Imagine 6-7 people whose job it is to identify, evaluate, introduce, exploit and disseminate computer-based design technologies that dramatically improved the product innovation process. The job entails both technology and people skills with education and training also being important.
Horizon 1 activities might involve improving the ability to spot new technology trends and better predict their impact (Technology Foresight); improving the speed and quality of the rapid prototyping service (both digital and physical) with the aim of better matching of decision making events and iterative capital characterised by turn around times. Or to put it another way if we can do 2 prototype cycles in one team session rather than do one every few days with waiting time to the next meeting coming in then the M>W>D approach can be invoked.
As teams in Design Space tend to be multi-organisational then better, earlier supplier involvement reaps dividends- how do we do it better? (collaborative pioneering with 3rd parties).
In the medium term we have H2 projects to develop.
We have done a pilot project using Design @ The Edge tools and techniques to dramatically shorten decision cycle and improve deciosion quality. We need to invest time and effort in some more key projects to show that D@TE works across a range of H1 and H2 projects identifying any deficiencies to be addressed in future relaeses of the tools (permanent Beta).
We have shown better visual simulation very early in a project identifies both functional and affective positives and negatives from the consumer perspective and both structural and manufacturing issues before design lock when it is relatively straightforward to make changes. How do we roll them out to the benefit of all key projects(i-Simulation)? If we improve our ability to interactively sketch the we can involve consumers at the beginning of concept definition. We can do this but technology is intrusive. The next generation of tablet PC's will change this. lets get going (consumer interaction).
If we continue to improve video-conferencing availability with TIVOesque qualities we can combine our e-teachnig materials to provide better consulting capability across time and space. (global consulting); we need to keep resourcing this to build up the content and infrastructure.
H3 assumes we are going for global harmonisation of major projects and lots of local input to preserve competitive advantage.
This means we need to look at how we get morepeople to unleash their creativity and share, understand and take action on global insights(universal creativity). The design of products and services will necessarily involve bigger teams and we will need to offer a 24/7 service across time and space not sure what this means but fruits of such a solution could be devastating ( to our rivals or vice versa) we must keep total product and service design as a high priority.
Technology scanning seems innocuous but we have seen that our rival can adopt alpha and beta solutions in similar time frames to ourselves. we need to see the research and place bets that have some form of exclusivity to buy time.
New product technology: we haven't got many chips in our products yet (RFID on our pallets maybe). As costs drop we can start to build in information and interactivity sources.. so what does this mean?
The trick is now to create a strategy that maximises the returns on imagination and investment that will come from pursuing the three horizons. the strategic risk of not pursuing such a portfolio can also be analysed.