Quick Wins: Data and Case Studies on Delivering Results Fast

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What role should quick wins play in your innovation or R&D portfolio?

That’s the question we set out to answer with a survey and a set of qualitative interviews of innovation and R&D leaders in industries ranging from aerospace to utilities to financial services to consumer products. We defined “quick” as something that delivers a tangible outcome within a year — whether that was introducing a new tool, streamlining a process, finding clever ways to cut costs, launching a new offering, or building a new capability.

The quick answer: nearly all of the 132 survey respondents say that their portfolio involves delivering near-term results, and several respondents said they defined “quick” as an even shorter time period than we did — like, three or four months.

  • What types of quick win projects are most common?
  • What are the potential downsides?
  • How do you communicate them effectively, up and down the organization?

This 42-page report dives into those questions and others. It includes interviews with Duke Energy, BNP Paribas, Rockwell Automation, Premera Blue Cross, Clorox, Mitsubishi, and ten other large organizations. With each, we dive into a concrete example of a quick win project, including who identified the opportunity, who was involved in the project, what the timeframe and metrics were, and how outcomes were communicated.

This report was produced by Innovation Leader and sponsored by Planbox.

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Sample Data 


Inside the report, we break down this question by industry. 

Table of Contents


What Role Do Quick Wins Play?     5

Chart: What Types of Quick Wins Have You Worked On?     9

Charts: Time/Energy/Focus Devoted to Quick Wins     10

21 Ways That Survey Respondents Communicate Quick Wins     14

Thought Leadership

The Psychology of Innovation — By Ludwig Melik, Planbox   16

Case Studies & Perspectives

Adtalem Global Education — Introducing a New Innovation Management Process     20

AGCO — Supporting New Ideas with Seed Funding     22

BNP Paribas — Creating a ‘Summer Camp’ for Corporate Innovators     23

Boeing HorizonX — Connecting Startups in a Portfolio with Business Units    24

Clorox — Capturing Open Innovation Metrics    25

Duke Energy — Identifying Which Assets Need Repair   27

Helen of Troy — Filling in the Gaps    29

John I. Haas — Getting Scientists Thinking More Like Businesspeople    30

KWS — Deploying AI for Language Translation    31

Mitsubishi — Developing a New Startup Investing Strategy    33

Premera Blue Cross — Gathering Ideas from the Whole Organization    35

Rockwell Automation — Designing a Bounty Program for Innovators    36

Texas Windstorm Insurance Association — Leveraging Data to Avoid Lawsuits    38

Trapeze Group — Starting an Ideation Bootcamp for New Innovators   40

Carol Miller — Accelerating a Product Development Process     41

Paul Campbell — Getting a New Consumer Product to Market     42