Whether a start-up or a well-established company, you have to evolve constantly. And companies grow with innovation.
Innovative organizations are always overflowing with ideas. Thus, idea management becomes integral to success.
They get lost when you have ideas coming in constantly but nowhere to put them. This may affect your next big hit.
Idea management is a formalized way of organizing and utilizing the ideas running within your organization. In this post, let’s understand what idea management is and why it’s essential for you.
What Is Idea Management?
Idea Management Definition
Idea management is the process of collecting, assessing, and prioritizing ideas. These ideas are the requests and feedback you receive from your internal team and external users.
It is a formal and systematic process for developing, eliminating, and implementing ideas on a large scale.
The critical practice of idea management is the use of idea management software. This idea management software performs the following functions-
- Gathers ideas in the form of feedback, requests, and suggestions.
- Compiles and groups them based on their themes.
- Sorts and filters these ideas.
Idea management is a critical component of fostering an innovative culture in your organization.
Idea management boosts productivity and profitability, but it also leads to increased levels of employee engagement.
Idea management makes sure your organization has a systematic approach to innovation. It includes having a system for gathering, compiling, filtering, evaluating, and implementing ideas.
Innovation and Idea Management
The relationship between innovation and idea management is pretty direct. However, many organizations seem to ignore this.
Organizations thrive only when they can look through the cracks and get innovative. A stagnant strategy gets you nowhere.
However, it’s one thing to ask your team’s opinion on something. But it’s a whole other to ensure that the information is helpful to your product.
Without a clear procedure, even the best ideas are prone to becoming lost.
An idea management system helps you establish a culture of constant innovation. Ideas no longer just become a passing thought but rather well-thought-of strategies.
The only difference between an idea and innovation is that the latter forms by utilizing the former.
Innovation is complex in this ever-evolving competitive world. That is why most ideas fail. You have to get serious when it comes to implementing your customer’s needs onto your product roadmap.
It takes more than just a brainstorming session to make an impact through your product.
Being meticulous about ideation can help you increase your capacity for innovation. This ensures you’re obtaining the most incredible ideas possible from your best resources.
What Are the Types of Idea Management?
Ideas can come from a variety of sources. Hence, various approaches are involved in idea management. This constitutes the type of idea management.
Here are the three most common types of idea management:
HR Idea Management
Now HR idea management focuses on ideas to improve company processes and save the company money. They may also include ideas for better employee engagement or company culture.
This idea management focuses on employee satisfaction and collects feedback or requests only from employees.
As the term suggests, this idea management is primarily done by the HR department. Idea management of this kind usually has incremental results.
R&D Idea Management
Now, these are idea management programs handled by the R&D department.
This type of idea management organizes ideas from their own employees and the outside world.
They gauge more radical yet strategic ideas. Most R&D idea management teams work along with product managers to see how an idea is compatible with the existing project.
Marketing Idea Management
This type of idea management program reaches out to customers and engages with them.
It shifts the focus from company to customers. They may not be radical, but they help implement customer ideas onto your roadmap.
The marketing department usually spearheads this type of idea management.
Why Is Idea Management Important?
Everyone believes they have the next big idea. These ideas, however, are meaningless if they strew over emails, charts, and notepads.
Idea management allows you to stay close to what clients desire, consolidate that feedback, and target your activities accordingly.
Nothing is more crucial for a product team than finding those chances for innovation.
It pays to have all the support you can find for modern businesses. Implementing a dedicated idea management technology assists at every stage of the ideation process.
Idea management is an effective solution to tackle feedback fatigue, the bystander effect, and disengaged managers.
Many companies have gotten themselves out of an idea plateau by implementing an idea management system.
What Is an Idea Management Process?
If you’ve decided to implement idea management, you will obviously need a process.
An idea management process is a step-by-step approach to your ideas. It involves a system for collection, storage, evaluation, collaboration, prioritization, and implementation of feedback and requests.
A basic idea management process consists of the following steps-
Centralize Your Ideas
Gather all your ideas in a single place. Be it your customers’ ideas or your employees’.
Setting up a central system for idea collection helps systematically categorize and evaluate them. Your ideas are not lost between emails, spreadsheets, and coffee breaks.
Your ideas may come from multiple sources but end up in a central repository.
Using idea management tools or product management software comes in handy here.
The ideas you prioritize should clearly align with your overall strategy. \Making a scorecard is an effective method for ranking ideas against a set of KPIs.
This allows you to respond yes or no to each idea submission and move on swiftly. You do not have to make this score available to the submitter. Although, it can be helpful when explaining your judgment.
Even after you categorize and assess the suggestions, you may need to ask clarifying questions to ensure you understand them.
Once you’ve determined the priority and whether you’ll incorporate the concept into your roadmap, you should notify the individual who submitted it, along with a brief explanation.
This increases transparency and encourages others to offer additional suggestions in the future.
Nonetheless, this kind of communication makes people feel heard about their ideas. When people understand the impact of their contributions, they engage more.
What Are the Idea Management Best Practices?
Innovation and idea management have no hard or fast rules.
There aren’t any definite idea management best practices. It differs from company to company.
However, here are some common idea management best practices that we highly recommend-
One of the most crucial success factors for innovation and idea management is the ability to create value constantly.
Whatever you decide to focus on, ask yourself and your team: “Is this creating more value for our customers?”
How you do it depends on the situation as there are different ways to achieve this.
If you’re not familiar with what your customers want and are willing to pay for, you need to begin somewhere. And that’s your cue to design an idea management process that helps you with it.
Allocation of Resources
Because there are so many options, you must pick the correct areas of concentration and allocate your resources to support your vision.
Evaluate your assets (human and financial) and put them to the best use possible.
Finding the correct balance while managing your innovation portfolio is essential.
Using KPIs and Metrics
In addition to creating ideas, you have to prepare to measure them. You won’t know the usefulness of an idea if you cannot measure its impact.
Make sure your ideas are SMART and develop key performance indicators to evaluate them.
Your idea isn’t an innovation until you can measure its success.
You can begin by assessing various product metrics with the help of product analytics. However, it is wise to expand to more cultural, structural, and business metrics.
Now that you know everything about idea management, it’s a good idea to start implementing it.
Here’s a free product management tool to help you get more organized.
Some of the most successful idea management examples include Google, Linux, and Proctor and Gamble. The Wenzel Group is another medium-sized company cited by Innolytics Management Systems Software that successfully implemented idea management.
Company agreements usually govern idea management in companies. These agreements describe the kind of bonuses you can award. Bonus systems based on the economic value of an idea (e.g., profits from a new feature) are the most successful. Employees receive a percentage of the profits generated by their innovation.