technology innovation management

Technology & innovation management

We offer a unique set of capabilities to help clients succeed in Technology and Innovation Management (TIM). Arthur D. Little’s TIM services address our clients’ most critical challenges in three main areas: building ecosystem  capabilities; managing core innovation investment; and delivering breakthrough innovations. 

We offer a unique set of capabilities to help clients succeed in Technology and Innovation Management:

  • We bring a full complement of know-how to the project that effectively bridges strategy, technology and innovation, well beyond the narrow strategy, design, or engineering focus of other firms 
  • Our methods are agile and adaptable yet structured and proven, and have been applied successfully many times with clients across the world
  • Our consultants are multidisciplinary entrepreneurs – “doers” that roll up their sleeves and focus on getting results, not just advising
  • We provide clients with the best there is, not just the best we have, by leveraging our extensive, global, multi-industry partner network 
  • We have leading digital transformation and solution-delivery expertise, ensuring our clients can leverage the full potential of the latest digital tools and techniques 

Arthur D. Little’s TIM services address our clients’ most critical challenges in three main areas:

Technology and Innovation Management Services

    Open innovation and ecosystem development

    We support companies in shaping and growing their innovation ecosystems and reaping the maximum benefits from their open innovation efforts, including:

    • Developing an effective ecosystem strategy, closely linked to innovation and make/buy/collaborate strategies, which defines ambitions and goals, types of players, partnering approaches and ecosystem development solutions
    • Defining ecosystem organization, resources, processes and tools to efficiently leverage capabilities, expand the network and enhance business value
    • Support ecosystem operations, including refining requirements, scouting using advanced digital tools, facilitating and setting up collaborative agreements, managing IP issues, training teams, and diagnosing and improving the quality of collaboration

    Selected tools

    • Advanced digital tools for partner scouting
    • “Hyper-collaboration” strategic framework
    • Methods to enhance absorption of external knowledge
    • Tools to measure the quality of collaboration with partners and adapt methods of management
    • Company-university IP management guidelines

    Venturing and incubation management

    We support companies in designing and deploying best-practice venture-capital models and incubators, including:

    • Developing corporate venture and incubator strategies linked to innovation strategy, which set out ambitions and goals, positioning, model, size & scale,  development trajectory, and cross-links with other innovation activities
    • Defining detailed set-up, branding, partners, organization, governance, resources (quality and quantity), processes, location and interfaces 
    • Supporting deployment, including accelerating set-up, initiating deal flow, managing initial operations and running collaboration with the mother company

    Selected tools

    • Mapping of existing corporate ventures and incubators
    • Assessment of corporate venture and incubator differentiation opportunities
    • Library of organization and governance models and related benchmarks

    Capability development

    We provide clients with a range of services to develop their innovation, R&D and technology capabilities, including:

    • Identifying future strategic competence needs, current capability mapping, gap analysis and development of capability-building strategies, plans and roadmaps
    • Design and facilitation of innovation capability-building events, such as innovation conferences, training courses, away-days, workshops, boot camps, idea jams and idea generation sessions
    • Development and deployment of innovation and technology knowledge management processes and arrangements

    Selected tools

    • Innovation training and coaching materials
    • Ideation tools
    • Knowledge management diagnostics

    Culture change and transformation

    We help large companies and organizations to radically change their cultures and transform their ways of working to enable greater creativity, agility, entrepreneurialism, productivity and quality in their R&D and innovation efforts, including:

    • Diagnosing current innovation culture and uncovering the hidden root causes of shortfalls in performance
    • Designing transformation programs, incorporating the right mix of “hard” and “soft” measures to overcome barriers and drive innovation performance
    • Bespoke personal coaching for top teams and senior managers in leadership for innovation
    • Design and facilitation of participative-innovation training and engagement measures

    Selected tools

    • Leading innovation-culture diagnostic tools and methods, including the “Unwritten Rules of the Game”,  “Innovation Climate Index” and “Innovation Health Check”
    • Award, recognition and incentive schemes; engagement instruments; learning tools; interpersonal communication tools
    • Agile product development methods 
    • Transformation program design and management tools

    Technology and Commercial Due Diligence

    We provide clients with a range of insightful and robust due-diligence services to meet differing client needs and required levels of detail:

    • Rapid technology assessments – Short studies to assess technology performance versus competing solutions
    • Red-flag analysis – Rapid identification of any major concerns regarding the technology or commercial positioning
    • Detailed technology benchmarking – Comprehensive analysis of the technology versus other approaches, including assessment of fundamental performance, reliability, costs, and risks
    • Full technology and/or commercial due diligence – Technology performance, market structure, size and drivers, competitors, basis of competition, barriers and risks, customer and supplier feedback, business plan achievability, barriers and risks

    Selected tools

    • Market and technology database
    • Global expert network

    Innovation diagnostics and benchmarking

    Diagnosing and benchmarking innovation performance is a key step companies need to take to inform innovation strategy and further development. Arthur D. Little has a powerful set of diagnostic tools and approaches to help clients gain deep insight into every aspect of their innovation efforts.  We help clients:

    • Benchmark their innovation management approaches and performances in-depth versus more than 1,000 peers, using Arthur D. Little’s Global Innovation Excellence Survey.  This has been continuously refined over more than two decades to provide state-of-the-art diagnostics (R&D Management Best Practices)
    • Conduct rapid health checks of innovation and R&D management strengths and weaknesses 
    • Understand cultural issues that are affecting innovation performance
    • Explore root-causes of R&D inefficiencies through project deep-dives

    Selected tools

    R&D Best Practice

    R&D Management Best Practice: a cross-industry global benchmark

    In 2013, Arthur D. Little completed its 8th Global Innovation Excellence Study (GIES), a global, cross-industry survey of trends and best practices in innovation management.

    Drawing on over 1,000 responses across the last two GIESs, it shed new quantitative light on the basic key question: what innovation management techniques achieve the best return on innovation investment? 

    In 2015, Arthur D. Little followed up with a study to maintain our insight into emerging R&D management practices. Rather than seeking quantitative inputs from hundreds of participants, we prioritize a deep qualitative engagement with innovation leaders.

    As a first step, we identified a number of innovation-leading companies and invited them to contribute best-practice examples and to participate in a reflection on different R&D management practices.

    Through a series of interviews and internal reflection with leading practitioners in our Technology and Innovation Management practice, we then developed 23 case studies, with 15 companies identified as innovation leaders. The full results were analyzed and shared with the benchmarking participants.

    From the rich material that these companies shared with us, Arthur D. Little identified common challenges and insight into how these innovation leaders are responding. Based on this material, Arthur D. Little is developing a series of viewpoints over the coming months, each focused on specific aspects of the study.

    Anonymized case studies and quotes from our interviews and meetings have been used to illustrate best practice. 

    If you face these challenges and would like to discuss our findings in more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


    Global Innovation Excellence Benchmark

    A cross-industry global benchmark of innovation practices conducted by Arthur D. Little

    Building on our competitive insight in Overcoming hurdles: insights into stage gate management from more than a decade of innovation surveys, Arthur D. Little’s Global Innovation Excellence Benchmark is intended for business leaders and senior innovation executives with corporate or divisional responsibilities for innovation management (e.g., chief technology officers, chief innovation managers, heads of R&D).

    A report with analysis from the first wave of responses is available here.

    All participants receive, on request, a free personalized benchmark report designed to help them understand their innovation performances versus their peers, and to identify the most important innovation performance levers and best practices for their organizations.

    Please contact us if you would like to see sanitized example extracts from the individual company benchmark report you would receive.

    The many hundreds of companies that have already participated have found this report to be very valuable and insightful. All data is reported anonymously, and we maintain strict confidentiality with respect to company-specific survey data.

    To participate in the Arthur D. Little Global Innovation Excellence Benchmark and receive your personalized benchmark report, please either:

    Please contact the benchmark team to allow them to organize feedback from your responses.

    Rick Eagar

    Partner, Chief Innovation Officer & Global Practice Leader, Technology & Innovation Management

    Ben Thuriaux-Alemán

    Principal, Global Innovation Excellence Benchmark co-ordinator 

    Innovation Health Check

    Where to start to improve your innovation investments?

    Innovation management covers many aspects, from business intelligence to idea generation to managing intellectual property and working with innovation partners. They are like links in a chain.

    One of the challenges for managers is to keep all of the links in this chain in good shape in order for the innovation management process to succeed.

    To focus on the whole chain in a more balanced way, it is recommended that companies utilize a diagnostic tool to assess the quality of the different links. At Arthur D. Little, we have developed a set of well-proven diagnostic tools that serve hundreds of companies.

    They go from doing a relatively simple “Innovation Management Health Check” to more advanced diagnostics that benchmark the quality of the different parts of your innovation management approach, or that map your innovation culture. 

    If you are looking for a diagnostic that helps you to assess the quality of innovation management in your organization, we encourage you to partake in the initial Arthur D. Little Innovation Management Health Check below.

    We have identified characteristics that are associated with highly innovative companies and structured them in a way that highlights areas that may be of concern to your business.

    By checking the degree to which these characteristics are present in your company, you will get a fresh look at where you stand regarding innovation management and which “weak links” probably need attention.

    • An Innovation Management Profile of your company relative to your peers
    • Feedback on practical improvements that you may consider when addressing areas of concern


      Innovation strategy development

      Strategy development for innovation, products, technologies and R&D

      Innovation strategy and its operationalization through product, technology and R&D strategies enable companies to focus, balance and sustain innovation activities by clarifying the what, why and how of innovation.

      Many companies still don’t have well-articulated innovation strategies.

      Many others have innovation strategies that are too rigid and prescriptive for today’s agile world, in which rapid piloting, failing fast and capturing opportunities through start-ups and other innovation partners is increasingly important.

      Working closely with our clients’ organizations, we help them to:

      • Anticipate technology, market and ecosystem developments and navigate the technology landscape
      • Establish a dynamic innovation strategy which covers both “top-down” (what to aim for, where to innovate, how to innovate) and “bottom-up” (how to capture opportunities, master the innovation ecosystem and respond rapidly to disruptions)
      • Articulate a differentiating and competitive product range and a roadmap to revamp the portfolio
      • Leverage IP as a strategic weapon and capitalize on its hidden value 

      Selected tools

      • Dynamic Innovation Strategy model
      • Technology horizon scanning
      • Visionary leadership and planning
      • Product portfolio analysis

      Organization and process design

      We help companies to design organizational structures and develop leading-edge processes for R&D, technology and innovation management:

      • Establishing the optimum organization and governance structure for global and regional R&D operations in order to meet changing strategic and operational needs
      • Rationalizing global R&D footprints and optimizing R&D operating models to improve efficiency and productivity
      • Developing and optimizing lean and agile processes and ways of working for R&D, technology and innovation management, including both core and ancillary processes

      Selected tools

      • Best-practice innovation and R&D organizational and governance models, processes and procedures
      • Competence mapping and gap analysis
      • R&D-footprint analysis


        Efficiency and productivity improvement

        Our research shows that only a small majority of R&D leaders are satisfied with their “bang for the buck”. We help companies ensure that their innovation engines are firing on all cylinders, and stay that way:

        • Understanding what drives R&D productivity and determining what achieving excellence would bring to your company in strategic and financial terms
        • Developing a “first time right” improvement program that can be monitored for progress
        • Realizing and anchoring quick, meaningful and measurable improvements

        Selected tools

        We  deploy a wide range of proprietary approaches, tools and data repositories, e.g.:

        • Surveys and other proprietary assessment tools 
        • Benchmark and best- and “next”-practice data of hundreds of companies from all industry sectors
        • Metrics and (automated) methodologies to measure R&D efficiency and productivity and to monitor progress
        • Project repositories based on many dozens of our R&D productivity assignments


          Innovation management support

          Our innovation support activities provide companies with the underlying tools and competences to enable successful innovation management, including: 

          • Gathering intelligence on new technologies and intellectual property available in the market 
          • Creating technology roadmaps to underpin the delivery of business strategy and create a shared sense of long-term direction across an organization 
          • Shaping the content of research and development programs to deliver the content of technology roadmaps 
          • Putting in place effective intellectual property strategies and management processes to enhance the value created by innovations
          • Supporting with the commercialization of new ideas, through the creation of business cases for investment and the identification of technology-licensing opportunities 
          • Developing and implementing tailored and fit-for-purpose digital solutions for innovation management, including idea, portfolio, project and product management 

          Growth Accelerator

          Our Growth Accelerator service offering brings together the Why, the What and the How of best practices to find and deliver new opportunities to enhance and sustain company growth:

          • Finding growth: 
          • Identify unmet needs in the market by clever segmentation and segment profiling
          • Articulate (future) solution promises based on thorough understanding of the company’s to-be competencies and technologies
          • Determine relevant opportunity spaces that are most attractive and important 
          • Delivering growth:
          • Translate findings into an executable growth roadmap
          • Enable and execute implementation, often in a piloted approach
          • Modify or redesign organization and processes required
          • Realize culture change or transformation required for sustained success
          • Develop and build capabilities and tools

          Breakthrough Incubator - New step-out business creation

          Delivering new growth outside the core business is at the top of the CEO agenda for many companies in mature sectors. Our Breakthrough Incubator service is a unique and powerful approach for creating and delivering new step-out businesses. Using this approach Arthur D. Little acts as lead delivery partner in a fully externalized incubator process managing a network of other players, covering end-to-end innovation from ideation through to consumer insight, concept and product development, prototype manufacture, in-market testing, packaging development, brand development, operational and supply chain planning and launch.

          This external incubator approach offers huge benefits to our consumer goods clients, including lower costs, faster speed to market, elimination of brand constraints, removal of ‘not invented here’ barriers, agile development approach and full integration of consumer, technology, commercial, operational and strategic inputs.

          The Breakthrough FactoryTM

          The Breakthrough FactoryTM is a unique offering in which we support our clients in developing and delivering technological breakthroughs within 9-12 months.

          The method is especially suitable for industries such as manufacturing, automotive, transport, chemicals, aerospace, defense and med-tech, in which science and technology are s a key differentiator.

          We help our clients by:

          • Clarifying and qualifying a technological challenge with business breakthrough potential in a short period of time
          • Finding and recruiting the best-suited teams, usually from university, start-ups and industry players, using our global network supported by the latest digital-search tools
          • Applying our unique breakthrough creation model, in which we manage multiple teams in competing in a co-creative environment, exploring different scientific routes to meet the challenge
          • Training your staff to manage our model and supporting you in building up your own internal Breakthrough Factory

          Selected tools

          • “The Breakthrough Factory TM” methodology
          •  Advanced digital tools to scout most suitable scientific teams
          • Methods and tools to manage agile scientific development 


          Digital Problem Solving

          Digital transformation enabled by IT