An innovation project manager is often the unsung hero of a successful innovation project.
They play a critical role in coordinating and facilitating communication between various teams and stakeholders involved in the project. This can be a challenging task, especially when different team members have different priorities and agendas.
In this article, we will explore the role of an innovation project manager in project delivery and discuss some of the key skills that are essential for success.
When it comes to project management, there are two main approaches: traditional project management and innovation project management. As the names suggest, traditional project managers focus on developing detailed plans, while innovation project managers take a more emergent approach, developing high-level plans that allow for more flexibility and innovation. So, what's the difference between these two approaches?
Traditional project management is all about control. Project managers develop detailed plans that lay out every step of the project in advance. This helps to ensure that the project stays on track and that all deadlines are met. However, it can also be inflexible, as changes to the plan can be difficult to implement. Innovation project management takes a more flexible approach. Rather than developing detailed plans, innovation managers focus on creating a high-level plan that allows for some flexibility and creativity. This can be a more effective approach when working with teams of creative people, as it allows them to explore new ideas and come up with innovative solutions.
Budgeting and Cost Management
Every business needs projects to be completed in order to continue moving forward. But what happens when those projects are stalled by budget cuts or other problems?
That's where innovation project managers come in. Innovation project managers are different from regular project managers in that they focus on stage-by-stage budgeting. This means that they are better able to adapt to changes in the budget, as well as unforeseen problems that arise during a project. As a result, innovation project managers are essential for ensuring that projects can complete on time and within budget.
When it comes to budgeting for a project, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Innovation project managers understand this and are able to tailor their budgeting process to fit the needs of each individual project. This can include everything from developing a detailed budget to allocating a certain amount of money for unforeseen problems.
A traditional project manager is focused on controlling the time management of project resources. In contrast, an innovation project manager coordinates the value delivery of project products. This often includes working closely with a product owner to ensure that the final product meets customer expectations.
Value is a key difference between these two roles.
Traditional project managers are focused on ensuring that resources are used efficiently and that projects are completed on time and within budget. Innovation project managers, on the other hand, are focused on ensuring that the final product is of high quality and meets customer expectations.
As anyone who has ever managed a project knows, deliverables are key. A deliverable is any tangible or intangible object that is delivered at the end of a project. They can be physical objects, like a new product, or intangible, like improved customer satisfaction. No matter what form they take, deliverables are essential for ensuring that a project meets its goals.
Project managers are responsible for breaking down deliverables into stages and tasks. This ensures that each deliverable is given the attention it needs and that no steps are missed.
An innovation project manager, on the other hand, takes a more holistic approach.
They research, define, and coordinate project stages and releases so that sprints or sub-stages achieve value. This allows for more flexibility and creativity, as well as a better understanding of how each stage of the project contributes to the final product.
Project managers who take this approach are able to adapt to changes more easily and deliver value more effectively.
A project manager is responsible for a lot of things: keeping the project on track, on budget, and on time; coordinating with different teams and stakeholders; and dealing with change. Change is often perceived as issues or risks that need to be mitigated, managed, and controlled.
An innovation project manager, on the other hand, embraces change as potentially positive.
They see change as an opportunity to improve the project, try something new, and increase the chances of success. Innovation project managers are more open to new ideas and ways of doing things. They are willing to take risks and experiment. And they are more proactive in seeking out solutions when problems arise.
As a result, they are better equipped to deal with the challenges of today's ever-changing business landscape.
Monitoring of Progress
Progress is the bread and butter of project management performance - progress tells you whether a project is on track, ahead of schedule or behind. It can be represented in many ways, from a Gantt chart to a Kanban board, and it's one of the most important aspects of the job.
However, progress means different things for different types of projects.
For an innovation project, progress isn't just about ticking boxes and hitting deadlines - it's about creating value.
Innovation projects are often less well-defined than more traditional projects, and so progress needs to be monitored in a different way. Rather than simply monitoring progress against a plan, an innovation project manager needs to monitor progress against value. This means continually justifying the project to senior stakeholders, ensuring that it is delivering value at each stage, and managing priorities so that the most valuable work is always being done.
It can be a difficult task, but it's one that is essential for the success of the project.
Project managers are responsible for ensuring that the project is executed according to the plan. This involves coordinating with different teams, allocating resources, and monitoring progress.
Innovation project managers need to do all of these things, but they also need the ability to adapt on the fly. The world of business is constantly changing, and so innovation projects need to be able to change with it.
This means that innovation project managers need to be flexible and adaptable, as well as be excellent at communication and coordination. They need to be able to think on their feet and make decisions quickly.
Diversity and Inclusion
Innovation projects are all about trying new things, which means that they need to be open to different perspectives and ideas.
This can only be achieved if the project team is diverse and inclusive. Innovation project managers need to create an environment where everyone feels welcome and respected, and where they can share their ideas freely.
Execution of innovation projects often require a community or team approach as the project manager will not have all the answers. By leveraging the collective knowledge, skills and experiences of a diverse team, innovation projects are more likely to be successful. Cross-fertilisation of ideas leads to better solutions and a more agile approach to delivery.
Accountability to Employers
Project managers are accountable for the success or failure of their projects. This means that they need to be able to take responsibility for their decisions and actions and be able to justify them to their employers.
Innovation project managers need to be even more accountable than traditional project managers, as they are often working with new and untested ideas. This can be a difficult tightrope to walk - on the one hand, they need to be open to new ideas and willing to collaborate, but on the other hand, they need to be able to make decisions and justify them to senior stakeholders.
The role of a project manager is to plan, execute and oversee the documentation associated with a project. This documentation can take many forms, including progress reports and exception reports. A project manager must also maintain version control of all documentation and ensure that it is delivered to the appropriate stakeholders on time.
In contrast, an innovation project manager focuses on delivering value to the customer or end-user. They typically work with less documentation and rely more on informal methods of reporting, such as face-to-face meetings. innovation project managers also place a greater emphasis on customer feedback and iterations, as they strive to create a product or service that meets the needs of the customer.
Project managers and innovation project managers also differ in their approach to communication. Project managers typically adopt a more formal style of communication, using project documentation to communicate progress and updates to stakeholders. In contrast, innovation project managers tend to use more informal methods of communication, such as face-to-face meetings and phone calls.
This difference in communication style is reflective of the different priorities of each role. While both types of project managers play an important role in the development process, they each bring their own unique skills and perspectives to the table.
It is important to have both an innovation project manager and a traditional project manager on a team, as they each offer something different. By working together, they can create a well-rounded development process that takes into account both the need for structure and the need for flexibility. And by doing so, they can increase the chances of delivering a successful project.
Project managers are typically focused on delivering a project on time and within budget. This involves ensuring that project milestones are met and that any risks or issues are promptly addressed. Once the project is completed, the project manager will hand it over to the business as usual (BAU) team.
Innovation project managers, on the other hand, are focused on managing the idea management process and delivering value to the organisation.
This involves assessing ideas, developing prototypes, and testing new concepts. In addition, innovation project managers must be able to effectively communicate with both senior management and front-line staff. As a result, they need to have strong interpersonal skills and be able to manage competing demands.
Having a perspective that is focused on value delivery is essential for innovation project managers. By always keeping the end goal in mind, they can ensure that the project team is making progress and that new ideas are being generated for the company.
The role of an innovation manager is a vital one, and it is one that is often undervalued. An innovation manager brings a unique skillset to the table and one that is essential for the success of any organisation. If you are looking to deliver value to your organisation, then an innovation manager is the person you need on your team.
When it comes to leadership styles, project managers and innovation project managers take very different approaches. Project managers tend to adopt a more traditional leadership style, focusing on team management and leadership. Innovation project managers, on the other hand, place more emphasis on servant leadership and coaching.
Project managers typically take a top-down approach to leadership, with a clear chain of command and well-defined roles and responsibilities. They set objectives and expectations for their team, and work to motivate and inspire them to achieve these goals.
In contrast, innovation project managers take a more collaborative approach. They focus on helping their team members to develop their own ideas and bring them to life. This approach requires a high degree of initiative, trust and collaboration, as team members are given the freedom to experiment and take risks.
While both leadership styles have their advantages, innovation project managers must be careful not to micromanage their team. This can stifle creativity and prevent team members from taking ownership of their work. Instead, innovation project managers should focus on providing guidance and support, while also allowing team members the space to experiment and grow.
The role of a project manager is to ensure that a project is completed on time, within budget, and to the required level of quality. In order to do this, they must be aligned with the project team. The project manager is responsible for ensuring that everyone is working towards the same goal and that no one is going off course. This alignment allows the project manager to effectively communicate the project's objectives to the team and keep everyone on track.
In contrast, an innovation project manager is aligned with the customer. Their goal is to deliver value to the customer, rather than simply completing the project. This means that they are focused on ensuring that the customer is happy with the end result. In order to do this, they must understand the customer's needs and requirements. They must also be able to effectively communicate with the customer, in order to get feedback and ensure that the project is on track.
The role of an innovation manager is to bridge the gap between the customer and the project team. They act as a conduit for information, ensuring that both parties are kept up-to-date with progress and that the project is delivered to the customer's satisfaction.
A project manager is responsible for the delivery of a project, and their responsibility for the solution ends when the project is completed and handed over. An innovation project manager may also be responsible for managing the idea generation process, including projects, portfolios and innovation capability management. They remain actively consulted on and informed of the value after a project is delivered.
This difference in responsibility results in different skill sets being required for each role.
A project manager requires skills in planning, budgeting and delivering to timelines, while an innovation project manager requires these skills as well as creativity and problem-solving skills. They must also be able to effectively communicate with both customers and team members.
The role of an innovation manager is to manage the process of generating new ideas and turning them into reality. They are responsible for ensuring that the customer is happy with the end result and that the project team is able to deliver the project on time and within budget. This requires a combination of technical, creative and interpersonal skills.
Innovation managers play an important role in the delivery of projects. They are responsible for ensuring that the customer is happy with the end result and that the project team is able to deliver the project on time and within budget. This requires a combination of technical, creative and interpersonal skills.
When it comes to managing projects, there are a few different approaches that can be taken. The approach that a project manager takes will often depend on the type of project being undertaken. For example, a project manager who is working on a traditional project might use a waterfall-based approach, whereas a project manager working on an innovative project might use an Agile approach.
So what's the difference between these two approaches?
A waterfall-based approach is more rigid and structured, whereas an Agile approach is more flexible and adaptable. With a waterfall approach, tasks are usually carried out in strict sequential order, whereas with an Agile approach tasks can be tackled in parallel. And while a waterfall approach might work well for more traditional projects, an Agile approach is often better suited to innovative projects, as it allows for more flexibility and adaptation.
When it comes to project management, there are two distinct approaches: traditional project management and innovation project management. As the names suggest, traditional project managers rely on tried-and-true tools such as risk registers, issue registers, Gantt charts, and product breakdown structures. In contrast, innovation project managers utilize more modern tools such as collaborative planning, visual information boards, and kanban boards.
So, what's the difference?
Traditional project management tools are focused on ensuring that a project is completed on time and within budget. In contrast, innovation project management tools are designed to promote creativity and collaboration. For example, while a traditional project manager might hold planning meetings to track progress, an innovation project manager is more likely to hold stand-up meetings to encourage brainstorming and idea-sharing.
While both approaches have their merits, innovation project management is often better suited to projects that require creativity and outside-the-box thinking. So, if you're working on an innovative project, be sure to make use of the tools that will help you get the job done.
Scope of Work
One of the key differences between a project manager and an innovation project manager is the scope of their work.
A project manager is typically responsible for delivering one or two major projects, while an innovation project manager is often focused on delivering multiple innovation projects all at different stages. This can present challenges, as each project may require different approaches and levels of resources. programme.
As a result, innovation project managers must be adept at managing multiple tasks simultaneously and be able to adapt their approach as needed. They must also be able to communicate effectively with a variety of stakeholders, as they will often be working with teams from different disciplines. While both roles share some similarities, the breadth of work for an innovation project manager can make it a more demanding role.
In conclusion, an innovation manager plays a vital role in project delivery. They are responsible for managing projects that require creativity and outside-the-box thinking. This can present challenges, but innovation managers are up to the task. With their combination of technical, creative, and interpersonal skills, they are able to deliver successful projects time and time again. So if you're working on an innovative project, be sure to utilize an innovation manager. They will help you get the job done right.