IdeaScale’s concept selection tool combines machine learning, the crowd, and your own criteria to highlight the best ideas from your team. Here’s how it works, feature by feature, to bolster your innovation strategy.
Workflow & Idea Routing
One of the critical steps in turning ideas into tangible results is getting them in front of the best stakeholders and leaders. This tool is designed to make that happen.
You can create a dynamic workflow that sends ideas to the best decision-maker for them. This can be a person’s supervisor, the head of a given department, your innovation committee leader, or whoever you want to designate.
All you need to do is toggle on the “Idea Owners” switch and pick the people who need to see what’s coming in. They’ll receive the notification automatically, and you can designate multiple owners.
This both keeps the process moving and surfaces ideas as they arrive. Showing engagement and connection encourages more ideas and helps kickstart your innovation strategy.
Many ideas belong to sort of the same family. Consider your company website: Two different stakeholders may have entirely different perspectives on the site but have the same or similar idea. Or, conversely, they both have excellent but potentially conflicting ideas.
The idea linking tool helps you tie those ideas together. Go into the idea you’d like to connect on the your platform, click the “Add Linked Ideas” button, and you’ll be able to tie them together for consideration in the process.
Idea linking has other uses as well – if most of the ideas you’re receiving are focused on one particular area of the company, you can link them to better demonstrate an overall trend.
The idea linking tool also can connect ideas that naturally flow into each other, creating not just one product but also a progression of innovation. If, for example, somebody suggests a global change to the user interface on your website, while somebody else suggests a more specific UI change, you can link the two ideas for consideration at the same time, or for incorporating them into a larger approach.
When it comes to getting feedback, you’ll want a system that’s easily understood and quickly filled out, but granular enough that you can draw meaningful conclusions. This is why IdeaScale uses the classic five-star rating scale to collect the opinion of your crowd.
On a practical level, it’s a system that’s easy to understand and implement for everyday use. It doesn’t need to be translated or otherwise adapted across borders. Five-star reviews can also be applied quickly and anonymously – particularly important when people have to make tough decisions.
On the back-end, a scale of one to five is just detailed enough that you can make better decisions about your projects. You can not only compare the overall ratings of ideas, but you can also see how many ratings they’ve gotten by participants. If an idea has a mediocre rating, but only a handful of people have seen it, you can promote it, get more ratings, and gain a clearer picture.
Most people have discovered tags thanks to social media. Yet tagging has been part of filing systems for decades, and they offer a convenient way to sort and find data now.
We’ve taken it one step further with smart tagging. If you’ve followed a tag on a social media platform, you know that the broader the tag is, the less useful it will be. We use natural language processing to help you create the tags you need.
When you click to tag an idea or when a member of your team goes to submit an idea, the platform will scan it and suggest any tags that might make sense. On the user end, this helps your organization route ideas to where they most need to go, and on the back end, it offers valuable data.
For example, if you see a tag in heavy rotation, that’s helpful information to track and better understand trends on your platform. Community-created tags are also tracked, helping you spot needs and trends. And, as you’re going through ideas, tags allow you to better sort ideas and approaches into buckets. Committees can dig through ideas by tag, and combine it with idea linking to draw out more connections.
Ideas are evaluated across multiple scales. For example, installing solar panels or wind power for your company headquarters is a good idea in multiple ways, but can it be done cost-effectively? Will it disrupt operations? Can the savings and emission reductions be achieved in other ways that are faster or more effective?
Weighted reviews allow you to collect this feedback from stakeholders during the review process. You can set specific criteria to be weighted and also gather more specific feedback as needed. This offers more data to decide which ideas to pursue and creates more data to guide your innovation process over time. If an idea is prohibitively expensive and has to be temporarily set aside on that basis, for example, it helps your team understand what you’re looking for.
Any crowdsourcing campaign, internal or external, will collect a wide range of ideas. Being able to manage those ideas on a portfolio level helps you spot trends and move quickly on needed approaches.
Our portfolio design also makes it simple to bulk-edit ideas, add tags, link multiple ideas, and otherwise connect them. Organizing at this level makes innovation strategy and management that much easier.
Another top-level management tool is our text analysis. As ideas are submitted, tagged, and otherwise put out there, the engine sorts through them and picks out certain keywords and tags that keep coming up.
This is useful for finding specific trends, like rising tags, and for collecting overall information. It also can sort out community-contributed tags, giving you other tools.
By better sorting, tagging, and managing your overall idea portfolio and giving your organization the same tools, you can advance your innovation strategy more effectively. To learn more, request a demo!