As the leading provider of software that informs decision-making across the product lifecycle, Invention Machine often gets asked by our customers and prospects: How can we better collaborate across geographically disparate operating units to foster new ideas?
Many manufacturers have established product development teams and programs that span different domains of expertise, operational units, geographies, and languages. These global organizations are seeking ways to foster collaborative innovation in order to tap the collective power of the enterprise.
Without a dynamic collaborative platform, team idea sharing and problem sharing is difficult and inefficient. Identifying experts and leveraging past experience are also made difficult.
To support a free flow of ideas and facilitate shared problem solving – from Boston to Berlin to Beijing – a robust collaborative framework needs to be integrated with repeatable innovation tools and methods. Innovation software, like Invention Machine’s Goldfire, makes it much easier to collaborate – both passively and actively – with subject matter experts across your organization. Many companies we work with have formalized collaboration processes, especially when engineers hit roadblocks or challenges.
Through active collaboration, these processes allow people to identify and directly reach out to and engage the relevant subject matter experts. Product development teams can work together to exploit intellectual property assets across lines of business or collaborate to validate a new technology, material or product capability.
Passive collaboration means being able to leverage the ideas and insights of your colleagues – even those no longer with the company – by accessing documented lessons learned, designs, technical notes, etc. Having software in place that enables both active and passive collaboration helps you see further by “standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Innovation software helps connect people based on what they know, allowing users to launch and review problem-solving discussion threads – without having to leave the innovation platform - and identifying and maintaining expert profiles and then routing questions to the individuals most likely to have expertise on the subject. And, Goldfire’s multi-lingual capabilities make it possible for product development teams to research across and leverage patents, documents and websites in English, German, French, Chinese and Japanese.
As a result, cross-functional, cross-geographical and cross-language teams are better connected (based on what they know and need to know) and leveraged. Effective sharing of ‘gray-matter’ expertise is accelerated. And, problem-solving expertise is automatically captured for reuse across the enterprise.
How are you enabling collaborative innovation in your organization?