Every business wants the value it can get from innovations.  Innovations grow businesses by increasing the number of customers, the volume and level of sales, and the amount of gross margin and profit.  

But creating an innovation is a source of great trouble for a business.  Businesses are built upon stability and the ability replicate performance across all functions.  Innovating can have a disruptive effect on the stable execution of standard business processes in every functional area.       

Each business function can experience specific trouble as a result of innovating.

Senior Management

  • innovating projects and new solutions create instability in the core business
  • new solutions yield unreliable growth


  • solving problems nobody has (falling in love with a technology or a specific solution)
  • solving the wrong problems
  • solving the right problems with the wrong solutions


  • development projects are too slow to start, take too long to complete, and are too late to market


  • new solutions require new knowledge, skills, and capabilities the organization doesn’t have


  • new solutions have Basis of Competition or Competitive Position challenges in the market


  • new solutions require new capabilities to produce and deliver
  • new solutions yield worse-before-better Gross Margin contribution


  • new solutions don’t have enough, or the wrong, differentiation


  • new solutions have unsatisfactory performance integrity
  • new solutions require new servicing capabilities


  • new solutions sales are too low
  • new solutions costs are too high
  • new solutions ROI’s are too long

Even though the specific trouble each functional area experiences is different, the core type of trouble is the same.  This core type of trouble is uncertainty.  

Uncertainty is a particularly difficult type of trouble to resolve because it is hard to define.  There is also a time delay between when the trouble is defined and understanding the problem to be solved.  By the time the problem has been defined, there is often little time left to solve each functions problems.  The organization can become overwhelmed with problems that must be solved, often simultaneously.  The entire business, both the core business and the innovation project, suffers.   

The Enginnova Project organizes innovating projects to minimize uncertainty.  We have identified the three sources of uncertainty, along with the trouble uncertainty causes.  We specify when the specific trouble can be defined and dealt with through a problem solving process.  This prevents uncertainty from causing a series of overwhelming late project surprises.

There is Paradox Uncertainty, which stymies decision making and action if it is not managed from the early stages of the project.

There is Process Uncertainty, which causes confusion and out of sequence activity if a process structure based upon work types, not work tasks, isn’t followed.

There is Activity Uncertainty, which can derail innovating within a process stage if it is not defined and solved before proceeding to the next work type in the process.   

 The TEP D8 Infinity Process provides a structure that keeps innovating work organized and sequenced, minimizing uncertainty before it disrupts the project and the core business.  Innovating can then deliver more innovation faster, with less trouble.

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