Challenge identification: How to identify Innovation needs?

Challenge identification: How to identify Innovation needs?

Do you have any idea on how to start with a challenge identification? Start with pain points to address the problem in a better manner than the last time you did it. There is always an improved way to do everything, however you have to think about this more than you did previously.

Understanding the importance of early identification of needs is crucial for a successful Innovation Procurement process. Our advice: recognize that your organisation has an unmet need that requires a solution, after that you must decide about this problem to solve the problem.

Innovation is key for addressing today and tomorrow’s societal challenges. Innovation Procurement is one of the instruments to manage how innovation can be incorporated. By buying and implementing innovative solutions, healthcare service providers can have a positive impact on the quality of life of patients/citizens.

This article provides clues and processes that will help you when identifying unmet needs that trigger improvements within your organization.

The starting point for innovation procurement is “recognizing that you have an unmet need that requires a solution, and then deciding to do something about it.” Gaynor Whyles, BIS Consultant FCP Programme Manager (JERA Consulting).

Need identification in the healthcare sector: the inDemand approach

inDemand is a demand-driven co-creation model where Healthcare organizations and companies co-create Digital Health solutions, with the economic support of public regional funds. It is like other instruments like PreCommercial Procurement (PCP) or Public Procurement of Innovation (PPI), but leaner, faster and cheaper.

Being demand-driven implies that the innovation finding approach starts with the identification of unmet needs.

The text below explains the methodological approach that was followed from the preparation of the process (step 0) till the assessment of its implementation (step 5).

STEP 0: Preparation of the search of needs

This step aims to prepare and launch a call for the needs of healthcare professionals and end-users. This step sets up the documentation kit, guidelines, process and tools to select the best needs considering the conditions and overall context of the healthcare organization.

STEP 1: Recruitment

This phase aims to disseminate the call amongst the Intrapreneurs to encourage the submission of quality proposals. It follows a dissemination plan. Also, it is important to create a contact list of those known members of staff known by their entrepreneurial spirit.

STEP 2: Call for needs

A Call for needs is open during a limited time to collect the need proposals. Our recommendation is to incorporate an adapted version of the Annex 2 questionary into an online tool (eg. Google forms) to have a unique point of collection of submissions.

STEP 3: Evaluation committee and final decision

The Step 3 aims to evaluate the submitted needs according to the eligibility and selection criteria previously defined (see Annex 3 as a reference). An Evaluation Committee is staffed with suitable experts/stakeholders that will review and select the most suitable proposals.

STEP 4: Communication of results and need improvement

Once the needs have been selected the result is communicated to the applicants. It is important to properly manage disillusion for those not awarded to encourage intrapreneurs to participate in future iterations.

STEP 5: Assessment

This final step collects and reviews the issues, lessons learnt and best practices. It then proposes and documents improvements for the next iteration. This is especially valuable for the Execution Teams to excel in the model execution over time and, therefore, help to generate a positive culture towards innovation in the organization.

The identification of unmet needs within the healthcare organisations is a complex process where all stakeholders must be involved from the very beginning. Engage intrapreneurs and end-users to take part in the identification of unmet needs is key to get a successful challenge defined to co-create a solution that cover and satisfy such an unmet need.

If you liked this article about Challenge identification, don’t miss the Procure4Health Insight #3. Challenge identification: how to identify Innovation needs? that you will find in the Procure4Health community platform. Join our community and enjoy the reading!

An associated webinar is available in the Procure4Health YouTube channel!

Procure4Health Webinar: Challenge identification: how to identify Innovation needs?

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