Evaluating Innovation Readiness - A Case Study
Sammanfattning: To remain competitive and create a sustainable business, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) need to develop both incremental and radical innovation. What many companies struggle with is to evaluate the potential of innovation initiatives. The development of products and innovations has over the years changed from a traditional technocentric view into a more human-centered view with the user’s desirability in focus. Also, the increased global competition and interest in business model innovation are forcing companies to verify the viability of the offering to their customers. While Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is an established tool for evaluating the technology, there are no holistic methods which also evaluates the readiness of the users and business. The purpose of this thesis was to review available theory and methods used for evaluating the potential and readiness of innovation initiatives and to develop a holistic methodology to link the business, user, and technology related innovation activities. The innovation readiness is a combination of business, user, and technology readiness. The study started with a literature study where existing methods were presented from the three aspects; business, user, and technology. Since many critical decisions are made in the front-end of the innovation, the focus in the study has been to identify methods in the early stages of the process. This thesis was performed in collaboration with Company X, a global equipment manufacturer which also was the main object in this study. The findings from a case study performed at Company X were verified by comparing the identified methods and processes used at five external companies. Data was gathered by conducting semi-structured interviews both at Company X and the external companies and finding were compared in a cross-case analysis. In general, the methods used at the OEMs are quite similar, and all manage to balance the three aspects; business, user, and technology. Based on the findings from the study of the companies and the literature review, a methodology framework is suggested which presents existing evaluating methods from the three aspects business, user, and technology.
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