This broad category addresses the practical issues of getting your offer to market: organising teams, sourcing materials, acquiring the necessary tools and equipment, manufacturing, marketing and delivering to end-users.

Effective operations management is at the heart of any well run innovation process, but small businesses often disregard it, feeling that it doesn't apply to them. The reality is that the concepts and principles (and the benefits) behind operations management are applicable to all businesses - no matter what size or sector.

In manufacturing, it might mean managing materials, the space to store them, the flow through the manufacturing process and supply chain(on its own) , the quantity of product to produce, and the quality of output. For a service business it might involve scheduling staff to handle customer demand.

It's very rare that a company can execute every stage and component of an innovation process, from seeing an opportunity, to designing an offer, through building it and bringing it to market. The ability to find the right collaborators and manage relationships with them is almost always critical to commercial success.

Components of Operations

Skills and People

Building a whole greater than the sum of the parts from a multidisciplinary team of individuals with relevant skills doesn’t happen by chance. You need to develop and nurture relationships actively to get the best from your people.

Equipment and Materials

What machinery and materials do you need to build your offer? Do you need to purchase or hire kit? How will you select the most appropriate materials or process?


Joy's Law states that “no matter how smart your people are, most of the smartest people in the world are outside your company”. There are many reasons to collaborate: cost-saving, the development of new technologies, designs, products, services and markets. It’s important to identify which collaborations will have the greatest impact on your business in terms of value and performance. More and more companies are adopting 'Open Innovation' approaches. This involves including customer, suppliers and sometimes even competitors in the hunt for an enhanced Offer that will bring new benefits to existing and future user.