Cloud Idea Management Software | Manage Innovation and Ideas
Idea management software helps foster innovation to keep your company competitive.
Idea Management: 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, idea management software acts as a digital, automated suggestion box with a built-in idea review and approval workflow. Depending on the needs of the organization, these idea development workflows can be straightforward or highly complex, managing ideas and projects over the course of several years (for instance in the pharmaceutical or bioscience industries).
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
- Product improvements
- Process improvements
- Strategic initiatives
- 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 Idea Management (Innovation Management) Work?
Idea management or innovation management software systems provide a way for leadership to collect ideas and track them through a rigorous evaluation process. When an idea is submitted, others within the organization can offer feedback on the idea 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 that's submitted and then sign off, reject, ask for more information, refer to another employee, etc.
Another task might involve assigning research to an individual, who would then attach their research and move the process forward. In the right idea management / innovation management tools, a task can really be anything that needs to be confirmed as having been done.
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.
Idea Management Tools for Tracking and Visibility
Integrify facilitates the tracking of the idea management process from conception until they become actual projects. This becomes critical when numerous new ideas are created every month by employees, customers, and partners. The software helps everyone involved track where each idea is, how far along in the process 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 into your process for evaluating employee ideas can have a huge impact on engagement.
Additionally, Integrify provides a way of “memorializing” ideas and collating documentation regarding past decisions, so teams can assess the novelty of an idea as well as 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, the development of new ideas as being “very ad hoc,” with no standardized method for keeping all stakeholders abreast of the most recent developments. Lacking proper idea management tools, ideas can languish and go nowhere, with promising suggestions doomed to forever live as water-cooler banter between your knowledgeable, talented employees.
Using cloud idea management and innovation management software, you can ensure that your employees, partners, and customers feel that their ideas are heard. They can see their idea move from something nebulous to something concrete and tangible, improving morale.
Another benefit is that with better visibility and communication in the idea management process, employees and customers will put more new ideas forward. This happens because:
- People weren’t previously clear on how to "officially" make a suggestion.
- More people will see their ideas coming to fruition with a smoother, smarter process.
- People will trust the process since they can track the progress of their idea and see the status.
- The process is democratic and every idea is given the same attention.
Are You Ready to Boost Organizational Idea Management and Innovation?
Your company may have a lot of great ideas floating around peoples' heads, but until you have a repeatable way to collect them, evaluate them, and assign them they will continue to float and rob the company of idea management and innovation.
No business can survive or grow without proper idea management. You can’t grow your business if all you’re doing is what other people have done before you. When you use cloud idea management software, you’re able to nurture the best ideas from your team members, your customers, and your 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 management 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, who may be also using idea management software for this exact purpose, and C) increase team morale with satisfied employees.
Why wait? Adopt these idea management principles today.