Ideas spark innovation and phenomenal growth. These ideas may come from both inside and outside of the business. Organizations that value holistic progress understand how every person in the company is vital in the process of acquiring and executing ideas.
Different perspectives in approaching problems and opportunities can provide a diverse range of valuable solutions and results. These ideas, when strategically managed, can pave the way for groundbreaking developments.
Because of this, a lot of companies are looking for idea management systems that provide calculated processes that would help bring innovative ideas to life.
In this article, we will define what an idea management system is and what makes it beneficial for businesses. We will also walk through the process of successfully implementing it within organizations.
Let’s get started.
What is idea management?
As the term suggests, idea management refers to the process that a company uses to generate, select, collaborate, and organize ideas.
Managing ideas in a structured manner refines its business value. Doing so also provides a constant flow of ideas.
Idea management needs to be carried out continuously to achieve sustainable growth, and it works best when accompanied by a tool that makes the entire process faster and easier.
What is an idea management system (IMS)?
An idea management system is a type of technology that speeds up the process of generating ideas. It manages an organization’s stream of insights and classifies them according to their level of feasibility.
Benefits of Using an Idea Management System
Using an IMS brings three major benefits:
1. The number and quality of ideas are improved.
Employees feel valued once they understand how valuable their insights are to the company. As this happens, they are encouraged to creatively approach problems and opportunities, and share their ideas and feedback with the organization.
2. Collaboration is fostered.
Everyone is allowed to comment on and contribute their insights to refine each other’s ideas, regardless of their difference in expertise and background.
3. Progress is tracked.
As inclusivity is encouraged by integrating IMS into the organization, every member of the team is able to rate ideas and see where submitted projects are headed. Progress is tracked and winning ideas are recognized, increasing participation and enthusiasm on their end.
General Features of an Idea Management System
An effective idea management system has features that speed up the processes involved in managing ideas.
These features include:
- Idea collection methods: Organizations need to find a way for their members to contribute ideas with confidence and ease. These methods must be tailorable according to their preferences and needs.
- Campaign establishment: An idea management system must enable companies to establish campaigns for various business objectives, like generating ideas with substantial business value.
- Evaluation of ideas: Companies must be able to evaluate ideas and campaigns through numeric scales and customized criteria.
- Smooth collaboration processes: Everyone in the team must be able to provide their feedback.
- Project Management: Businesses need to store ideas for future use and convey instructions or messages without difficulties.
Idea Management Software
Companies can utilize idea management software like Accept Mission to smoothly incorporate idea management systems into the business.
With this in place, your team can:
- Set up digital brainstorming sessions
- Encourage members to contribute ideas through campaigns
- Increase member engagement and creativity
- Execute mind mapping processes
- Select the best ideas through a customized criteria system
- Manage innovation projects
But more importantly, using an idea management software enhances all the features of an IMS.
For instance, Accept Mission is an idea management software with additional features such as:
- Has gamification elements to foster engagement and increase creativity levels, like leaderboards, an undercover mode, experience points, and countdown timers
- Allows organizations to design “inboxes” with specific themes, problems, and questions that members can use to share their ideas whenever inspiration strikes (even anonymously)
- Makes categorizing ideas possible through drag and drop motions
- Includes having a backtrail, storing innovation projects, qualifying and evaluating ideas, and helping decision-makers pick out the best ones
- Has an integrated portfolio management tool that aids innovation managers from roadmap to solution delivery
- Makes digital live collaboration possible through “Boards”
- Offers advanced idea selection features through target scores, personal results, inbox integration, bullet chart result, export for deeper analysis, and personalized criteria
How to Implement a Successful Idea Management System
Here are the six steps to implement a successful idea management system within your business:
1. Determine the “How” and the “Why”
Two of the things that would shape an organization’s success in terms of implementing an idea management system is when the company strongly understands how to do it and exactly why it needs to be done.
Connect your purpose and your reasons with your idea management strategies. Let it shape the direction of the implementation to ensure success.
Moreover, identify your product’s target groups so you can correctly identify the things that they are using it for, and in what ways you can use that to your advantage in implementing your company’s IMS.
Accept Mission offers four different packages that can help you with these things.
With our mission to make every client’s innovation a success, every package includes:
- Single Point of Contact: One of our innovation and platform experts will be your point of contact, guiding you to get everything out of the platform.
- Innovation Toolbox: You will have access to our complete innovation toolbox with canvases, models, ‘how to’ documents, tips and tricks, and best practices.
- After Care: After implementation, we provide you with extra service during the first months. Afterward, the customer success manager takes over.
- Templates and Guides: We provide you with useful templates to create missions (challenges) and to guide admins through the process of selection.
- Video Recordings: We will record and share the training sessions that we provide you with so that your team can replay them for training purposes.
- Our Team: You can find many support articles, ‘how to’s’ and courses in the ‘Academy’ section of the platform.
2. Kickstart Your Idea Generation Process
Innovation is impossible without ideas. This is why it is important for every organization to creatively generate ideas. Idea generation involves making, developing, and acquiring new ideas or solutions to real problems and opportunities.
Idea generation must be done to:
- Come up with new products and services
- Improve current processes
- Identify opportunities and new markets to enter
- Determine the necessary changes to implement within the business
- Refine competitive edge and strategies
Two of the most utilized methods in generating ideas are brainstorming and mind mapping.
Brainstorming involves discussing the problem or challenge at hand along with the solutions and strategies that the company can use to solve or approach it. It aims to gather ideas and collaborate with others to bring those ideas to life.
On the other hand, mind mapping is a great tool to use in understanding a subject’s complexity better. It helps people gain a clear and complete perspective about a certain topic.
When innovating, mind mapping makes processing information faster by placing ideas in diagrams with the main idea in the center of the canvas, along with related information, words, and images as its branches.
Because of the changes in today’s work landscape, you can do these things digitally. You can look for platforms that allow sharing and collaboration that speed up the process and give further inspiration/direction on what to do next.
3. Assessment and Selection of the Best Ideas
When plenty of brilliant ideas are presented, choosing out the best ones might be a little difficult and confusing…
Remember that selecting the best ideas is a clever way of reducing the risks that come with innovating as innovation projects take time, money, and manpower, to implement.
To make the decision-making process a lot easier, you can agree on some criteria to judge these ideas with. Understand what you truly want in a solution (cost-effectiveness, length of time needed to implement, etc.) and use that in deciding which ones to pursue.
You can also check on whether the ideas presented are aligned with your business goals, project timeframe, and target ROI.
To simplify this step, go for software that allows users to upvote, score, comment, or share their thoughts and insights.
4. Turn the Best Ideas Into New Projects
After the selection process, ideas must now be converted into projects that increase market profitability and economic sustainability. Progress must be coordinated in every step, and excellence must be observed from “roadmap” to “solution delivery.”
In creating project portfolios, values such as the impact on business and strategic fit must be used to provide and report a thorough innovation analysis. The success of the projects is to be monitored for a clear perspective on their progress.
5. Managing the Innovation Portfolio
A strong innovation portfolio management helps organizations achieve more profitability, better customer service, and a higher innovation success rate.
As business conditions are constantly changing and more innovations are brought to life, investments and resources are at risk, so minimizing risk factors before launching an innovation portfolio is crucial.
To optimize and measure the performance of innovation projects, portfolio management must be applied. Strategies utilized must be flexible.
At the same time, a clear focus and balance must be observed in facilitating the development of product innovation.
As a definite course of action is determined through a managed innovation portfolio, companies can achieve a clear and definite positioning in the market in terms of business needs, skills, and competition.
Accept Mission’s innovation management tool helps businesses engage, collect and transform ideas into value innovation projects that scale overall growth by:
- Estimating time and money calculations
- Applying smart decision-making (go/no go next stages)
- Increasing innovation success rate by implementing innovation projects step-by-step
- Staging gate overview of innovation portfolio
- Reporting on progress and success measurements
6. The Outcome of a Successful Idea Management System
A successful idea management system makes it possible for organizations to effectively acquire, share, and assess ideas. It fosters collaboration among teams and constantly tracks progress.
Best of all, it improves innovation by increasing the impact of ideas for a smooth and strategic domain in the industry.
Next steps: Accept Mission enables businesses to conduct the whole innovation process with ease. Teams can effectively collaborate from boards, roadmap, and execution — from all around the world.
Begin your idea generation process with us and discover what works best in every step.
Learn more about what Accept Mission has to offer by going on a feature tour.