to compete in the marketplace with the product; (5) will the product be profitable at an acceptable risk? explores the financial analysis needed to assess an innovation''s commercial viability; and last (6) does launching the product make strategic sense? examines the project''s fit with company strategy and whether management supports it.

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