The key elements of an Innovation Management System

The elements, or success factors, to innovate effectively are structured in seven key areas: context, leadership, planning, support, operations, evaluation, and improvement. Recommendations to organizations are provided in each area.

The systems approach to innovation management recognizes that there are several interrelated and interacting elements or factors in an organization that must be in place to ensure innovation success. The structure of the guiding standard for Innovation Management System (ISO 56002:2019) covers seven key elements, one for each heading in the document. These headings are the same for all management system standards.

CONTEXT: The organization should track external and internal issues and trends, e.g. user preferences, technology developments, and internal capabilities, in order to identify opportunities and challenges that can trigger innovation activities.

LEADERSHIP: Based on the understanding of the context, top management should demonstrate leadership and commitment by establishing an innovation vision, strategy, and policy, including the necessary roles and responsibilities.

PLANNING: Innovation objectives, organizational structures, and innovation portfolios should be established based on the direction set by top management and the identified opportunities and risks.

SUPPORT: The support necessary for innovation activities should be put in place, e.g. people with the right competences, financial and other resources, tools and methods, communication and awareness creating activities, as well as approaches for intellectual property management.

OPERATIONS: Innovation initiatives should be established in line with the strategies and objectives. Innovation processes should be configured according to the types of innovations to be achieved: identify opportunities, create and validate concepts, and develop and deploy solutions.

EVALUATION: The performance of the Innovation Management System as a whole should regularly be evaluated to identify strengths and gaps.

IMPROVEMENT: Based on the evaluation, the system should be improved by addressing the most critical gaps with regards to the understanding of the context, leadership, planning, support, and operations.

The guiding framework is based on the eight innovation management principles and is applicable for all types of organizations, regardless of type, sector, or size. An organization can select the most relevant parts of the system to be implemented depending on its specific situation.

Read more about the systems approach to innovation management and how to implement an innovation management system.