To maximize FOAK value, IBM ensures that the project is performed in a strategic market segment (a key area of emerging business, relevant to IBM's business plans) that is rich with opportunity and ready to accept innovative approaches.
Linking FOAK to this planning process ensures that the project is strategic and that the results will have a role in brand portfolios.
Candidates are usually nominated by marketing or one of the client-facing teams, but anyone can bring forward a potential FOAK partner.
A less tangible benefit of FOAK is its impact on mindshare--how IBM is viewed in its chosen markets.
An alternative path, such as On Demand Innovation Services (ODIS)-where IBM services include FOAK assets and their inventors on fee-based engagements--may be quicker to market, but may not include the traditional level of support and maintenance.
In the FOAK Program we refer to these organizations as "asset catchers.
The project team must show the FOAK Board evidence of catcher support and strategic alignment in their proposals.
A collaborative partner is perhaps the most critical ingredient in a FOAK project.
If a client questions that value or suggests compensation for participating in a FOAK project, the project team is either dealing with a client that is not a proper fit or they are not dealing with the right level of client sponsor.
Once we have identified a potential client for a specific FOAK project, the client will assign someone, usually an executive, the role of sponsor.
If a FOAK project is to make a difference with that business, it must make sense within that vision, usually in how information technology will help the organization realize its goals.
Working with the client sponsor, the project team needs to identify the business unit and process that will realize the greatest benefit from the FOAK project.