Innovation is critical to economic growth.
To budget for innovation, include the following items a part of your project charter and as part of your project goals.
- Increased team flexibility
- Increased team cohesion
- Increased knowledge sharing
All three of these are important components in having high functioning, high performing teams. High functioning teams, with a high degree of knowledge sharing, are a basis for innovation and for surviving in today’s innovation-driven world.
By including these goals in your project charter, you assure that even if the project gets canceled midstream or fails to meet other goals like the scope, budget or schedule, if it will have met those three goals, the project will not have been a failure.
This is different then picking “innovative” projects as part of your project portfolio selection process.
When you allocate resources to “innovative” projects you are making a determination that you are willing to accept a higher degree of risk on these projects because you anticipate a higher reward from the successful delivery of the project’s goals. However, you are still counting on the successful completion of the project, and if it fails, you would judge the project to be a failure.
I would argue that the probability of failure on “innovative” projects is similar to that of less innovative projects. At least 50% of them will fail.
By adding team cohesion, flexibility and knowledge sharing as goals for the project itself, you create a culture where projects can “fail” according to more traditional metrics (delivery to scope, budget or schedule) but where the expenditure of effort on trying to accomplish the goals is still worthwhile.
This creates a radically different approach to being innovative.
It gives an organization the strength, creativity and organizational skill-set to continually innovate and continually try new things. Your efforts become focused more on value creation rather than on cost control and the illusory management of outcomes.