What is an idea management software & why your business needs one

“Innovation is the process of turning ideas into manufacturable and marketable form.” — Watts Humprey.

What is idea management?

According to Gartner, idea management is a structured process of generating, capturing, discussing and improving, organizing, evaluating and prioritizing valuable insight or alternative thinking that would otherwise not have emerged through normal processes.

To keep it simple – idea management is an organized procedure of gathering great ideas, identifying the best of them, sorting valuable insights and implementing them within the organization. Ideas can be about implementing new products, ways to improve business processes, cost savings, maximize efficiencies and more.

Gathering ideas can be done via multiple processes.

Different models of idea management:

Centralized Model

Centralization in any business organization is the spotlight of pre-eminence and control which lies in the hands of very few people.

Typically, this model is utilized by organizations with less than 200 employees.

In this model, employees bring up new ideas against the business challenges posed and place them into a transparent system.  Top core team of organization will then be notified of the idea posted.

After basic evaluation of the idea, core team and respective employee work collectively to advance it further. If an idea isn’t appropriate, then the no-go decision is announced to employee automatically using the idea management system by changing the status against it.

Once an idea is accepted by panel members, the idea may be developed as an ongoing/existing project. The project lead will be made responsible for updating the status of the idea to the respective employee.

If the idea development involves gateways where additional choices need approval from the core committee of the organization, there will be trigger back in an idea management tool to them. The core committee people, as well as project supervisor, are responsible for the project implementation, monitoring the outcomes and making decisions about how to additionally improve it.

Decentralized Model

This is similar to the centralized model and used by companies with 200-500 employees, but the only real difference is that there is no core committee making decisions about the ideas. Decision making responsibility is moved over to the head of operations/management team.

The managers/lead of idea management team is provided with all the necessary resources, aiding faster decision making and taking a calculated leap. Generally, these managers/leads don’t take the final action all alone, they seek domain experts advice. Hence they formulate their own expert panel board or quickly ask for an expert opinion to undergo development process.

Key responsibilities of the executives are mainly to monitor the flow of ideas, measure the outcomes and convey the information to the managers about potential challenges and opportunities for improvement.

Advantages:

  • Relieves the top management from day to day problem-solving.
  • Lower level executives are exposed to local conditions and stand a better chance of making effective decisions.
  • More sense of ownership as decentralization involves the delegation of responsibility and the associated decision-making powers across various levels in the organization.
  • Operational independence.
  • Make fewer mistakes with more transparency.

Hybrid Model

The hybrid model is the combination of centralized and decentralized models. It is used by companies larger than 500 employees and also by smaller companies that have a large portfolio of projects.

In such organizations, ideas usually originate at 2 different levels i.e., organisational level and product level. These ideas need handling in a different way. One panel or committee for decision processing simply doesn’t cut it for all the different ideation needs.

There will be a need for different decision-making panels to decide on new product ideas and general idea management to process organizational development ideas.

When the organization has separate ideation tracks, there will be dedicated processing members or core group to look after different tracks.

Different tracks get executed in different processes like their ideation meetings and the development procedures. They should be defined in a way to match their respective local conditions. A true hybrid model allows organizations to effectively combine the merits of individual and team approaches.

What is idea management software?

Idea management software is a tool which helps companies to gather ideas from their employees, evaluate those ideas and deploy them to the market faster and increase productivity. They promote a decentralized innovation culture within the organization.

Using idea management software, you can

  • Gather all thoughts and ideas from your employees.
  • Analyze and evaluate each idea.
  • Shortlist the best ideas along with top level representatives.
  • Track how different ideas are progressing.

Forrester also claims that 53% of global services decision-makers are investing in emerging innovation and idea management technologies to drive innovation.

With Idea Management Softwares you can obtain ideas for existing business challenges and capture fresh ideas. It provide an innovation platform to employees to ideate and collaborate towards business transformation and maintain transparent and robust innovation management workflow process.

There are different idea management platforms available in the market. But not all of them have the same features. We recommend you look for the following must-have features when selecting an idea management platform:

  • Seamless integration
  • Gamification
  • Ideation and collaboration
  • Powerful workflow process
  • Customization based on your organizational needs.

Read to know: How to drive innovation from within the organization

Benefits of idea management software

Capture employee’s ideas:

Accumulate ideas from employees in all divisions with idea management software. Encouraging everyone to share their thoughts in an organization can frequently increase the count of ideas and give more potential ideas to gain organizational development.

Employees working in the organization are the ones who bring up innovative ideas. Idea management software helps employees share their imaginative thoughts with the people in an organization.

Quickly capitalize on the best ideas:

Collect the best ideas swiftly and capitalize on them with an idea management software to gain productivity in the organization.

Because an idea management software lets you tap into all the ideas of employees, you’ll get more ideas and will have the capacity to capitalize the best ones quickly.

Promote greater transparency of ideas:

Keeping a transparent idea management software can enable employees to see everyone’s ideas and comments on it. With transparency of the idea, employees get encouraged and can improve thoughts through feedback.

It also helps increase employees engagement and empowers them to proactively work together on enhancing ideas in an open system.

Collaboration on ideas:

Idea management software is an open tool, where employees can work cooperatively to enhance each other’s thoughts. Idea management software enables employees to share their ideas as well as comment on other ideas. Enabling your employees to work collaboratively on ideas can help shape ideas into more complete, compelling solutions.

Gain a sustainable competitive advantage:

Idea management software enables the organization to progress quickly by accumulating and evaluating ideas productively and enable the organization to gain a sustainable competitive edge.

With more ideas, idea management software helps the organization recognize, develop the idea with more potential and capitalize ideas quickly to increase business productivity.

Conclusion:

Idea management software is a web-based platform to gather ideas. Because it is web-based, it can enable the organizations to collect, share and evaluate ideas at a speed never before with flexibility.

Employees need to be involved in idea management processes and this softwares offer a strategic procedure and workflow to ensure only the best ideas are captured and implemented quickly.

Check out the workflow of our own idea management system.

Wave Work Flow

This, in turn, can help companies to compete at a new, higher level and delight customers in compelling new ways.

Ideas Are The Lifeblood Of Business. Capture Every Fleeting Idea And Drive For Change – Richard Branson

The best part is that an idea management software empowers administrators to measure the bottom-line impact of ideas gathered and developed, making it simpler than ever before to discover the “return on ideas” that an idea management software provides.

Is an idea management software system ideal for your organization?

Check out Wave – SharePoint based Idea Management application where your best and brightest ideas come together.

Explore the video tour of Wave

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