For most inventors, developing your ideas is not your full time job and has to be fitted in around another job or other professional responsibilities or a family life and other commitments. Project management may not be part of your day-to-day activities so how do you prioritise tasks when managing the development and commercialisation of innovation?
There are two factors to consider when evaluating the tasks that are required to be completed in developing and commercialising your ideas:
Identifying project tasks that could effectively impact on whether your innovation is successful or not.
Determining when a project tasks requires a quick response and if it is in your and your project’s interest.
High Importance and Urgent -
Patent deadlines which, if you miss them, mean that your idea cannot be patented in a particular territory. These should be highlighted in red on your project Gantt chart and underlined in triplicate on your to do list.
High Importance and Non-Urgent -
At the start of the project, once the regulatory requirements have been initially evaluated, the regulatory requirements of your innovation will have a high importance but will be relatively non-urgent as a result of being much later in the lifetime of the project and interdependent on earlier tasks in the project being completed successfully. This would result in a red highlight in your Gantt chart but some way off in the future, possibly without a date but a lead time of when to contact the Regulatory Consultant, to have the testing and legal paperwork started to ensure regulatory compliance in a timely manner.
Low Importance and Urgent -
Innovation related emails are a constant source of low importance but urgent tasks that eat away at your time. Examples include unsolicited emails offering to have your patent registered on a database for a fee. Through time you get to recognise the legitimate correspondence and waste less time processing their significance.
Low Importance and Non-Urgent
These can be considered distractions such as a tv programme that you watch instead of making some phone enquiries to potential manufacturers about the tooling costs or reading your personal emails when you went in to follow-up on some feedback from a commercial expert on a new potential application for your innovation.
Assigning project tasks or other activities into one of these four categories will prioritise their significance to your project and help you deal with them effectively.
Smart Idea Store
February 4, 2013