Innovation Workflow

Generate Ideas

The first step in any project is to define and describe the purpose of the effort. It may be as simple as “freshen up the garden at my house” to as complex as “build a new petrochemical plant”. Regardless of the scale of the project, we always start with defining the scope of work. In innovation, we must also discover customer needs and identify potential product functions and concepts to address those needs.

Build Support

Once we have generated an attractive product concept, the innovation workflow moves to gathering support for the idea. This includes negotiating resources and investing in preliminary testing. Other activities at this stage involve concept testing with potential customers to refine the idea. A set of tools and an approach called Design Thinking is extremely beneficial at this stage. You can learn about Design Thinking at our complimentary Q&A webinar on 11 November 2020. Register here — spaces are limited so we can ensure an interactive discussion!

Create the Project Plan

Some people are really good at planning. Of course, we want these folks, who we call “Refiners” in Team Dimensions language, to layout the required work to accomplish project goals.

Execute the Work

We only earn revenue when we complete a project and commercialize the new product innovation. We need to do the work of the project! Team members will build and test the product at scale during the execution stage.

Work Styles and Workflow

Successful innovation teams match the preferred work style of team members with the phase of the innovation workflow. Employees are happiest — and most productive — when they are working on tasks they enjoy. Each of us can stretch beyond our preferred work style (Creator, Advancer, Refiner, Executor) to do other tasks. Yet we can accelerate the innovation process the most when we match preferences of work styles with workflows.

Learn More

Recently, I discussed the benefits of the Team Dimensions model at the Texas ACMP Conference this year and with Chad McAllister on the Everyday Innovator podcast. You can listen to the podcast here (about 30 minutes).

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.