What Are The Metrics For PLM Innovation?

A couple of weeks ago I had healthy debates about PLM and Innovation with Jim Brown of TechClarity. If you haven’t had chance to be part of this discussion you can check out the following post – PLM vs. ERP: Don’t Manage Innovation. During the last couple of days, I had chance to have an additional discussion on the “innovation” topic with some of my readers off line and online, and I came to the conclusion that I need to refresh this topic. I want to take the notion of “management” and “innovation” as starting points. The combination of them together made me think about the fact I need to bring some metrics in this “innovation management” process. Since, if you don’t know how to measure it, you hardly be able to “manage it”.

PLM and Product Innovation
I think, that PLM-minded people think about the innovation in the context of product development. Since, the  goal of CAD/CAE/PDM/PLM and other system related to engineering is about how to create products, this is the only innovation that counted for product development. Obviously, other areas of business such as manufacturing planning, supply chain, business accounting also may contain innovative aspects, but they are not in the scope of PLM vision. So, I came to the conclusion that development of new, innovative products is the ultimate goal of PLM innovation.

Innovation and Golden Eggs
When I think about an innovation process, the best association I can bring is the idea of golden eggs. Each new idea or product can be actually considered as the potential golden egg. However, the biggest problem with golden eggs is that they can crack. To decrease the risk of having cracked egg, I can potentially think about having more than one egg in my innovation bag. So, when I think about innovation management, I’d like to think about how to turn my innovation process to goose that will lay down golden eggs. As soon as I can do that, I can manage this process to produce as many eggs as I can and choose the appropriated ones applying specific metrics.

PLM Innovation Metrics
When I think about potential measures of product innovation, I can come with set of criteria related to the different aspects of organization and product performance performances. I’d like to put below some of the ideas about possible metrics.

Organization Performance
– Revenues from new product
– Customer satisfactions from new product
– ROI from new product

Product Characteristics
– Cost
– Performance
– Usability
– Novelty

Innovation Process
– Number of new ideas in the pipeline
– Number of new ideas comes from outside of the organization
– Time from the idea to the realization
– % of the ideas materialized as a new product or new development.

I’m sure this is an incomplete list and may be different for the specific organization. However, I hope gives an idea about what can be considered as a metrics for PLM (product) innovation.

Just my thoughts… I’m very interested to know your opinion and get your feedback.
Best, Oleg


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