Guidelines for Innovation Case Studies

Case studies should be between 2500 and 5000 words and follow the following format:

1. Origins and Rationale

Set the stage for why the innovation was needed and the reason it was created.How was this innovation created? What was the role of various members of your organization (top managers, middle managers, front-line staff, etc.) and its main stakeholders (citizens, other levels of government, companies, NGOs, media, etc.)? Where did you get the idea, how did it originate?

2. Position the Innovation

Position the innovation in relation to other innovations either addressing the same/a similar issue or in relation to other innovators who have adopted this program/policy/process. Identify whether your group was first, second, third, etc. to adopt in Canada/North America/worldwide if you can.

3. Description

Describe the innovation and the domain in which it is an innovation. Outline the way(s) in which it is innovative.

4. Risks, Problems, Barriers

What challenges were faced in creating the innovation? How/were these overcome?

5. The Process

What was the pathway that lead to creation of the innovation? What was the leadership like? Were there separate inventors, champions, implementers and evaluators? At what stage is the innovation currently? What remains to be done?

6. Benefits

How did individuals, the government, partners, clients, employees or others benefit from the initiative?

7. Lessons Learned

This is one of the most important parts of the presentation. Others will learn most from the difficulties you had and errors you made, combined with an analysis of how they could be overcome.

8. The Future

Where is the innovation likely headed?


Provide the name and a way (preferably electronic) to contact someone who can provide further information on the case study.

Submit the Case Study to:

Editor, Case Studies
The Innovation Journal


November 05, 2002

Last updated: July 12 2011