Disadvantage 1: Spread yourself and your company too thing
Part of the problem with having too many innovation projects is that it can spread you and your team too thin. Rather than having a relatively small number of projects that you can focus on, having lots of projects may mean that no one project receives the attention that it deserves.
Disadvantage 2: Hard to get commitment from others
Another limitation of having too many innovation projects is that it can be hard to get commitment from others to any project. If most projects never go anywhere – potentially fizzling out before they reach the conclusion – then it may be hard to get the commitment from key individuals that you will need for success. Having a more focused set of projects that are each strategically important, can help in getting key stakeholders to buy-into the importance of the project.
Disadvantage 3: Indicates ack of innovation strategy
Another limitation of having lots of different innovation areas that you and your company are concurrently focussing on is that it may indicate a lack of an innovation strategy. Rather than identifying the key important areas, and focussing on those, lots of different projects can indicate that there is no underlying direction or strategy. Rather than seriously consider what is important (and not important) to be focusing on, lots of different projects is more indicative that gets thought of gets approved. Not only does a direction help ensure that effort is prioritized, but also that more important strategic innovations areas are not overlooked due to the distraction of many other projects.
Final thoughts: The importance of an innovation focus
Having a key direction for the firm – with an innovation strategy that helps set a roadmap for innovation effort – can help you remain focused on the key areas. The focus can help you ensure that you get the commitments from others, while ensuring that each identified priority receives the necessary attention.