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Innovation engineering. Supporting the collaborative innovation front end using group support systems

: Hoffmann, Holger

TU Chemnitz, Professur Arbeitswissenschaft und Innovationsmanagement:
Mensch 2020 : Innteract Conference, 7. und 8. Mai 2015, Chemnitz
Chemnitz: aw&l Wissenschaft und Praxis, 2015
ISBN: 978-3-944192-03-1
12 S.
Conference "Mensch 2020" <2015, Chemnitz>
Fraunhofer IAO ()

The innovation front end, also known as the fuzzy front end, comprises the highly creative first steps in the innovation process. Traditionally this phase of the innovation process was seen as unstructured and the work of individuals. Today, however, research indicates that innovation processes are collaborative tasks in a social environment and many paradigms, like Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing, argue for integrating innovators from outside R&D and the company. All this opens up the chance for structuring the overall process and supporting it with IT. The result is an approach towards Innovation Engineering, where repeatable and reliable innovation processes can be designed from scratch. It’s based on the two driving forces open collaboration and the structured workflow on one hand, and existing practices and tools based on Group Support Systems (GSS) for improving the collaboration process on the other hand. While traditional GSS are foremost designed to support meeting situations, novel approaches aim to enhance ideation by integrating cognitive models into GSS or broaden the diversity of the idea pool by prepending the internal innovation process with open idea exchange across companies. What current approaches are lacking, however, is the structured support for a modular integration and exchange of collaborative work between internal innovators and, potentially ad-hoc, outside innovators as found in crowdsourcing projects. This contribution presents an overview over the current state of research on the innovation front end, collaborative and open innovation processes as well as the potential for an Innovation Engineering approach supporting open collaborative frontend processes.