The integration of project management processes with a methodology to manage a radical innovation project

Katz, Bernard (2007-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Industrial Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


In today’s business environment it is widely accepted that innovation is key to improving the economic performance of companies (Van der Panna et al. 2003) and for achieving and sustaining a competitive advantage in the market place. Based on the definition of radical innovation, a radical innovation project involves a high level of “newness” (Damanpour 1996), which in turn leads to high levels of complexity and uncertainty. However, it is difficult to manage these high levels of complexity and uncertainty within the structured framework of the traditional project management bodies of knowledge (Williams 2005). The following problem was thus formulated: Project management concepts alone, captured in the various bodies of knowledge, are not sufficient enough to successfully manage radical innovation projects. Companies therefore struggle to gain a competitive advantage through innovation, as the implementation of the radical innovation is seldom successful. The thesis presents a methodology termed the “Innovation Implementation Methodology” (IIM), which combines a range of components and concepts that support radical innovation projects. The IIM combines concepts such as knowledge management, project and team integration, project principles, design objectives, prototypes and risk and change management into four main components. Each component provides a different view of the radical innovation project. These views include: • A view of the different levels of detail required, • A view of the roles and responsibilities, • A view of the project structure and team integration, and • A scientific and experimental view.

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