ISO for Innovation Management, ISO 56000,  formerly known as ISO 50501, launched in early 2018. This is an ambitious standard for ISO to take on considering the often ambiguous nature of innovation metrics and lack of a consensus definition of what innovation even means.

Organizations by design need standard operating procedures (SOP) to build reliable systems. But when it comes to managing innovation, a vital activity that is necessary for the firm’s survival and long term success, there is no SOP to guide them on how to launch, manage, track, measure and learn from their investments in innovation.

Bringing a disciplined method and process to innovation management is a must. This ISO initiative is welcome news considering so many companies are operating with their back against the wall and can use any help they can get to better structure their innovation activities.

ISO for Innovation Management, ISO 56000, scope has been defined as: “Standardization of terminology tools and methods and interactions between relevant parties to enable innovation”.

The 3 key work group for this standard include:

  • WG1: innovation management system
  • WG2: terminology, terms and definitions
  • WG3: tools and methods

As described by ISO: “The purpose is to provide guidance on how an organization could build and what needs to be addressed to build an innovation management system without detailing the specific system itself. The standards produced by this TC (Technical Committee) are intended to be applicable to all kinds of organizations (private, public and NGOs) of any size, with a special focus on SMEs, and for all kinds of innovation (products, methods, services, processes, organizational, and business models new or improved). Due to the general approach, a wide range of stakeholders are affected by these futures standards:

  • Industry and commerce; especially SMEs; including service, industries, private investment bodies, venture capitalists and advisors, innovation management consulting companies, transfer and valuation agencies
  • Governments, including public investment bodies
  • Academic and research bodies
  • Non-governmental organizations

ISO for Innovation Management, ISI 56000, will pave the way for organizations to create a system of record for innovation that empower them to innovate more consistently and experiment cost effectively. Building innovation management as a core competency requires a careful analysis of the company’s capabilities in the five following key areas:

  • Strategy: Alignment with objectives
  • Culture: Innovation role in Daily Work
  • Process: Evaluate repeatability of success
  • Tools & Techniques: Driving best practices
  • Metrics: KPIs measured and tracked

Creating a single source of truth for innovation is possible and you can take the innovation management maturity test to gauge your organizational readiness to achieve this objective.

As with other ISO standards, companies will quickly realize that to create a sustainable system will require the right solution that simplifies and automates (as much as possible) the administration, tracking, management and reporting that is required to abide by the ISO standard. Planbox will be monitoring developments with ISO 56000 to ensure our customers can easily adopt all or partial elements of this standard to streamline and automate their innovation management system.

Does your organization need such a system and what do you think will be the biggest challenge ISO 56000 will face as organizations look to adopt this new standard for innovation management?