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Innovation Managers Are Portfolio Managers and Controllers

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series The Twelve Hats of an Innovation Manager

Even for companies with established in-house research and development departments, it can be difficult to execute innovation activities to perfection. In that case, an innovation manager can help the company to keep its new product developments organised and foster necessary relationships with internal staff and external experts.

In our blog series, The Twelve Hats Of An Innovation Manager, we look at all the different job functions of the innovation manager. Today, in this final post in the series, we look at how innovation managers are also Portfolio Managers and Controllers.

The portfolio manager is privileged to get a high-level view of the company’s entire catalogue of ongoing projects. Not only does the innovation manager need the precise abilities to manage a singular project, but he or she also needs the big-thinking ability to keep track of the entire pipeline of innovation.

By selecting and prioritising the best projects, at the right time, the portfolio manager maximises value for the entire suite of projects.

On the evaluation side of things, the innovation manager is also considered a controller because he or she tracks the key figures of the project, too. The controller is able to sense when a project is deviating from the milestones and can measure the results of the project as a whole. They also have carefully curated methods to evaluate the alignment between the innovation strategy and the results of the initiatives.

No easy task, to be certain!

But that is why, even for a well-established firm with a strong R&D department, an innovation manager can make a world of difference as the surveyor of the project portfolio and to keep projects organised.

…And there you have it! This has been the final post in our series, The Twelve Hats Of An Innovation Manager!

In conclusion, we would like to leave you with a summary of all the different roles that the innovation manager performs at an organisation.

  1. Idea Finder
  2. Idea Manager
  3. Organisational Developer
  4. Innovation scout
  5. Product Developer
  6. Continuous Improver
  7. Project Manager
  8. Strategist
  9. Patent Manager
  10. Futurologist
  11. Funding Manager
  12. Portfolio Manager / Controller

Did you miss a part of the series? Follow our innovation-themed blog to access all the content you need to embark on your very own innovation-finding journey.

Throughout this series, you probably noticed our nudges toward the services that we, as an innovation service provider, can use to empower your organisation’s innovation.

As thought leaders and creative developers in all aspects of organisational innovation, including product development, we work with improvement initiatives every day. And we want to share that enthusiasm for innovation with your organisation, in whatever way we can.

That is why we are offering an exclusive offer to our readers to take part in a free consultation about whatever innovation project you are working on.

We also want to share a unique packaged innovation option for you: the Innovation-as-a-Service model.

With a service package, you gain access to all the roles that an innovation manager provides (12 different roles!) plus much more innovation-related experience to assist you, including:

  • New product development strategies
  • Ideation exercises
  • Product and market research
  • Guidance on user experience (UX)
  • Technical documentation
  • Modeling and specifications
  • Coaching for the organisation
  • Methods to improve the process
  • Proven culture-fostering techniques
  • Digital services

The outcomes of an Innovation-as-a-Service package are nearly endless!

For more information, do not hesitate to visit us at

See you there!

Series Navigation<< An Innovation Manager Is A Funding Manager

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