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  • The basic innovation process is simple – Identify Problems, Needs, and Opportunities; Understand the Essence of the Problem/Need; Develop Many Potential Ideas/Solutions; Invest in Developing Ideas/Solutions; Assess and Select Best Ideas; Integrate Best Solutions Into Products/Services/Etc.However, there are many, many pathways to go from problem to solution. And there are many challenges and hurdles to overcome.
  • The basic innovation process is simple – Identify Problems, Needs, and Opportunities; Understand the Essence of the Problem/Need; Develop Many Potential Ideas/Solutions; Invest in Developing Ideas/Solutions; Assess and Select Best Ideas; Integrate Best Solutions Into Products/Services/Etc.However, there are many, many pathways to go from problem to solution. And there are many challenges and hurdles to overcome.
  • The basic innovation process is simple – Identify Problems, Needs, and Opportunities; Understand the Essence of the Problem/Need; Develop Many Potential Ideas/Solutions; Invest in Developing Ideas/Solutions; Assess and Select Best Ideas; Integrate Best Solutions Into Products/Services/Etc.However, there are many, many pathways to go from problem to solution. And there are many challenges and hurdles to overcome.
  • Trying to chase Hope!

Mwaszak rev3 pmc Mwaszak rev3 pmc Presentation Transcript

  • PilotingInnovative Idea Capture/Management Tools at NASA Langley Research Center: Lessons Learned Lowering barriers to Innovation. Putting ideas into action. Martin Waszak Strategic Relationships Office NASA Langley Research Center Presented at NASA PM Challenge • 22-23 February 2012
  • Outline The Innovation Challenge Toward an Innovation Culture Fostering Innovation through Processes/Tools Lessons Learned Epilogue 1
  • What‟s the National Challenge? Strategy for American Innovation Despite American economy‟s historic strength, our economic growth has rested for too long on an unstable foundation. Explosive growth in one sector of the economy has provided a short-term boost while masking long-term weaknesses. While our economy remains the most dynamic, innovative, and resilient in the world, we cannot rest on our laurels while other countries catch up. We must redouble our efforts to give our world-leading innovators every chance to succeed. “Innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity” Michael Porter (Harvard Business School)“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”Steve Jobs (CEO, Apple Computer) “We need you excitement, your dedication, and your innovation. With your help, NASA will continue to be a springboard for technological breakthroughs.” Charles Bolden (NASA Administrator) 2
  • What‟s the National Challenge? Technology is accelerating at an increasing rate Increasingly R&D is being done in the private sector and outside the U.S. 3
  • What‟s NASA‟s Challenge?The Best Places to Work – Federal Government Survey  Employees rank NASA as most innovative agency – Government Executive, August 9, 2011  ”… you have a workforce that is individually motivated to be creative, but not organizationally supported to achieve that” – Max Stier, President and CEO, Partnership for Public Service.”NRC Report Finds NASA has “Depleted” Technology Base  NASAs technology base is largely depleted and the agency hasnt been producing the breakthroughs needed to achieve new goals.  . . . “ambiguity" in space goals "has undermined innovation at NASA and hurt its ability to develop new technology 4
  • What‟s the Langley Challenge? Balancing Research & Development Balancing Aeronautics, Science & Space Exploration Balancing directed &competitively sourced work Coping with pressure to „do more with less‟ Balance meeting near term commitments and exploiting/creating future opportunities. 5
  • ‹#›
  • Where We‟ve Been Research and Benchmarking* Fact Finding  Innovation Zone Workshop – June 2010  Langley Organizational Innovation Plans – Sept 2010  Initiative Dialogues w/ Orgs – Fall 2010, Winter 2011  Network Design Workshop – April 2011  Framework Design Review – July 2011 7* Note: Limited information on “NASA-like” environments to benchmark
  • Toward an Innovation Strategy Align innovation investments with future opportunities and emerging technologies  Revolutionary Technical Challenges  Space Technology Grand Challenges Stimulate idea generation  Raise Awareness of the Innovation Imperative  Publicize Benefits on Contributing Ideas  Lower Barriers to Participation Foster culture of creativity and innovation  Encourage Collaboration  Prompt Action (avoid the black hole)  Actionable Feedback (help people to change) 8
  • Enablers/Debilitators of Innovation Key Enablers  Key Debilitators  Relevant Challenges  Focus on ROI  Access to Information  Focus on Efficiency  Collaboration  Seek Stability/Certainty  Diversity of Perspectives  Eliminating Risk  Tolerance for Ambiguity  Fear of Failure  Tolerance for Informed Risk  Reliance on Experts  Patience  Discipline Focus  Allowance for Failure 9
  • Characteristics of Langley‟s “Research” Culture Individual incentives (limits collaboration) Proposal focus (limits diversity of perspectives) Technology Push vs Needs Pull (limits relevance) Technology vs Systems focus (limits relevance) Experts Rule vs Beginners Mind (incremental bias) Mature workforce in a mature industry (incremental bias) Risk averse, fear of failure (limited tolerance for untested ideas) Black hole of ideas/proposals (raises cynicism) Lack of meaningful feedback (limits future success) Need to encourage behaviors to overcome organizational inertia. 10
  • Innovation Process – The “Pipeline” All innovations must be supported through each stage of the pipeline.Increase the number and diversity of ideas aimed at addressingopportunities & challenges. Help move them along the process ofinnovation toward measurable outcomes. 11
  • Innovation Fund Pilot Project Create a new mechanism for soliciting and managing IRAD projects Target: New OCT Center Innovation Fund Goals  Innovation from Everyone and Everywhere  Systems Level Solutions  Relevance to Center and Agency Needs  New Collaborations  Evidence of Innovation-enabling behaviors Success Measures  Level of participation (users, contributors, votes, etc.)  Number of submissions (ideas, comments, votes)  Number of collaborations  Quality of submissions  Ability to adapt innovation management tool(s) to Langley‟s process/workflow 12
  • Basic Process Flow 13
  • Issues and Concerns Prior ad hoc approaches have had limited success (InnovaThon, NASA Challenges)  Low participation It‟s not Important  Lack of visible follow-up Info Overload Too Busy Awareness R Users Participation is critical R It‟s my  Awareness idea Waste  Relevance of Time R  Priority Relevance Contributors Nothing will Happen Credibility is critical  Commitment R Ideas Comments R  Decisiveness Too  Action Busy Closed to Selections Criticism 14
  • Pilot Projects - Becoming a Smart Buyer Learn from the best  Suck their brains  Steal their best stuff Gain experience  Understand trades-offs  Understand the costs Get useful results while learning  CIF Ideas/Proposals  C&I Ideas/Proposals  Others? Measure results and outcomes  What works & what doesn‟t  Build credibility 15
  • Langley Innovation Opportunities PilotTimeline• Aug/Sept 2010: Planning• Oct. 21 – Nov. 22: Topics Open• Nov – Jan 2011: Assess resultsTopicsLangley Creativity and Innovation• Revolutionary technology (up to $20K)Center Innovation Fund• Space Technology Innovations (up to $200K)• Center-Wide Innovations ($2-10K)Future OpportunitiesC&I (up to $20K)Audience• All Langley Center employees and contractors 16
  • Process Overview and Roles Implementation Team 17
  • Challenges – Targeting Strategic Opportunities Space Technology Innovations  Systems Level Approaches for advanced innovative, high-risk, low TRL (1-2) concepts and technologies that address the Space Technology Grand Challenges  Disciplinary Approaches for advanced innovative, high-risk, low TRL (1-2) concepts and technologies that address the Space Technology Grand Challenges Center-Wide Innovations  Innovative ideas and approaches for high payoff investments to address a wide variety of challenges and opportunities across the center, agency, and nation (little or no funding)  Examples – center operations, center processes, education and public outreach, workforce and career development, facilities, business development, emerging technologies, new products and services Creativity & Innovation  Center Director‟s discretionary funds focusing on emerging technological trends Future Challenges - Problems, challenges, opportunities that should be considered in the future 18
  • Langley Innovation Opportunities Portal 19
  • Idea/Proposal Submissions Encourage innovators to take a wider view of innovation with emphasis on  Relevance  Awareness of state-of-the-art  Consideration of infusion paths Heilmeier Questions:  What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon.  How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice?  Whats new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful?  Who cares?  If youre successful, what difference will it make?  What are the risks and the payoffs?  How much will it cost?  How long will it take?  What are the midterm and final "exams" to check for success? 20
  • Evaluation/Selection Criteria Relevance  Address a problem, challenge, need, opportunity with clearly identified/characterized potential for significant impact, system level solutions, and substantial benefits to the center, agency, nation, and/or world  Innovative technology concepts to enable formulation of application to one or more of the Space Technology Grand Challenges Collaboration  Involve collaborations and partnerships within Langley, other NASA Centers, other government agencies, universities, industry, and the public  Solicit and consider comments from technical community Innovativeness  Past IPP Evaluation Criteria – Novelty and Potential Impact, Technical Merit, Value to NASA, Team Experience  Advance the basic principles of a technology and demonstrate application to or evaluation of a capability associated with one or more of the Space Technology Grand Challenges 21
  • Idea/Proposal Review Form 22
  • Evaluation/Selection Process Evaluators  CIF – Space Technology Innovations  RTC Leads  CIF – Center-Wide Innovations  Center Chief Technologist Selections made by Center Chief Technologist  Prompt Reviews and Selections (within 1 month of submissions) Prompt Actionable Feedback (within 1 month of selections)  Acknowledgement and recognition  Explanation of strengths and areas for improvement Frequent and visible communication of status and progress  Reviews in progress, completed, and awaiting selection  Selection announcements  Feedback to all submitters 23
  • Results of LIOP Pilot Hits Participants Ideas Comments • 48 Branches/Offices contributed ideas andC&I Initiative 3300 182 62 18 comments Center Innovation 8800 319 111 120 • 11 C&I projects selected, 10 Center-Wide Fund (small) projects selected Future • 30 CIF Projects Selected 930 109 9 24Challenges • 18 Space Technology Innovations • 12 Center-Wide Innovations Totals 13030 610 182 162Key Insights • Desired levels of visitation and total ideas achieved • Greater diversity of ideas and sources than expected • Idea quality high, but collaboration limited (fewer comments than ideas) • Most ideas entered toward end of event (~56% on last day) • Majority of ideas came from civil servants (~86%) • Most ideas came from Technical Organizations (~85%) • A third of all ideas were submitted for “review team only” • Inhibitors: Uncertainty in funding, complicated login/password process, uncomfortable with open platform for this purpose, cynicism and resistance to change 24
  • Lessons Learned – Tools & Design Awareness  Communicate, communicate, communicate, . . .  Exploit multiple communication channels Access  Easy access is really, really important  IT security requirements make access a challenge  Need to learn how to better manage SaaS tools Challenge Event Designs  Conducting simultaneous challenges can be confusing (3 Simultaneous Challenges may be too many)  Too many topic areas can be confusing (13 Space Technology Grand Challenges in 3 categories, 10 Revolutionary Technical Challenges)  Important to provide background information – guidelines, process descriptions, POCs, etc.  Event design requires clear understanding of workflow models and tool attributes 25
  • Lessons Learned – Culture Contributions  Need to overcome hesitance to share ideas  Need better guidance for answering Heilmeier questions  Need mechanism to increase comments, votes, and collaboration  Need to educate contributors regarding IP rights and processes Assessment and Selection  Need mechanism to make doing reviews a priority  Submitters very appreciative of prompt and meaningful feedback  Need a mechanism to support promising ideas needing further development Soliciting Ideas vs. Proposals  Asking for ideas rather than proposals confused many submitters  Need to overcome ingrained “proposal culture” 26
  • Epilogue Success of the LIOP pilot was jeopardized by CIF funding delays In response to funding challenges projects were implemented using a phased approach  Startup Phase – small infusion of funds to initiate an expanded portfolio of projects (10-15% of total project budget)  Ramp-Up Phase – fully fund projects down-selected from Startup phase  11 of 18 projects received additional funding  None received full budget request due to reduction in OCT CIF funding Several CWI ideas were deemed worth implementation but were only provided FTE. Many of these were pursued and implemented. Sanction by the Center was sufficient encourage the PIs to persevere. Numerous ideas/proposals not selected for funding were archived and were reconsidered when late year and early FY12 funds became available 27