ISO 56002:2019: A Systematic Approach to Innovation

Discover how ISO 56002:2019 can help your organization develop a culture of innovation, identify opportunities, and measure success.

What is ISO 56002:2019?

ISO 56002:2019 is a standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that guides and outlines a systematic approach to innovation management. It helps organizations develop and implement effective strategies and processes. The standard emphasizes creating a culture of innovation, fostering collaboration and creativity. It also helps identify and prioritize opportunities, manage risks, and measure effectiveness.

ISO 56002 also highlights the need for organizations to have a clear innovation policy and governance structure. It includes defining roles and responsibilities, establishing decision-making processes, and ensuring adequate resources and support for innovation activities.


Implementing ISO 56002:2019 provides a structured framework and guidelines for organizations to drive and manage innovation effectively. Here are some key benefits of adopting this ISO standard:

  • Enhances innovation capabilities – ISO 56002 enhances organizational capabilities by providing guidelines and best practices for identifying, developing, and implementing innovative ideas, processes, and products. It helps businesses stay ahead and adapt to changing market demands.
  • Improves efficiency and effectiveness – By adhering to ISO 56002 principles, organizations can streamline innovation processes and enhance efficiency and effectiveness. It encompasses improved resource allocation, collaboration, communication, and faster decision-making, contributing to more effective achievement of innovation goals.
  • Fosters a culture of innovation – ISO 56002 highlights the significance of fostering an innovative culture in organizations. It promotes employee involvement, engagement, and the appreciation of creativity and new ideas. This nurturing environment leads to a more competitive and innovative organization.
  • Mitigates risks and uncertainties – Innovation requires risk-taking, and ISO 56002 offers a structured approach to identify and address potential risks in innovation. By implementing risk management processes outlined in the standard, organizations can proactively overcome obstacles and achieve a successful innovation journey.
  • Enhances stakeholder trust and credibilityISO standards are globally recognized, assuring stakeholders – customers, partners, and investors – of an organization’s commitment to best practices and continuous improvement. Implementing ISO 56002 demonstrates dedication to innovation management, building trust, and enhancing market credibility.
  • Facilitates collaboration and knowledge sharing – ISO 56002 emphasizes collaboration and knowledge sharing among teams, departments, and external partners. It promotes cross-functional collaboration, accelerating innovation and successful implementation of new ideas.

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Difference Between Innovation Management and Idea Management

Innovation management and idea management are two closely related concepts in the world of business. While they’re interconnected, there are significant differences between the two.

Idea management is the process of generating, capturing, and evaluating new ideas within an organization. It focuses on gathering ideas from employees, customers, and other stakeholders and then selecting the best ones for further development. Idea management aims to foster a culture of innovation and creativity, encouraging everyone to contribute their ideas and suggestions.

On the other hand, innovation management is the broader process of turning those ideas into profitable products, services, or processes. It encompasses the entire innovation lifecycle, from the initial concept to its implementation and commercialization. Innovation management involves strategic planning, resource allocation, project management, and creating a supportive environment that enables successful execution.

Components of an Innovation Management System

ISO 56002 is primarily for established companies of any type, industry, or size. However, startups and new businesses can also apply this framework since it doesn’t prescribe specific activities, requirements, tools, or procedures for innovation. It’s suitable for all innovation approaches and types, regardless of novelty level.

According to ISO, an innovation management system is a set of elements that aim to create value. You can phase the implementation but must implement all aspects to fully realize the standard’s potential.

ISO 56002 has four essential components that form the foundation of an innovation management system:

Organizational Context

The first area of the ISO 56002 innovation management system establishes and maintains the framework. It includes scanning and analyzing external and internal issues, identifying opportunities to create value, and determining stakeholder requirements. The focus is on promoting a culture of innovation and defining collaboration conditions for knowledge exchange.


The success of the innovation management system heavily relies on the commitment of the company’s management and its executives’ effective promotion of the system. The ISO standard addresses this by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of senior management concerning the innovation management system.


This section encompasses crucial framework conditions essential for an effective innovation management system. It includes providing the necessary resources such as people, time, finances, and the required competencies. Furthermore, it addresses the requirements for internal and external communication and information documentation.

PDCA Cycle

The PDCA cycle, also called the Deming cycle or the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, a key focus in ISO 9001, also plays a significant role in ISO 56002. It represents a four-stage control cycle within a continuous improvement process:

  • Plan: Planning innovations and managing innovation systems focuses on handling the inherent uncertainty of innovation activities and the opportunities and risks that arise from them.
  • Do: This centers around outlining a comprehensive innovation process in various stages, including identifying opportunities, developing concepts, and providing solutions, among others.
  • Check: Performance evaluation involves defining assessment criteria, selecting performance indicators, determining evaluation tools, and assigning responsibilities. ISO 56002 also mandates regular internal audits and management assessments of the innovation management system.
  • Act: After evaluating the previous performance assessment, you need to implement proactive measures to uphold the strengths of the innovation management system, address any weaknesses, and rectify deviations from the established standards.

The Eight Pillars of ISO 56002

ISO 56002:2019 also emphasizes the importance of its underlying principles. These principles promote business sustainability and enable organizations to navigate the ever-changing market landscape. Moreover, they offer valuable support across all company activities. The fundamental principles are as follows:

  • Realization of value
  • Future-focused leaders
  • Strategic direction
  • Culture
  • Exploiting insights
  • Managing uncertainty
  • Adaptability
  • Systems approach (or process management)

Which Companies Can Use This ISO Standard?

The standard applies to all types of organizations, regardless of their size, industry, or sector. It includes startups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and large multinational corporations. It can be particularly beneficial for innovative companies looking to improve their innovation management processes and drive growth, such as the following:

  • Organizations and stakeholders seeking a standardized understanding of innovation management systems
  • Companies seeking ongoing success and effective management of innovative activities
  • Customers, stakeholders, employees, and other interested parties seeking reliability and assurance in an organization’s innovation management capabilities
  • Consulting firms and institutions that foster innovation management development
  • Public institutions that want to enhance effectiveness and optimize programs for innovation and societal development

Process for Implementation

Implementing ISO 56002 is a well-defined process that ensures the successful integration of innovation management systems in organizations. Here are some ways to implement this standard:

Step 1: Awareness and Understanding

The first step in implementing ISO 56002 is to create awareness and understanding within the organization about the benefits of innovation management systems. It involves educating key stakeholders and employees about the standard’s relevance to the organization’s goals and objectives.

Step 2: Gap Analysis

Once the organization understands ISO 56002, it should conduct a gap analysis to identify areas where its current innovation management practices fall short of the standard’s requirements. This analysis helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of the existing innovation processes and forms the basis for improvement.

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Step 3: Planning and Designing

The gap analysis should guide the development of a detailed plan to align the existing innovation management systems with the requirements of ISO 56002. It includes designing new processes, updating existing ones, and establishing key performance indicators to measure the effectiveness of the innovation management systems.

Step 4: Implementation

After the planning and designing stage, the actual implementation of the ISO 56002 standard begins. It involves implementing the new processes, training employees on the updated procedures, and integrating the innovation management systems into the organization’s daily operations. Ensuring all employees know their roles and responsibilities in innovation management is essential.

Step 5: Monitoring and Measurement

Continuous monitoring and measurement are essential to ensure the effectiveness of the implemented innovation management systems. Organizations should track key performance indicators (KPI) and conduct regular assessments to evaluate the progress and identify areas for improvement.

Step 6: Review and Improvement

ISO 56002 emphasizes the importance of a culture of continuous improvement. Companies should conduct regular reviews to assess the performance of the innovation management systems and identify areas where they can make further enhancements. It includes collecting feedback from employees, customers, and other stakeholders to drive innovation and address any gaps or challenges in the implementation process.

FAQs About ISO 56002

Organizations implementing ISO 56002 may encounter resistance to change, resource constraints, and integrating the standard into existing processes. However, raising awareness, involving employees, and seeking external support can help overcome these obstacles.

The standards offer guidance for various types of innovation, including products, services, processes, business models, and methods ranging from incremental to radical approaches, such as internal and open innovation, for user, market, technology, and design-driven innovation activities.

Effective innovation management can positively impact organizations, leading to increased competitiveness, improved products and services, enhanced customer satisfaction, and a stronger market position. It enables organizations to adapt to change and stay ahead of the competition, promoting a culture of continuous improvement and innovation.

Various approaches can help measure innovation, including financial metrics such as return on investment (ROI), customer satisfaction rates, and employee engagement levels. Other measurements include the number of new products or processes developed, patents filed, and partnerships established from innovation efforts.

Rob Paredes
Article by

Rob Paredes

SafetyCulture Content Contributor
Rob Paredes is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. Before joining SafetyCulture, he worked as a financial advisor, a freelance copywriter, and a Network Engineer for more than a decade. Rob's diverse professional background allows him to provide well-rounded, engaging content that can help businesses transform the way they work.