location_city Bengaluru schedule Oct 14th 12:00 - 12:45 PM place Mysore Hall 2 people 5 Interested

Traditional accounting methods measure and manage innovation efforts but this can in fact be one of its biggest disablers. Internal funding systems and the way performance and progress get measured, demand us to make up facts that can not possibly be predicted far into the future. In return, it all too often makes us build the wrong thing. How can Return on Investment (ROI) calculations, for example even be close to true when the product and even the market doesn't yet exist?

The problem with innovation of course is that we have little to no historical data these approaches heavily rely on. Further, current systems don’t account and adjust for all the new learnings a team gathers. They simply don’t enable honest conversations between those that build products and those that make investment decisions. It leads many people to make up fiction and hide risky assumptions in order to get funding. Many times the best storytellers and politicians get funded, not necessarily those with the best ideas. As a result, organisations fall into the trap of not making corrections early enough before, all too often, the budget is used up before reaching success or ends up with a zombie product on life support.

Innovation Accounting fundamentally ties learning and money together. It bridges the gap between product and finance. It allows for an honest and effective approach to creating, delivering and capturing value.

 
 

Outline/Structure of the Talk

  • A short history of Accounting
  • Problems with the way we fund and measure innovation projects and teams
  • Value and uncertainty/the cost and worth of learning
  • Extending the toolset - What is Innovation Accounting?
  • Innovation Ledger
  • Q&A

Learning Outcome

  • How to Increase the effectiveness of your innovation budget
  • How product and finance can be real partners
  • Better innovation metrics
  • How to budget for innovation
  • How to relate dollars to learning
  • Identifying what it means to do the 'right thing at the right time' in an innovation context

Target Audience

Head of Innovation, CFO, CEO, Project Portfolio Manager, Product Manager, Entrepreneurs, Transformation Managers, Agile Coaches, Product Owners

Prerequisites for Attendees

Thinking about any of the following topics questions in relation to innovation initiatives:

  • How do initiatives get funded in your organisation?
  • How do you determine the amount of funding?
  • What KPI's does your innovation team have?
  • Who typically gets funding?
  • How do you measure progress for innovation projects?
  • How do you decide when to kill a project?
  • How do you choose one initiative over the other?
schedule Submitted 11 months ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • Jeremy Kriegel
    By Jeremy Kriegel  ~  8 months ago
    reply Reply

    Thanks for your response. In order for this to be a 90m session, we would need some more structured activities that would teach some of the skills you mention. Otherwise, a 45m talk may be better.

    Do you have any videos you can share of you presenting this or another talk?

  • Jeremy Kriegel
    By Jeremy Kriegel  ~  9 months ago
    reply Reply

    Thank you for submitting on this interesting topic. 

    Typically, the 90min sessions are more workshop and less presentation. I see you have 30m for q & a. Are there exercises you could do with the participants to help them internalize these concepts? Alternatively, can the content be focused to fit into a 45m slot?

    Is this only for people with control or influence over the budget? Would a participant have to be familiar with traditional accounting for this to be of value? What about statistical knowledge?

    This sounds fascinating and I'm looking forward to learning more.

    • Elijah Eilert
      By Elijah Eilert  ~  9 months ago
      reply Reply

      Dear Jeremy,

      Thank you for your interest and questions.

      Re: Time
      Yes, I can make 45 minutes work. 

      Re: Exercise/internalisation. 
      I find the Q&A very useful as we can relate topics back to a specific project, portfolio or process. Depending on the crowd size, in the beginning, I can often split up into groups exploring specific issues - this, of course, doesn't touch the solution part. 

      Re. Statistical knowledge
      Deep statistical knowledge is not required. We might touch on it, but not in a way that we would lose people. For example, when we mention Cost Per Learning (CPL) one could argue that we want to drive out the variances for CPL in order to budget better but it would end there and is easily explained. When it comes to valuation and calculating a range rather than one number again, we wouldn't go much deeper than presenting the idea - especially in a 45-minute session that hopefully includes some Q&A. 

      Re. Who is this for?
      These groups are very important but I believe everybody in an innovation ecosystem can benefit. If a designer in a product team has very little understanding of accounting, they are usually still aware of its effects or might not know how much they actually know. All participants feel the effect of the way we currently fund, measure and kill differently for example. A product team member gets judged by KPI's that often bare no information about how well the person or the team really did. Finance has no to little meaningful information to stay on top. We will touch on recalculation NPV with each new datapoint coming in, but the data point needs to be created... Better nonmonetary measures like team KPIs touch everybody. That being said, without finance onboard very little will happen.
      My short answer would be 'no'.

       

      I hope my answer is helpful. I am happy to speak in person as well of course. 


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