Achieving Success in the Fuzzy Front End Phase of Innovation

Activities in the front end of the innovation process are often difficult to anticipate, overview and perform. Yet they are critical to successful outcomes of the innovation process. In light of a growing managerial interest in the front end, this article identifies key success factors for managing the front end, balancing acts which innovation managers need to address, as well as key contingencies affecting front end activities. Proficiency in the front end is indeed no easy task, but will have an enormous positive impact on performance for those firms that succeed.