Michael O’Connor

Presentation: Innovation Project Management, A Practitioners Approach

Abstract: I would like to start off with the book Innovation Project Management by Dr. Kerzner, he is an expert in the area of project management and has written many books on project management. I was lucky enough to be able to be a contributor to this book released in 2019. If this talk piques your interest in innovation project management, I would recommend purchasing this book to read in much, much more detail about this topic.

What it is
For innovation to occur leadership and project management need to be connected. Innovation gives us endless possibilities and project management makes it happen in a pre-determined timeframe. Simply stated it is a perfect intersection of the unknow and innovation and the known project management. Innovation project management is changing the corporate culture to support ideas and create projects that will move the company forward. More and more companies are establishing innovation labs, centers and organizations to be more creative. Project management needs to adapt and adjust to support these initiatives.

Business Need
The business need currently in my opinion is that there is a large need for technical and innovation project managers. Meaning that I see the need to have people with a technical education or background that have the desire to also be a project manager or innovation project manager. Everything is moving fast and faster around us and now we are living in a pandemic which has changed the way we work overnight. We need leaders that can manage the technical side and the project management side all while having a passion for both areas.

There are many forms of innovation and all our jobs demand it. I will focus a little more in the front end of innovation and the early innovation, technology and feasibility of products. This in my opinion can be applied in many different areas and easily to the service industry. We need to move away from traditional project management and work to integrate innovation along with the project management discipline. Dr. Kerzner points out in his book, Innovation Project Management that the Project Management Institute and the Product Development and Management Association will need to partner together to create standards around innovation project management. I am also happy to let you know that PMI and PDMA are in discussion right now to see how we can partner together to bring innovation and project management together.

Take Aways:

  1. What innovation project management is.
  2. New way of thinking.
  3. Practical examples

PMI Talent Triangle: Technical Project Management

Biography: Dr. Michael O’Connor is the Director Strategy and Project Management with Medtronic, Plc. He has over 34 years of professional experience and 29 years of professional experience in the Medical Device Industry around the Minnesota, Twin Cities area. O’Connor received his B.A. and minor in Project Management from Metropolitan State University. He holds Graduate degrees in Project Management from the University of Wisconsin, Platteville, Technology Management from the University of St. Thomas and Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. O’Connor earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, majoring in Project Management, from the University of Maryland, College Park, A. James School of Engineering. In 2012, he was selected as an American Society for Quality (ASQ), Quality Fellow and in 2014 selected as a Medtronic, Technical Fellow. He is a currently and a former Director at Large for the Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) and has volunteered his time with many Professional Societies and Universities/Colleges over the past 17 years. In addition to Medtronic, his corporate experience also includes 3M and Pfizer.