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Laboratory of Grenoble for sciences of conception, optimisation and production
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Ideation Reference Process Model for the Early Phase of Innovation


Under the rapidly increasing innovation pressure, companies are forced — more than ever before — to deal with the subject of innovation management, particularly with systematic idea generation and selection. This is especially true in technology - driven sectors such as automotive.

Ideation denotes the procedure of idea generation and selection for innovations of products, services or business models with commercialisation potential on the market. It is located in the very beginning of the fuzzy front - end (FFE) of the entire innovation process and sets the course for New Product Development (NPD).

In this context, this work attempts to answer the following research question:
“How is it possible to create a structured approach which makes ideation the core task of the FFE, and to implement it as a process in a corporate environment such that it facilitates innovation management?” To this aim, its principal contribution is an ideation stage - gate reference process model based on a set of key success factors identified from literature and expert interviews.
The proposed ideation reference process model capitalises on the strong and systematic involvement of internal and external stakeholders in ideation, and therefore follows intrinsically the modern paradigm of Open Innovation. It is designed in a way that can be integrated in existing innovation processes with reasonable effort, and it assures the
alignment of ideation activities with the company’s business strategy.
The validation of the proposed reference process model has been done at the German automotive supplier KSPG Automotive Group based on the derivation of a company -
specific ideation process from the reference process. This derived process takes into account the company’s specific context of innovation and ideation, and is consequently focused on facilitating its integration into the company’s organisational culture and process landscape while introducing a fundamentally new approach to systematic ideation activities.

In the scope of this thesis, the feasibility of the total approach as well as the ideation process itself has been demonstrated, and a concept for the broad introduction of the new process has been established. On this solid basis, perspectives for future research activities directly linked to the introduction and the improvement of the process, as well as to the determination of the applicability of the approach in different industry sectors are given

PhD Student: Martin NEUMANN
Grenoble University, 2010
Directors: Daniel BRISSAUD and Andreas RIEL
Partnership: EMIRACLE

Date of update February 26, 2015

Univ. Grenoble Alpes