Develop a new innovative product offering or a new innovative service offering for an existing company. Submit a short proposal for me to review in order to be sure that the project is a good fit for the class and the learnings that are intended from the assignment. The goal for the assignment is to synthesize and apply as many of the topics from the courses as possible with a real, possible innovation product / service offering that has the potential to substantially improve shareholder and consumer value. You are free to submit your final presentation to the focal company following the final presentation if you wish to do so and perhaps it will be implemented.
- Situation analysis (10%), 2-3 minutes: Discuss the context for your innovation product or service. Discuss relevant company financial information / percentages, growth rates, market share implications, unit versus dollar comparison, etc., in horizontal or vertical organization as necessary to provide a basis for your recommendation. Assess relevant technological and environmental information, demand conditions, and the competitive climate. What is the firm’s mission and strategic objectives? What are the firm’s strengths and weaknesses, internally and externally. Identify distinctive competencies and sustained competitive advantages. All of the information you present should be relevant to the product or service innovation that you are recommending. We only want overview information that pertains to your problem and recommendation area, but realize that some basic company information will be required to visualize the problem area and assess the likelihood of successful deployment. The purpose of this section to is bring the audience up to speed about the company and the industry environment so that they are able to act as members of the Company’s Board of Directors. This Board (audience) will be voting at the end of the presentation about whether or not to fund your innovation project in light of all the other demands for capital the organization has.
- Defining problem area (15%), 1-2 minutes: Be careful to find the problem or decision area and not just a symptom. You want the cause, not the effect. Example: Sales decline may be the result of poor product value among direct or indirect competitive offerings. These may be due to incomplete market research or failure to act on existing research or customer feedback. The decision area must address the cause and not the symptom. In other words, what critical, long-term, strategic problem area is driving the need for your innovative product or service. Be sure you have answered this question with your presentation.
- Identification and evaluation of alternatives (15%), 2-3 minutes: Prepare and refine a list of feasible alternatives. Consider the financial, production, marketing, competitive, managerial and other relevant constraints. Convince the audience that the alternatives will address the identified problem. I would like to see some quantitative
perspectiveassessment of why your alternate is superior to the others. This should include several important criteria (profit, long-term growth potential, revenue growth, corporate image, customer count growth, diversification or protection of revenue, etc.) and appropriate weighting (10%, 20%, 30%, etc.) in the decision-making process.
- Recommended course of action and implementation (25%), 3-5 minutes: Indicate how your innovative product or service has the potential to solve the problem area and state the main reasons for your choice. Be specific in your recommendation and address the issue of who should do what and when by giving details of your deployment strategy and the projected financial implications. Most importantly, how will you target, segment, and position your innovation to various consumer groups based on the their propensity to adopt innovative products? How is the competition likely to respond? What favors and discourages successful implementation in the company’s internal and external operating environment? Indicate how this has been factored into the financial implications. Stay away from too many implementation details that will cause you to go become the allocated presentation time limit, but select some relevant tangible specifics from you implementation plan that are the most critical to share with the company stakeholders.
- Question-and-answer period (5%) Anticipate and be prepared to answer all relevant questions. You can have extra slides for this purpose that are not included in the presentation.
- Quality and effectiveness of presentation (15%): You should effectively communicate your strategy and strategic process to the instructor and class using appropriate organization, transitions, tone, enthusiasm, creativity*, body language, and word choice. It should be obvious that you have rehearsed the presentation and are very familiar and comfortable with the material, offering more than just reading words from bullet points on the projector. Your timing should have been rehearsed and information provided in a concise fashion to meet the total recommended presentation time of 10-16 minutes. Remember that you are competing against the status quo as well as several other projects for scarce resources (human capital, financial, and other). After your presentation, it should be obvious that your project is highly worthy of top consideration of these constraint resources. Casual dress is fine.
- Executive summary and PowerPoint slides (15%): Your slides and handouts should be professional and something that could be shown to an executive’s management team. Your executive summary should be no more than two pages double-spaced with 12 font and 1 inch margins and include the problem / decision area, best alternatives, and recommended course of action. I need you one copy of the slides (black and white is fine, and 3 slides per page. Have one group member email the final version of your executive summary and PowerPoint slides at least 2 hours before class on presentation day. I will have your presentation available on the classroom projector.
BRING A COPY OF YOUR EXECUTIVE SUMMARY FOR EACH MEMBER OF THE CLASS.
Proposal, if applicable:
- Please submit one proposal per team on or before the due date shown on the Course Schedule. You can simply email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. It should be roughly one double-spaced page (between half a page and a page in a half is fine) and include the following:
- The company name and a brief description about their mission and purpose in the marketplace. In other words, what market need or want do they serve.
- The problem area in the company that your product innovation or service innovation is going to address. Remember, no process innovation topics are permitted, and you want to address the root problem, not symptoms of the problem.
- The innovation alternatives that you are investigating to address the problem area. You must have 3 alternatives. If you feel you need to address 4 or more alternatives, please indicate why. You do not have to indicate which alternative you plan on selecting at this stage.
- Optional: Any additional specific questions about your project that you would like me to address.
General Feedback on Proposals Reviewed for Your Consideration:
1. Problem Statement – make sure your innovation addresses a major corporate concern or major corporate strategic objective. Yes, you can indicate consumer problems and problems faced by society at large, but remember that the executives will be looking for solutions that aim to satisfy the already established corporate objectives and mission of the firm (ie: make shareholders happy with above-average returns, increase market share, resuscitate an eroding target market or product profit margin, etc.) 2. Innovation Level – all the alternatives must be substantially innovative. While they don’t need to be radical or breakthroughs, they do need to be innovative by definition. That means they are substantially newer and more different than other options we have seen in the marketplace.
Evaluating Individual Team Member Contributions:
Students are required to access the performance of all team members including themselves. This will enable everyone to have input regarding their perspective on sharing the project workload components, as well as the quality of the deliverables by each team member. While I recognize that you cannot please everyone that you work with, your individual project grade can be impacted positively or negatively based on the overall feedback from your team members. The team project is worth up to 200 points. I may award a team project grade of 170, however each team member may receive a grade that is higher or lower than this team grade if their team evaluations indicate this.
- 9/22/2014: initial version
Audience Perception of Project Presentation:
The following form is to be completed following each team presentation, including the presenting team. Submit one form for your entire team by discussing each section of the evaluation and reaching a consensus before submitting. You are awarding participation points for this exercise, so be sure you receive a transmission success message immediately following submission. If you have any issue, screen capture the form and email it to me. PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK YOUR POINT TOTAL TWICE BEFORE SUBMITTING.