You’ve heard, “measure twice, cut once,” right? When it comes to market-facing innovation, most companies only measure after they’ve cut. They use the vitality index—a fine innovation metric developed by 3M in 1988 that’s simple to understand: percentage of gross revenue generated from products launched in the past three (or five) years. But if this ... Read More
Yes, it’s called the Commercial Confidence Index (CCI), and it’s easy to calculate: Step 1: Record your annual R&D spending for each significant product development project. Step 2: For each project, ask if you have quantified evidence of customer needs, e.g. Market Satisfaction Gaps. If “yes,” the project goes in the “Known Need” bucket. All others go in the “Assumed Need” bucket. Step 3: The CCI is your annual R&D spending on Known-Need projects divided by annual spending on all product development projects.
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Lagging indicators can be useful, so long as too much time doesn’t pass between your correcting action and the result you want to measure. In this regard, the Vitality index–% of revenue from new products—fails miserably. Improvements you make in the front end of innovation could take years to register a significant impact on revenue.
Don’t discard your Vitality Index, but do supplement it with new metrics, such as the Growth Driver Index (GDI) and Commercial Confidence Index (CDI). Otherwise your new product “furnace” will stay cold far too long. This 2-minute video explains further: Employ new growth metrics.
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The Vitality Index–% of sales from new products—doesn’t tell you how to improve. Increase your R&D staffing levels? Hire more marketing people? Improve gate reviews? It’s hard to say. Imagine guessing which car pedal will make you go faster. And then waiting years to learn if you were right (since the Vitality Index is a badly-lagging indicator). Maybe it’s time to supplement your Vitality index with two new metrics: See white paper, New Innovation Metrics. These leading indicators will tell you how to accelerate your innovation success right now. Hit the right pedal and leave skid marks.
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