Most SMEs succeed in installing some kind of structured management processes, because it is simply vital for their business success. The type and primary focus of these management instruments / strategies may vary broadly. Some more known examples are: Balanced Score Cards, Hoshin planning, Scrum development or Technology roadmapping. However, SMEs in general do have strictly limited resources to adapt and introduce additional new management processes. From an SME perspective it needs a light-weight Innovation Management approach and methodology, which is feasible specifically for SMEs with first experiences in structured management. Such approach should easily adapt to and integrate with already established management strategies and should define feasible roll-out strategies with some effort indication.
Colleagues and me derived a core set of Innovation Management (IM) instruments and defined a boot-strap process against the background of SME needs, called SLIM (SME-centric Lean Innovation Management). SLIM relates to standard procedures of Management by Objectives (MBO) and consists of reference elements (organisational structures, roles, processes, documents). The boot-strap process integrates SLIM with the MBO “legacy-strategy” and results in a customized integrated IM-process. Finally we performed a real life roll-out and acquired indicators of efforts to be expected. The SLIM approach defines a door-opening process to Innovation Management in SMEs. It understands and models IM as an integral part of goal-based strategic management, thereby lowering barriers for enterprise-internal IM promotion.