Essential for business success, innovation is about keeping up with the competition through new products, services or ways of doing things. A new series of International Standards helps organizations maximize their innovation management processes and get the best out of all their bright ideas.
Innovation doesn’t have to mean dazzling new technology or life-transforming inventions. It could mean finding a better way to do things or modifying products that over time lead to significant long-term improvements. But harnessing these ideas and improvements calls for sound strategies to ensure they work their best.
The new ISO 56000 series of International Standards is aimed at providing organizations with guidelines and processes that enable them to get the most out of their innovation projects. ISO 56003, Innovation management – Tools and methods for innovation partnership – Guidance, provides a structured approach for organizations looking to enter into an innovation partnership with another organization. It helps them not only decide if collaborating with other organizations on their innovation project is worthwhile, but how to select the right partners, align partners and agree on a common understanding. It also gives guidance on how best to assign roles and responsibilities as well as put effective governance procedures in place.
Technical report ISO/TR 56004, Innovation Management Assessment – Guidance, will help organizations effectively review their innovation management processes, so they can continually improve them and perform even better. In addition, the upcoming ISO 56002, Innovation management – Innovation management system – Guidance, will offer directions for the development, implementation, maintenance and continual improvement of an actual innovation management system.
Alice de Casanove, Chair of the ISO technical committee who developed the standards, said effective innovation management allows organizations to really flourish, by leveraging the knowledge and creativity of their own people and those they collaborate with.
“Innovation is not just ‘big inventions’, it is the capability of an organization to detect and respond to changing conditions in its environment, to respond to new opportunities and to make the most of the resources it already has,” she said.
“In this way, the big new ideas we see often come as a result of lots of little ideas and changes that have been implemented and built on. These standards help organizations do just that by providing best practice procedures and guidance that help them capture the right information and use it most effectively.”
The committee has also been working closely with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to share common terminology and structure for innovation. As a result, the definitions of “innovation” and “innovation management” as they appear in the standards are those used in the OECD’s Oslo Manual: Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data, which is the “foremost international source of guidelines for the collection and use of data on innovation activities in industry”.
ISO 56003:2019 and ISO/TR 56004:2019 were developed by ISO/TC 279, Innovation management, whose secretariat is held by AFNOR, ISO’s member for France. They can be purchased from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.