Manage ideas and projects in Funnel with workflow

Always in control of you innovations

Idea Management

Organize, track, and develop ideas from inception to approval with unparalleled ease. Our platform provides dynamic tools to enrich all of your ideas, utilizing AI and visualizations to categorize, prioritize, and select the most promising ones. With group decision making, you can speed up your innovation funnel like never before, turning your Kanban into a structured, manageable flow and driving real business value.

Idea Management for continuous improvements with Funnels
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Idea Funnel Management

Ideas collected will be automatically placed into Idea Funnels. You can create multiple funnels. Funnels are presented in different views: Kanban, List, XYZ Graph and Bubble charts.

Drag & Drop ideas in the right Stage/Gate and configure the funnel with all kind of automatisation rules (status, owner, notification, move, etc. Report on the progress of ideas in your funnel.

Power Tools

Our promise is to empower Innovators in the best possible way. In the funnel you always see what items need attention:

  • Idea Deadline over due (task)
  • High popularity (based on user actions)
  • Enriched – ideas who need more info
  • Idea Score – Ideas with High/Med./Low score
  • Opportunity Score – Most interesting based on AI models
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Score & Select ideas

Score & Select ideas

Configure custom selection (score) criteria and score ideas based on these criteria. Or start a group decision making mission and the best ideas will be presented based on the input of: Experts, management, board, customers, end users.

You get rich and interactive reports and can download all results to Excel to even do deeper analysis.

AI powered Innovation

Make use of all kind of AI tools to empowers innovations in the best possible way:

  • Generate Ideas with AI
  • Find similar (duplicate) ideas
  • Generate campaign briefings
  • Many more tools!
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Learn more about Funnel Management

An innovation funnel is a type of funnel that will screen innovative ideas for viability and profitability so that only the best products, processes, propositions, or business models are realized.

A term often interchanged with innovation pipeline, both these tools are useful in managing ideas.

However, as written in this article, an innovation pipeline focuses only on the exterior step-by-step progression of an idea, while an innovation funnel is more specific. It considers whether an idea is approved or not to determine the progress of the innovation process.

You can compare the differences between these tools by comparing them to a sales funnel and a sales pipeline.

Just as how a sales pipeline simply illustrates the stages that your leads go through to become a customer, an innovation pipeline also shows the stages through which an idea becomes an innovation project.

Meanwhile, as your sales funnel represents the entire customer journey, an innovation funnel demonstrates the entire innovation process, specifically in terms of handling and managing ideas.

In addition, this mechanism also shows what happens to every idea if they ever get approved or discarded along the way. So while you can say that your sales funnel is client-based, your innovation funnel, on the other hand, is status-based.

An innovation funnel pragmatically guides the statuses of your innovation initiatives. To use it effectively, you need to define it in a manner that matches your needs. You can do this in four simple ways:

1. Define what your innovation goals and strategies are

Your innovation goals and strategies generally direct the nature of your innovation efforts. This is why you should take adequate time to evaluate and define your innovation goals and objectives prior to any innovation process.

2. Determine whether you’re focusing on a pull or push approach

A pull approach is customer-centric. It first recognizes a genuine issue that a customer faces or identifies any unmet need before looking for a solution. Hence, with a pull approach, companies study the problem first and then develop a solution after.

Push innovation, on the other hand, is solution-centric. With this method, businesses create the product or technology first, and then identify the problem it solves.

Remember that these perspectives are different, so whichever you choose may cause a change in your innovation funnel.

3. Establish what success in innovation means to you.

Some companies define innovation success as simply being able to implement their innovation project rather than being able to scale it. On the other hand, some businesses also see scaling as part of their success.

As you can see, success in innovation can be relative. It really depends on what you want to achieve with your innovation projects and how you define it.

Some companies may see success as commercializing a product, while others may find success in simply completing the project or generating new knowledge. There are also those who view success as launching a minimum viable product (MVP) to see if it works in the market.

Knowing how you will measure the success of your innovation projects helps you understand where you should focus your efforts. It also allows you to set thresholds and limits as to how much risk you’re willing to take. These measures eventually help shape your innovation funnel.

4. Create relevant statuses or stages of your innovation ideas from start to end

Always think about what you want to measure. For instance, in terms of sales, if you want to know the conversion status of a potential lead, you need to set up systematic stages that would specifically direct your lead’s progress until he or she ends up purchasing your product.

The same goes true for your ideas. In your innovation funnel, you need to create specific stages and statuses of every idea until it becomes an approved or implemented project. Just remember to create each stage with a specific purpose.

Here are some of the most popular innovation models you can use as a basis for your innovation funnel:

Stage-Gate Method

The stage-gate method is a popular innovation model used by many companies.

What are the phases in the Stage-Gate method?

It is a process that helps organizations control and manage the risks associated with their innovation projects by separating the project into different stages, where each stage has specific requirements that need to be met before the project can move on to the next stage.

This framework helps ensure that companies can only move forward with high-quality projects that are likely to succeed.

  • Stage 0: Discovery – The discovery stage is all about generating new ideas. This is where you allow your team to come up with as many ideas as possible without any filters or limitations. The goal here is to generate as many ideas as possible, no matter how crazy they may seem.
  • Stage 1: Scoping – In this stage, you narrow down your ideas and focus on those that have the most potential. This is where you start to evaluate each idea and identify which ones are worth pursuing.
  • Stage 2: Business Plan Concept – This is where you start to develop your chosen idea or ideas further. You will need to create a business plan and conduct market research to see if there is a demand for your product or service.
  • Stage 3: Development – As the name suggests, this stage is where you start to develop your product or service. You will need to create prototypes and test them to see if they work as intended.
  • Stage 4: Testing and validation – Now, you will need to test your product or service in the real world to see if it works as intended. You would also have to gather your users’ feedback or insights to see if there are any improvements you have to make.
  • Stage 5: Launch and implementation – Finally, you can now launch your product or service to the public. Make sure that everything is in place before you distribute your product or service for commercialization, like your marketing, sales, and customer support.

Design Thinking Method

The design thinking method is used to come up with creative solutions to problems. It is a problem-solving process that encourages creativity and collaboration.

Design thinking method

This framework is most useful for product designers. However, businesses can also use this process to come up with innovative solutions to problems. The design thinking process typically follows these five steps:

  1. Empathize: Try to understand the problem from the user’s perspective. Collect relevant data via interviews, surveys, and observations.
  2. Define: Know what problems you need to solve Analyze the information you have taken in the previous step.
  3. Ideate: Come up with as many creative solutions to the problem as possible. Brainstorm with your team and come up with ideas that are outside the box.
  4. Prototype: Create a prototype of your chosen solution and test it to see if it works as intended. If it does not work, go back to the ideation step and come up with another solution.
  5. Test: Test your prototype in the real world and gather feedback from users. Use this feedback to improve your prototype.

Lean Startup

The lean startup method is a framework that helps organizations reduce waste and increase efficiency. It is often used by startups as it helps them save time and money by launching their product or service faster.

Lean startup method

This process contains three steps:

  1. Build: Build your product or service quickly and efficiently. Create a minimum viable product (MVP) that you can test in the market.
  2. Measure: Measure the results of your MVP and gather feedback from users. This step is important as it will help you determine whether your product or service is something that people will genuinely want or need.
  3. Learn: Use the feedback you have gathered to improve your product or service. Apply what you have learned to make your product or service better and to avoid costly mistakes in the future.

PACE

PACE is a five-phase iterative method that combines design thinking, lean startup, and agile scrum. It’s a systematic innovation process that continually validates ideas with clients to make sure that it ends up as something that the customer actually wants.

Manage ideas

Source: The ING Direct way of working — Part 2 : The stages of PACE | by Leandro Pinter | Medium

This approach promotes the quick release of innovative goods and services created by nimble, independent, and multidisciplinary teams.

  1. Discovery: Consider the structure of the problem you’ve chosen to solve. Check at trends in consumer behaviour and market trends, technological advancements, regulatory changes, rival businesses, and internal improvements.
  2. Problem fit: Evaluate and validate the issue of your customers.  Identify the problem that merits fixing and the people for whom you are solving it for. Assess the importance of the problem to your selected market to confirm whether or not your idea genuinely provides a commercial opportunity.
  3. Solution fit: Make a variety of potential solutions to your client’s problems. Develop and evaluate various parts of your solution through experimentation, refining it iteratively until it meets your customers’ preferences.
  4. Market fit: Create an MVP of the product and its related services, then launch them. This aids in testing your idea in the real world and determining its financial viability in your target market.

Scaling: Now that your riskiest hypotheses have been proven correct, you may completely introduce the solution to your target audience. Commercialize your product or service. Choose the quickest, most effective strategy to enter your intended market.