If this is your first time choosing an idea management platform, it can be difficult to know what to look for.
There are a number of digital tools out there that claim to be workable solutions to innovation management. However, few of them are actually designed specifically as comprehensive innovation platforms with end-to-end project control and collaborative working. Moreover, a lot of the out-of-the-box tools out there won’t give you the long-term support you need to evolve your platform as your company grows.
These pitfalls can set you up for failure on the first step of your innovation journey. To help you avoid disaster, we’ve distilled what we believe the best idea management software should provide into five key areas. Make sure you consider all five when you choose your platform.
1. Idea Management
The centrepiece of your platform is its idea management capabilities. Most platforms will allow you to capture ideas from a number of stakeholders. However, you’ll need a more comprehensive suite of features than that if you’re looking to run your programme in the long term.
A good platform will allow you to sort, rank and track ideas through a number of different stages of the innovation process. As ideas develop, they’ll also get more in-depth, so make sure each idea can be expanded upon as it moves through your funnel. Look out for platforms with intelligent search and sorting features too – they’re good indicators of quality.
Making sure you have a rigorous management process is only half of the battle. You also need to ensure that people will actually want to use your platform. That’s where gamification comes in.
The best idea management platforms reward users the more they collaborate and generate ideas. This helps to keep your team engaged over the long term and encourages some healthy competition to fan the flames of innovation. Gamification also provides a platform for attribution and recognition of your top performers – a key ingredient for healthy workplace morale. Before you buy, make sure you assess the ways in which your platform keeps users engaged.
3. Social working
Employees love to have their name attributed to their ideas. It helps them to see how their creativity and hard work really is helping to transform the way you do business. However, the best attribution systems go one step further than this, providing a platform for collaboration across multiple areas of business and bringing users together.
That’s why social integration is a must-have component of your idea management platform. Users should be able to find the skills and knowledge they need to make ideas a reality. That often means going outside their normal work environments to build new relationships and foster innovation. The best platforms make this easy.
Innovation programmes are immeasurably valuable to your company. However, they can also be costly and time-consuming if managed improperly. You need to maintain a broad view of your innovation system to ensure that it’s working effectively. That means having access to a comprehensive data profile and reporting process to ensure you’re setting and hitting KPIs. When shopping around for platforms, don’t forget to ask about reporting features. They could make or break your programme.
Innovation platforms are catalysts for rapid, effective change across your organisation. With all that change going on, you need a platform that can adapt as quickly as your team. A good support service is key to this, as you may need to make adjustments to your platform architecture and programming on the fly. The platform, too, should be constantly evolving, with regularly released updates, features and fixes. Talk to the salesperson about their customer support options and check their version history to see how well-maintained their platform is.
Here at Idea Drop, we have a dedicated customer success team that works with our clients on a long-term basis to help them get the most out of the platform. We help them co-author their platform-wide challenges, run workshops and webinars for their team, create regular engagement reports and always stay in touch regarding updates and new features.
That’s our five essential features of a quality idea management platform. We’ve carefully designed Idea Drop to account for all of these essential features and more. Take a look at our product demo or chat with us now to find out what a top-tier idea management platform looks like.