11 keys to successfully launch a Competitive Intelligence Unit
- Competitive Intelligence
When launching a Technological Surveillance/Competitive Intelligence (TS/CI) Unit in an organization there may be two situations; that the organization decides to design and implement the TS/CI Unit by itself, or that it decides to outsource the services of a specialized company. Launching a TS/CI Unit is a process that requires some multidisciplinary skills, previous experience and some dexterity to motivate and to find the facilitators that make the process as efficient as possible. Logically, from INNGUMA, we think that the best way to launch a CI Unit is hiring a specialized company. But, when it is not the case, here are 11 keys that can help you to launch your CI Unit:
1. Choose the best moment, look for the opportunity and look for a strong Management support. The project must have a unique responsible and it would be interesting that this person could report the progress directly to the Management board.
2. Get information about prior experiences and know why they failed.
3. Analyze other internal processes of the company where the need of information is frequent: new product development, strategic plans, annual management plans, technological roadmaps, diversification to new business models, emerging technologies valuation, competitor research, market research, etc. From this analysis you will know what Key intelligence topics (KIT) are more continuous and transversal and what are discontinuous and departmental.
4. Select the KITs and align them with the strategy. It is better to start small and go spreading the Intelligence slowly.
5. Select the human resources devoted to the TS/CI and define the time they will have. Choosing the correct person is the most important. It is usually advisable to define different roles and responsibilities in the CI system.
6. Write down your software needs and interact with different suppliers. Benchmark the tools and choose the one that best suits your needs.
7. Train yourselves together and begin monitoring information sources with the project team (competitors, customers, technologies, markets, standards, etc.). The software provider can help you in this particular point because this type of company usually has a wide range of interesting information sources.
8. Establish the information dissemination strategies within the organization. Design the information categories, newsletters, people who are going to receive them, give access and train the readers, etc. It is important by now to have sold the project to the whole organization.
9. Establish the process indicators to monitor the consumed resources by the project. Control and review them with the Management board.
10. You must stand over the analysts that work in the content curation and make monitoring meetings. Analysts must know very clear what the goals you are demanding are.
11. It is important to establish a review period of the KIT and have direct contact with the committees/meetings where the need for information is strategic and generates a lot of value to the organization.