Innovation Efficiency

What is Innovation?

First, let’s take a step back and define “innovation”. Innovation is a new way of doing things that results in profit for a firm and increased utility for a customer. Innovations come from the application of new technologies yet are also derived from new combinations of existing products and services. We call the latter case business model innovation.

What is Efficiency in Innovation?

We can define efficiency as how much output we get per unit of input. Waste is the opposite of efficiency ‑ what gets scrapped cannot serve to increase customer satisfaction, sales, or profits. The biggest waste we have in innovation is wasted knowledge. Some examples of wasted knowledge are:

Post-Launch Reviews (PLR)

Post-launch reviews should be (though often are not) conducted as a new product is commercialized. The PLR-1 addresses team activities, templates, and procedures. If you are using a staged-and-gated new product development (NPD) process, the PLR-1 is the opportunity to record how much time was spent on each stage and how many resources were used for tasks within those stages. Then, the next time you do a similar project (e.g. add a feature, extend the market), you can get a better estimate of both the time and cost of the innovation effort.

Burndown Chart

The burndown chart is a tool from the world of Scrum and Agile. Instead of estimating how far the project needs to go to completion, the burndown chart documents how much is left to do.

Innovation Efficiency

It’s always a bit tricky to discuss efficiency in the realms of knowledge work and creativity. Yet even the greatest authors and painters set a standard of number of words to write or hours to hold the brush. Efficiency includes dedication to our craft and is measured by a lack of waste — wasted knowledge and wasted time.

An Invitation

About Me

I am inspired by writing, teaching, and coaching. I tackle life with an infusion of rigor, zeal, and faith. It brings me joy to help you build innovation leaders. Teresa Jurgens-Kowal is an experienced innovation professional with a passion for lifelong learning with a PhD in Chemical Engineering and an MBA in Computer and Information Decision Making. My credentials include PE (State of Louisiana), NPDP, PMP®, and CPEM, and I am a DiSC® certified facilitator. Contact me at or area code 281 + phone 787–3979 for more information on coaching for entrepreneurs and innovators.



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Teresa Kowal

Teresa Kowal


I tackle life with an infusion of rigor, zeal, and faith. My passion is innovation and helping others improve their new product development ecosystems.