Community Forum – Prioritizing Breakthrough Research
How do you prioritize breakthrough research based on technological trends, voice of the customer, and other external inputs?
Our company supplies an extensive portfolio of metallic materials. An important component of our R&D effort is dedicated to materials design and materials processing. When we ponder the “next generation” of classes of materials, it can be difficult to avoid the specific requirements of certain classes of materials (e.g. higher corrosion resistance, higher strength, etc.). How does your research organization perform big thinking by applying socio-economic and technology mega-trends like sustainability, nano, digitization, etc. to define the next-generation of your product? – Joseph M. Lehman, Manager – Innovation Technology, Carpenter Technology Corporation
Semyon (Sam) Kogan, President & COO, GEN3 Partners, Inc.
In addition to VOC, success in breakthrough innovation should be very much based on the Voice of the Product (VOP). VOP allows you in a structured way to analyze latent resources that your product (in case a company like Carpenter Technology it would be a material) has. You then look at how those latent resources could be transferred into Main Parameters of Value (MPVs) of new products, services etc. Our company has helped a number of organizations to develop strategies for breakthrough innovation combining VOC, VOP with Trends of Engineering system Evolution.
Another very useful approach that I would highly recommend is called Parallel Line of Evolution. The essence of this approach is in finding markets, products that are in some way (functionally, customer base wise etc.) similar to your market(s) and look at what has been happening in those markets. You can then use a structured approach to “transplant” their evolution(s) and revolution(s) into your market.
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