innovation process kpi

The most important KPIs for your innovation process

How to measure the success of your innovation management

When is an innovation process efficient? What distinguishes successful innovation management? Companies evaluate the success of their innovation activities with different key figures. Some focus on quantity, i.e. the number of ideas. The others deal with the quality of the ideas. Naturally, quantitative indicators are easier to determine than qualitative ones. The quality of the innovation process or the idea management process can also be measured using key figures. In this article you will learn the most important ones.


Quantitative key figures for the innovation process

With the help of quantitative KPIs you measure the factors of your innovation management, which can be clearly proven by figures. Among the most important are:


Number of ideas submitted within a specified period of time

How many new ideas arose within a company or a division during a defined period? This period can be a campaign that has been carried out over several weeks. Or the number of ideas over a fixed period of time, for example within a year.


Ideas per employee

This number calculates the number of ideas in relation to the number of employees within a division or company. When implementing our idea management software and our innovation management software, we are often asked what is a good or bad number. This can only ever be precisely defined in connection with a company’s strategic goals. There are companies that have defined quality instead of quantity as a target for the innovation process. These companies are well advised to define qualitative key figures.


Throughput speed

This number indicates how long ideas stay at a certain level on average. How long does it take for someone to respond to an idea? How long does it take for an idea to be reviewed by experts and finally accepted or rejected? This value provides information about the efficiency of an innovation process. If idea authors wait too long for feedback or an evaluation, this can lead to frustration. Conversely, it motivates employees when they receive quick, technically sound feedback on their ideas. In practice, it makes sense to analyze the lead times of ideas for each topic separately. It is in the nature of things that the implementation of a business model idea takes longer than that of an improvement proposal.


Activity index

Within an active community, the activity index is a very important indicator of how much interest an idea meets. It is made up of the following values: Number of views of the idea compared to other ideas, number of comments on this idea compared to other ideas, and time spent on the ideas page compared to other ideas. The activities of the idea author are not measured here.

A high number of ideas or a high activity index does not always automatically result in a high quality of ideas. This is why it is necessary in innovation management to define qualitative key figures for the innovation process in addition to purely quantitative key figures.


Qualitative KPIs for the innovation process

The qualitative indicators in the innovation process provide information on how well thought-out ideas and suggestions are. This means: How detailed were ideas described? How intensively were further questions answered? How are ideas evaluated by other users and experts? Here you will find a list of the most important qualitative key figures for the innovation process and your innovation management:


Idea depth

This value provides information on how far the ideas have been worked out. The Innolytics® software makes it possible to define in-depth questions that idea authors have to answer. How many authors of ideas have answered the in-depth questions in detail? Are the ideas only initial suggestions or have the authors already thought about the implementation or the potential risk? The quality index of ideas shows this. A low quality index indicates that a maximum of a quarter of the concept fields have been completed. An average quality index shows that half of the questions were answered. A high quality index exists when at least three-quarters of all questions have been answered. A very high quality index exists when all additional questions have been answered. This quality index can be displayed individually for each idea. The overview provides idea and innovation managers with information on the average quality value of ideas in the different subject areas and areas.


Ratings by users and experts:

In order to evaluate ideas optimally, they are evaluated by users and experts according to various criteria. The criteria correspond to the horizon of experience that the evaluators have. In the Innolytics® software there are different criteria for a user and an expert evaluation. Users rate ideas according to other (usually fewer) criteria than experts do. This results in different key figures: What is the overall level of evaluation of ideas? How has the valuation level changed within several months? These values indicate possible measures to improve the idea management or innovation management of a company. For example, if the level of evaluation of ideas within a certain area decreases, it may make sense to train employees in questions such as “How do I formulate a good idea?

Innolytics AG supports companies in the implementation of the Innolytics® idea management software and innovation management software in selecting and implementing the appropriate key figures. In the personal consultation and coaching of those responsible, our clients develop an understanding of how the course of different key figures are to be evaluated and which measures result from this for companies.



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