Innovation requires a significant number of concepts to uncover revolutionary changes and business value.

When acquired from different points of view, these ideas have to be examined thoroughly to see if any of them matches your goals, vision, and business strategies.

Hence, how you qualify and evaluate these ideas will have a huge impact on the success and effectiveness of your innovation efforts.

In this article, you will learn the different methods of scoring, qualifying, and evaluating your innovation ideas. Let’s start.

How to score innovation ideas

Scoring ideas from different points of view can give you the additional insights you need to determine which concepts to go for.

1. User scoring

User scoring, otherwise known as the peer review process, is completed during the ideation stage.

It starts the decision-making process by allowing users to contribute ideas by providing comments, ratings, and likes while taking part in a challenge, brainstorming campaign, mission, or panel session.

Peer reviewing is extremely valuable as it allows mission owners to sift through a large number of suggestions during or immediately after a mission is complete.

This type of scoring is extremely beneficial to innovation leaders when assessing which ideas should be given more attention and further examination in expert review based on the amount of “likes” and/or feedback.

2. Intake scoring

Intake scoring is done specifically by the innovation team. When it comes to this type of scoring, an innovation project scorecard, which contains a distinct set of criteria, may come in handy.

Generally, the innovation project scorecard allows innovation teams to rate ideas based on the factors that they find relevant in determining which concepts to pursue.

Note that companies have different viewpoints and priorities though so it may differ from one organization to the other.

However, most of the factors included in a scorecard are the following:

  • Strategic fit: Does the idea sit well with our corporate identity? Does it lead to the direction you wish to take?
  • Potential resource requirements: Do you have the resources you need to execute the idea?
  • Desirability: Does the idea resonate well with your customer segments?
  • Feasibility: Are you fully equipped with the proper technologies and capabilities needed to establish our value proposition?
  • Viability: Are the costs in line with the projected revenues?
  • Adaptability: Is your idea positioned enough to succeed against established players in the market?

3. Expert scoring

Expert counsel is critical to the success of any business:

Entrepreneurs in highly specialized and technical sectors want information that only those with extensive experience in the industry can supply.

Here are some notes about expert scoring:

  • One or more experts can be appointed to score each concept in this sort of scoring, with unique instructions and due dates for each.
  • However, all experts should respond to the same questions so that their perspectives can be compared and measured.
  • Each expert should be given a systemized scorecard with gradable ratings for each criterion as well as space for comments.
  • The criteria for expert concept evaluation are normally defined by the campaign manager or moderator.
  • Remember that these experts are asked to grade ideas based on predefined criteria and to offer a comprehensive analysis of them.

If you’re doing this with innovation software, you can have an info button that provides further information on every criterion included, as well as the final assessment result.

You can also leave a comment box where evaluators can provide feedback.

4. Stakeholder scoring

Stakeholders always have the last word in any corporate activity. These individuals include CEOs, investors, managers, partners, and even clients who make the final decision.

Getting them on board the scoring process is critical for the following reasons:

  • Approaching firm influencers, executives, or critical stakeholders for assistance early in your project will allow you to harness their experiences and knowledge to steer the idea in the right direction.
  • Plus, enlisting these stakeholders early on increases the likelihood that you will gain their support for your project.
  • A stakeholder review will help ensure that everyone participating in the innovation process understands what success looks like and how they may contribute to that achievement.
  • A stakeholder evaluation validates the worth of a concept, allowing you to mobilize the resources needed to convert it into a successful project.

What methods can you use to qualify and evaluate innovation ideas?

Aside from scoring, you also need to qualify and evaluate innovative ideas. Here are six ways to do this:

1. Impact vs. Investment

When your inbox is overflowing with innovation ideas, you can use the innovation impact model to prioritize the best ones as this tool.

The innovation impact model was devised to help you rate every submitted concept based on its estimated investment and impact.

The best methods to score and evaluate innovation ideas<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">12</span> min read</span>

You can do this by selecting one of three options — low, medium, or high.

When navigating the innovation impact model:

  • Innovations in the upper left corner are classified to be in the hot seat because they have a huge effect on a minimal investment. These are often concepts that have been around for a while, are presently being implemented by other organizations, or are just modest. Nevertheless, these concepts are a great place to start from a commercial angle.
  • Ideas placed in the center (orange) should be open for discussions, specifically on how you can relocate them to the top left section of the model — which could perhaps be carried out by adjusting the scope or solution to make them smaller or more impactful.
  • As for the concepts placed in the red corner of the model, these innovations may require some time to mature, so you can skip them for now. However, when the right time comes, or when your company is in the right position with the right resources to execute them, then it is possible for these concepts to move up the model in the future.

2.  Weighted Shortest Job First

Weighted Shortest Task First (WSJF) is a method for evaluating ideas that divide the cost of delay by the size or length of the job.

The team then prioritizes the ideas with the greatest ratings.

When using the WSJF framework:

  • Create a scale for these components (e.g. 1-10) to calculate the cost of delay — significance to the business, time criticality, and risk reduction/opportunity enabler.
  • Add the results together. The total of all three sections is your cost of delay score.
  • Next, assign a scale to each idea on your list based on its duration or size. The scale can differ from your cost of delay scale (e.g. 1-25) as long as it is applied consistently across all initiatives. Your team must agree on a mechanism for giving a numerical value to each initiative on your list. When deciding job duration or size, the lower-number ideas will become your top priorities.
  • Finally, for every idea on your list, divide the cost of delay by the job duration.
  • Place the concepts with the greatest overall ratings at the top of your priority list.

3. Awareness trial availability repeat

This strategy is ideal when you only need answers to a few straightforward questions about your audience and their readiness to purchase a product or service.

Answer the following questions to assess the strength of the idea:

  • Who is aware of your product? What percentage of your market knows about it? (Awareness)
  • What percentage of the market is eager to try your product? (Trial)
  • Who and what percentage of the market will have access to the product? (Availability)
  • Who, and what percentage of the market will continue to buy this product over time? (Repeat)

4. Idea Question Checklist

The idea question checklist is a tad more complicated than a basic matrix…

But this framework is very useful if you have a collection of questions that must be answered in order to move forward with a concept in your business.

The questions may vary across every business, but in general:

  • What immediate or short-term improvements or outcomes can be expected?
  • How easy or difficult will the execution or implementation of the idea be?
  • Could you think of a few other ways to implement the concept? Could you provide some different viewpoints?
  • How fast might the concept be implemented?

You can also frame questions that tackle commercial, legal, or competition-related issues:

  • Is the idea legal?
  • Who are your rivals?
  • Who is going to purchase it?
  • Will it have any negative consequences?
  • What effect does it have on the environment?
  • How much would it cost to bring your concept to market?

5. Urgency vs. Business Value

The urgency vs. business value approach will mostly provide you with a comprehensive strategy on which ideas to focus first.

When you collect concepts, you generally narrow them down to a particular problem that needs to be addressed.

A simple technique to choose which ideas must be pursued first is to rank them in terms of urgency and business worth.

Assign a scale to each idea in relation to these two qualities, score them out, and plot them on the chart to see which ideas are worth a shot.

6. Three Lenses of Innovation

The three lenses of innovation involve integrating ideas with technology and economic components.

It also includes the general strategy of applying what is referred to as the diverge-converge idea, where you create options and make a decision about them.

Putting this in concrete context — once you have acquired the ideas that you need for the venture you want to pursue, you run these concepts through the Three Lenses of Innovation.

This entails rating the concepts based on their desirability, feasibility, and viability.

Picking the right method to qualify and evaluate innovation ideas

Innovation is more than just coming up with new business concepts:

It also entails examining ideas in order to determine which ones are most likely to become successful inventions.

If you’re new to qualifying and evaluating innovation ideas, it would be best to find the simplest method for you and your team members.

But if you have more experience with it, integrating these strategies at different phases of a concept may be advantageous.

Now, if you want to make scoring and evaluating ideas easier, you could use a platform like Accept Mission.

For example, in our software, we have the following features that could help you:

  • Scoring fields with graphs (perfect for impact vs investment scoring)
  • Custom fields for scoring (in case you want to add more criteria on how you evaluate ideas)
  • Bubble charts  — with ideas as bubbles (the bigger the bubble, the higher the likes)
  • Gamified missions for expert and stakeholder scoring

Go on a product tour and see what more Accept Mission could do. Or, if you want a more direct approach, book a no-strings-attached demo today and see the platform in action.