A Short Guide To Evaluating Innovative Ideas

If you’re serious about implementing innovation in your business, you’ll make sure that you’re gathering as many innovative ideas as possible. However, no one has time to act on every single idea they’re presented with, and neither would you want to!

Charlie de Rusett
by Charlie de Rusett
data driven innovation

Between the initial brainstorm and the final rollout, it’s vital that your entire team understands what makes an idea useful, valuable and effective, so you can all decide where to focus your energy for maximum impact.

While the evaluation process is different for every company, one simple way to organise your ideas is to put them into an ‘idea evaluation matrix’. By ranking each idea within select categories, you’ll have a clear metric (and subsequent business case) for deciding which plans make sense and stand out.

Categories might include:


How much time will this idea take to plan, implement and produce results? Whether it’s a quick fix or a long-term project, does the time investment reflect its value?


What will it cost to bring this idea to life, including multiple pilots (if necessary) and a full roll-out? Sometimes big changes are worth big investments, but you need to know that you’re going to get a return on your spend.

Potential Impact

Is this a major shift in the way that you work, and will it change the way your clients see you? Big, bold ideas can be scary, but often highlight the changes that need to happen.

Monetary Impact

Is this idea going to directly impact your bottom line? Innovation should have a direct impact on your company finances, so always consider this dimension carefully.

Amount Of Organisation Affected

While it’s important to pay attention to the needs of each team, when you’re allocating resources it often makes sense to prioritise the ideas that will affect the greatest number of people.

Business Critical

How vital is it that this idea happens, and happens soon, for the survival of your business? Take a look at the wider landscape and think about how this idea sets you apart.

Linked To Strategic Goals

You already have a strategic direction for your company, but does this idea fit? The best idea in the world is no use to you if it takes you in a direction you’re not trying to go in.


Will someone be able to take ownership of this idea, and manage the process from end to end? All innovation needs to be managed, so make sure your great idea is manageable.


Of course, not every idea needs to go through this process to the same amount of detail. For quick wins, run through the checklist and get going. For big plans, take your time to really consider the pros and cons of each category, and use this metric as a way to structure the business case you take to senior management.

For more thoughts on how to identify the high quality ideas that form the basis of your team’s innovation process, come and speak to our experts!

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