I have read this excellent and informative feature on innovation (DW 7 January), and it is a matter of considerable surprise that no reference was made to the new British Standard on that subject, BS 7000-1:1999, Design management systems – Part 1: Guide to managing innovation, which was published back in November 1999.
This omission is particularly disappointing, since the article’s content is so compatible with the standard. The author of the Design Week article made extensive use of quotes from consultants and referred to another new book, yet showed no awareness of a standard that has been available (and selling well) since November.
Written by the BSI Technical Committee that handles design management, whose members represent some 20 organisations from a wide cross-section of business sectors, the standard’s starting point was a survey of companies which are considered to be innovative within the UK.
Many of those approached had won awards for design, technology or innovation during the 1990s. The largest company to be surveyed employed 58 000 people, the smallest, three.
From this survey the drafting team identified areas of good practice within innovation upon which to build their guidelines.
The result is a document that provides firm guidance on managing innovation: specifically, the development of innovative and competitive products that will satisfy the customers’ perceived and latent needs in the long-term future. Its principles may be implemented in all types of organisations, including the public and not-for-profit sectors, as well as in SMEs and large corporations.
BS 7000-1 is one of a series of standards on design management. Other parts of the series deal with the design of manufactured products, service design and design in construction.
It is compatible with a wider series of management systems standards, including the well-respected BS 6079 project management series.
General manager, Standards Development