Developing Capabilities for Sustainable Business Models –Exploring Project Maturity for Innovation Processes




Dynamic Capability, Project Maturity, Sustainability, Innovation Process, Project Management, Business Model Innovation


Companies must cultivate new dynamic capabilities to meet the demands for sustainable solutions in an uncertain and dynamic world. This longitudinal case study explores the significance of project maturity as a critical capability within complex innovation processes for developing sustainable business models. The purpose of the study is to gain a better understanding of the central factors companies encounter when making efforts to build sustainable business models through innovation projects. Tracking a market-leading company's journey from ideation to implementation over an extended period, this study focuses on creating a sustainable business emphasising waste reduction, heightened customer satisfaction, and profitability. Key insights emerge through qualitative methods, including interviews, observations, and document analysis. 

The findings highlight the pivotal role of project maturity in innovation projects centred around sustainable value propositions. Project maturity is salient in creating an autonomous unit, fostering agility, and promoting open collaboration. It encompasses organisational ambidexterity and collaborative engagement with vital stakeholders. Furthermore, proficient project managers well-versed in agile project management and innovation processes and contextual resolution emerge as crucial drivers in innovation projects aimed at developing capabilities for sustainable business models. By tailoring project maturity to the specific needs of each project and integrating agile methodologies, organisations can forge the necessary capabilities for crafting sustainable business models. Additionally, dynamic capabilities can be cultivated by aligning projects with the overall business strategy and implementing practices that facilitate continuous learning and improvement.

This study underscores the importance of project maturity within innovation processes and its role in creating profitable and sustainable business models by developing new dynamic capabilities. The research findings offer valuable insights for businesses seeking to design effective innovation processes supporting sustainable business model realization.

Author Biography

Gunhild Wedum, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

Associate Professor

Inland School of Business and Social Sciences
Department of Organisation, Leadership and Management