Innovation is the successful application of new ideas, and help is readily available


Performance Benchmarking Blog Part 11: Innovation is the successful application of new ideas, and help is readily available

Did you know? There are abundant sources of readily available information on potential innovations to improve many aspects of performance.INNOVATION PRACTICE:
Existing technical support (e.g., industry associations, research programs) is leveraged to improve project performance.

The process of innovation can be quite a formal process with prescribed steps to investigate the ways we currently do things while identifying opportunities to improve. There are also many instances when it is obvious that changes are needed or there is a better way to do things.

Once an organization gets beyond the decision that they are going to adopt and implement a new way of doing things or start using a new product or technology to improve their performance (the “what” and “why”), the next question to answer is “how.” In other words, it is not simply a matter of picking the latest and greatest technology solution (e.g., automation and robotics; additive manufacturing; big data and cloud solutions; virtual, augmented, and mixed realities, etc.), but it is also understanding the best way to implement it with the least risk and greatest positive impact.

There are abundant sources of readily available information on potential innovations to improve many aspects of performance, such as online industry articles (e.g., On-Site magazine at on-sitemag.com) or industry-specific tweet streams (e.g., such as construction innovation tweets at twitter.com/CanCInnovations).

What many organizations miss is that there are also many sources to help with the “how.” There are those out there that are trying to provide an objective assessment of new ideas and move the industry forward, such as our industry associations (regional or national), government organizations with a focus on improving our competitiveness, or research programs within our universities and technical colleges.

Oranizations that are actively involved with industry associations and leverage the support that is available discover those that are willing to share the good and the bad. This allows more informed decision making based on the inherent risks involved, and greatly increases the chances of implementing “what’s new” with success. For example, NRC IRAP supports many initiatives to help industry to mitigate risks of technology (nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/irap) and Mitacs supports partnerships between researchers and practitioners (mitacs.ca/en). Help is readily available.

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The free Performance Benchmarking Self-Assessment Tool is designed to assist construction and maintenance employers in measuring their organization in relation to a specific set of recognized best practices. In addition, you will be able to compare your organization's efforts against other construction and maintenance employers. From the results of the self-assessment tool you will also be able to identify areas for continuous improvement.

The self-assessment tool is designed to be completed either individually by a member of your management team or in a collaborative setting. Consider bringing your leaders/managers together to work through the tool and take time to discuss the perspectives of each group member.

This initiative is supported by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP).