Effective programme management for innovation policies


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Presentation made at the Know-Hub (http://www.know-hub.eu/) workshop on Regional Innovation Policy in practice. A training Session for policy makers and practitioners. 1 April 2014

At TECNALIA, Parque Científico y Tecnológico de Bizkaia, Bilbao.

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Effective programme management for innovation policies

  1. 1. Alasdair Reid, Bilbao, 1 April 2014 Programme Management for dummies… Or why a good strategy is not enough to foster innovation
  2. 2. Why is programme management important ? “…evaluation studies indicate that the overall success of these (innovation) programmes can be increased by rigorous selection processes combined with monitoring, systematic pre- application support, stronger interaction between programme management and participants, minimal bureaucracy and prolonged scheme duration…”! ! Edler et al (2013) Compendium of Innovation Policy
  3. 3. Designing a good strategy is only step 1 TAFTIE (2005), based on MAP
  4. 4. Some core concepts ❖ The ultimate goal of a Programme is to realise outcomes and benefits of strategic relevance. ! ❖ To achieve this a programme is designed as a temporary flexible organisation structure created to coordinate, direct and oversee the implementation of a set of related projects and activities in order to deliver outcomes and benefits related to strategic objectives. ! ❖ A programme is likely to have a life that spans several years. A Project is usually of shorter duration (a few months perhaps) and will be focussed on the creation of a set of deliverables within agreed cost, time and quality parameters. ! ❖ The term Portfolio is used to describe the total set of programmes and stand-alone projects undertaken by an organisation. ! ❖ Programmes usually require the commitment and active involvement of more than one organisation to achieve the desired outcomes. ! ❖ Programmes deliver, or enable, one or more benefits i.e. measurable improvement resulting from an outcome and perceived as an advantage by one or more stakeholders.
  5. 5. Programmes are likely to be ❖ Cross-cutting ! ❖ Multi-disciplinary ! ❖ Risky ! ❖ Uncertain, with unpredictable outcomes ! ❖ Long duration (spanning years rather than months) ! ❖ Influenced by a wide range of interested parties with differing degrees of commitment ! ❖ Impacting on a wide range of stakeholders some of whom may suffer ‘dis- benefits’ ! ❖ Liable to change direction in the light of experience and external events.
  6. 6. Seven principles for success ❖ Remaining aligned with ‘corporate’ (Government) strategy ! ❖ Leading change ! ❖ Envisioning and communicating a better future ! ❖ Focusing on benefits and threat to their achievement ! ❖ Designing and delivering a coherent capability ! ❖ Learning from experience ! ❖ Adding value! UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (2010)
  7. 7. Programme management cycle Cabinet Office – Managing Successful Programmes, 2011
  8. 8. Principles and governance themes Nine governance themes:! ❖ Organisation ! ❖ Vision ! ❖ Leadership & Stakeholder Engagement ! ❖ Benefits Realisation Management ! ❖ Design and Delivery ! ❖ Planning and Control ! ❖ Business Case ! ❖ Risk Management and Issue Resolution ! ❖ Quality Management BIS (2010)
  9. 9. Innovation policies for innovation systems ? We tend to design programmes for specific bottlenecks forgetting that their outcomes are dependent on many factors and stakeholders! ! We need rather to adopt a portfolio approach - remove ‘silos’ and deliver policy via inter-agency co-operation.
  10. 10. Lorem Ipsum Dolor The complexity of innovation policy is a growing challenge for programme managers Source: Compendium of Innovation Policy, Edler et al (2013) Type of programme
  11. 11. What do we observe in practice ? (1) ❖ Programme organisation & vision:! ❖ Innovation strategies (e.g. RIS3) often designed in parallel to ERDF ‘operational programmes’:! ❖ Stakeholders consulted on strategies but less explicitly involved in programme design! ❖ Proper feasibility studies rarely done.! ❖ Programme intervention logics poorly codified and little use of ‘logic models’ or ‘theory of change’ to explore hypothesis about external factors influencing programme outcomes.
  12. 12. Stakeholder management ❖ Innovation programmes require strong stakeholder management skills:! ❖ Cover a diverse range of stakeholders with potentially conflicting interests/ incentives (e.g. business people versus researchers) ! ❖ A detailed stakeholder mapping should be done at outset and updated regularly throughout programme cycle! ❖ Formal steering committees need to be complemented by more creative work with specific groups of stakeholders
  13. 13. What do we observe in practice ? (2) ❖ Even well designed programmes fail to be delivered effectively…! ❖ State Aid rules applied ‘to the letter’/‘badly’ - e.g. “the rules say we can’t fund companies and researchers in same programme”, ! ❖ Poorly defined/‘over-stringent’ selection criteria exclude target beneficiaries (e.g. financial viability criteria which rule out weakly profitable but potentially innovative firms)! ❖ Beautiful ideas meet hard reality (e.g. the practical barriers to pre-commercial procurement, regional venture capital funds without a ‘deal flow’, etc.)
  14. 14. What do we observe in practice ? (3) ❖ Programme management (increasingly) handed on by Ministries to (innovation) agencies to deliver: ! ❖ Plus side: agencies offer more flexible means to deliver novel types of support (temporary recruitment of specialists to manage delivery, and provide expert support).! ❖ Risk: original policy goals become ‘lost in translation’ as part of agencies own ‘corporate plan’ or due to lack of know-how in specialist areas;! ❖ Increasingly important role for “project engineers/brokers” - e.g. role of operational units of competitiveness clusters in developing collaborative projects.
  15. 15. Realising the benefits ❖ Little attention to pre-emptive intervention by programme managers to manage risks and resolve common issues faced by projects! ❖ Technical assistance funds not used to boost capabilities of programme managers! ❖ Programme management as a bureaucrat necessity rather than a strategic tool to optimise value from a portfolio of projects! ❖ Evaluation as a ‘control mechanism’ or for ‘public accountability’ rather than a means to improve programme performance ! ❖ Stakeholders involvement in programme at discrete intervals (mid- term review, etc.) rather than as part of on-going re-design.
  16. 16. Critically: effective programme management facilitates the tracking of outcomes against the original intervention logic - improving evaluation capacities Monitoring & evaluating programme outcomes Technopolis Group/MIOIR (2012)! Evaluation of Innovation Activities! Guidance on methods and practices! A publication for the Directorate- General for Regional Policy, European Commission
  17. 17. Thank you Alasdair Reid Director technopolis |group| Belgium 12 avenue de Tervuren 1040 Brussels To contact me: ! Email: alasdair.reid@technopolis-group.com Skype: alasdairreid