Before starting the Enterprise Innovation Capability Audit, we need to define our business. A predefined set of questions are listed. ...Answering those questions helps in defining the business, understanding its nature and directing the audit into the proper directions. Also, we use these questions to guarantee the common understanding of the business between different stakeholders and eliminate the ambiguity as much as possible.



  • The main objective of these questions is to provide a common agreed upon understanding for the different aspects of the business between all interested stakeholders.
  • It also helps the auditor and innovation strategies to understand the business better.
  • In many cases such answers may be used with the target groups attending the audits to make sure that all participants have the same degree of knowledge and understanding of the business.

How to Use

  • Identify main stakeholders.
  • Decide a sample representing the different groups from within the enterprise. Including top management, middle management, teams. Also the sample must include different functions including technical R&D, production, operations, sales, marketing and prefered to include support functions as HR, Finance and others.
  • Set workshops with each group separetly, group size to be not more than 12 members. Also workshop not to exceed 2 hours.
  • After finishing all interview workshop, analyse and come out with single definition for all questions.
  • Such definitions to be used as the main guideline all through the strategize process.
  • It is recommended that you share and communicate the final definition and results with all stakeholders.



  • What is the industry we are operating in?
  • What are we offering?
  • Which business field are we operating in?
  • What is our industry type (services, manufacturing, research, other)?
  • What is the type of our entity (customer interfacing, R&D center, offshore center, manufacturing center, distribution platform, or other)?
  • Where are we positioned in the industry value chain?
  • Who is our customer, the one who pays directly to us?
  • Who is our user, the one who uses our product, if it differs from the customer?
  • How do our customers perceive us (leaders, followers, laggards)?
  • How do we reach our customers?
  • Are we “a good to have” or “a must to have” for our customers?
  • What are our customers needs, wants and demands?
  • Who are we competing with?
  • What is our competitive advantage?
  • What is our differentiation factor?
  • Who is our substitute?
  • What is our core competency?
  • What do we offer to our customers?
  • What is our value proposition?
  • What is the product or service that we are selling?
  • What is our business model?
  • What is our revenue model?
  • What is our sales/revenue volume?
  • What is our order intake volume for the years to come?
  • What is our operating margin and net profit?
  • How our revenue is distributed over products or business unites?
  • How is our revenue geographically distributed?
  • Which product or service is generating the highest margins and which is generating the lowest?
  • What is our organization core functions?
  • What is our organization support functions?
  • How many team members do we have in our organization (full time, part time and outsourced)?
  • How many countries do we operate in?
  • How many sites do we have (production, distribution, operation,…)?
  • How many types of entities do we have (R&D, manufacturing, distribution,…)?
  • How many team members are included in each entity type?
  • Does each entity type has different nature than the others? If yes, we need to specify the nature.
  • What is our cost structure and what is the main cost elements?
  • How do we define innovation, inventions and creativity?
  • How do we distinguish research and innovation, the definition of each?
  • How do we measure innovation impact?
  • How do we support innovation?
  • What is the percentage of sales/revenue coming from innovative new products/services?
  • How much do we spend in R&D and innovation?
  • What is the percentage of engineers and scientist compared to others within our team members?
  • What is our innovation strategy?
  • What processes, policies, methods and tools do we have to support research and innovation?
  • What is the level of sponsorship from the top management for the research and innovation?
  • What is our innovation management team structure?
  • How many team members do we have dedicated for innovation activities?
  • Do we have the proper innovation competencies within our team?