Thursday, November 11, 2010

IP and Corporate Strategy Alignment - The Anaqua IAM3 Model Continued

Recently we talked about how Anaqua’s Intellectual Asset Management Maturity Model (IAM3) can help IP teams think about their goals and priorities before evaluating new IP infrastructure. Let’s dig a little deeper into some of the factors the model discusses in this and future blog posts. We’ll start with the large topic of IP alignment with corporate strategy.

This is one of the key metrics in the Anaqua IAM3 model – how corporate and IP strategies are developed, implemented and measured. What is the level of dialog between the IP team and business managers? How can this be improved? The model identifies four stages of maturity:

Level 1 Basic: At best, IP Strategy is based on vague business goals of more patents or more trademark protection. Or worse, IP strategy is not contemplated in business planning.
  • At this level, IP teams are struggling to get the business to even consider IP issues when they develop business strategies for new products and markets. IP team goals are volume based and not tied to business goals and impact.
Level 2 Progressive: Legal professionals make their best effort to implement strategies to support the perceived corporate strategy in a unilateral process. Little executive visibility into IP.
  • The IP team does its best to set priorities based on its understanding of company business goals but gets little support or recognition for this. The team’s IP software tools do not allow them to easily provide management reports relevant to business priorities.
Level 3 Advanced: Business and Legal professionals periodically review and discuss strategy bilaterally. The IP strategy is designed to support the corporate strategy.
  • Business managers work with the IP team to integrate IP issues into business planning. Corporate processes such as new product development incorporate IP, but this is still a work in progress. The IP system can track and measure activity and budgets by business category to support an IP strategy dialog with business managers.
Level 4 Superior: Business and Legal professionals at the highest level actively incorporate IP protection strategy into corporate strategy. The strategy is rigorously implemented and well understood by business and legal professionals, and supported at all levels.
  • IP awareness is strong from the boardroom down through the research, engineering, marketing and other business functions. IP assets are recognized as critical to the company’s market competitive advantage. The IP team has high visibility and is challenged to meet aggressive company goals.
Making progress from level to level requires a focus on people, process and infrastructure, with IP leadership and executive support. Can you share experiences and advice from your company’s journey to IAM alignment?

We’ll address additional IAM maturity challenges in future blog postings.