Idea Management Software | Manage Innovation and Ideas
Software to help foster innovative ideas and to keep your company competitive.
What Is It?
Idea management software, sometimes called innovation management software, is used to vet new product ideas, develop new internal procedures and policies, respond to customer and employee suggestions, and much more. In short, the best software for managing ideas is a digital, automated suggestion box with a built-in idea review and approval workflow. Depending on the organization's needs, these idea development workflows can be straightforward or highly complex, managing ideas and projects over several years (for instance, in the pharmaceutical or bioscience industries).
Innovation is critical for businesses because it helps them stay competitive, adapt to changing customer needs, improve efficiency, and increase profitability. Without innovation, businesses risk falling behind their competitors and becoming irrelevant in their industry.
Types of Ideas to Manage
Ideas can come from anywhere: employees, customers, partners, the market, etc., and can be in a variety of categories, for instance:
- New products for a product manager to consider
- Product improvements for engineers
- Process improvements
- Strategic initiatives for leadership
- Morale improvements
- Goodwill efforts
Centralizing the process for getting these innovative ideas increases the volume of ideas received, ensures consistency and quality, and makes them more actionable by the appropriate staff. Cloud-based idea management software provides one point of truth for the entire system, a key part of the innovation management process.
How Does an Idea Management System (Innovation Management) Work?
Also called "innovation management software," systems like Integrify allow leadership to collect and track ideas through rigorous evaluation. After idea generation or following brainstorming sessions, when employees submit ideas, others within the organization can offer feedback or point to existing solutions of which the submitter is unaware. Each step of the idea review process is a task within a visually-displayed process.
A task might consist of a simple approval; for instance, a "gatekeeper" administrative employee might review every idea submitted, sign off, reject, ask for more information, refer to another employee, etc.
Leadership may want to evaluate ideas or prioritize ideas in real-time based on the potential benefits.
Another task might involve assigning research to an individual, who would then attach their research and move the process forward. A task related to the idea can be anything that needs to be confirmed as having been done. In this way, it can be similar to project management.
Different departments may have different tasks during the evaluation process; for instance, a product marketing team may meet (in person or within the collaboration area of the software) to discuss a product idea’s potential, providing documentation and research supporting its viability. If it is determined that a market exists for such a product, the idea moves on to the next phase.
Tools for Tracking and Visibility
Integrify facilitates tracking the idea process from conception until it becomes an actual project. This becomes critical when employees, customers, and partners create numerous new ideas every month. The software helps everyone involved track where each idea is, how far along it has moved, and its current status. In addition, reports and KPI dashboards can show the rate and success levels of idea flow within the organization, helping measure innovation.
Transparency is key! A large percentage of employees feel disengaged in the workplace. Some surveys show this as high as 87%. Providing transparency in your process for evaluating employee ideas can greatly impact engagement.
Additionally, Integrify provides a way of “memorializing” ideas and collating documentation regarding past decisions so teams can assess an idea's novelty and track which ideas were not pursued (and why those decisions were made). This resource saves significant man-hours in retreading well-worn paths.
Idea Management Software Helps Build Morale
Without idea management software to track this process, developing new ideas is “ad hoc,” with no standardized method for keeping all stakeholders abreast of the most recent developments. Lacking proper management tools, ideas can languish and go nowhere, with promising suggestions doomed to forever live as water-cooler banter between your knowledgeable, talented employees.
With the right idea platform, leadership can ensure that your employees, partners, and customers feel their ideas are heard. They can see their idea move from something nebulous to concrete and tangible, improving morale.
Another benefit is that employees and customers will put more new ideas forward with better visibility and communication in the idea process. This happens because:
- People weren’t previously clear on how to "officially" make a suggestion.
- More people will see their ideas fruition with a smoother, smarter process.
- People will trust the process since they can track the progress of their ideas and see the status.
- The process is democratic, and every idea is given the same attention.
Are You Ready to Boost Organizational Innovation?
Your company may have a lot of great ideas floating around peoples' heads. Still, until you have a repeatable way to collect, evaluate, and assign them, they will continue to float and rob the company of the most innovative ideas.
No business can survive or grow without innovative ideas. You can’t grow your business if all you do is what others have done before you. When using cloud idea management software, you can nurture the best ideas from your team members, customers, and partners and move them forward into actionable decisions, products, services, and more.
Proper idea management tools will make your employees feel heard and valued and increase their stake in the company’s success — because it’s the success of their ideas, too. So when you have a defined idea and innovation management process, you A) get great ideas for how your business can grow and continue delighting your customers, B) keep up with your competitors, and C) increase team morale with satisfied employees.
Why wait? Adopt these idea principles today.