The 3 Most Common Questions about Idea Management Software

I’ve been with IdeaScale since 2011.  I’ve been on thousands of prospect calls.  Though much has changed on our tool and in the innovation space, these questions are just as prevalent as they were in 2011. In 2017 I’m talking through the same concerns as I was 6 years ago. Here are the three most common questions about idea management software that I encounter each day:

1. How many people do I need to dedicate to running the community?

This is a great question, and the answer varies greatly.  While a few of our clients have dedicated FTE running their community day-to-day, a far more common scenario is a small group of Moderators dedicating an hour a week or a few minutes per day.  

What we can tell you is that some of our most successful most thriving communities have very active moderation.  It may take some time to find the right balance of moderation for your community. For insights on successful moderation strategies check out Innovation Awards winners: the Department of Labor, Making All Voices Count, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

2. Do I need to involve our IT?

Yes, for an internal employee facing project you do. But we swear we make this painless. (No really).  The one area in which you will need assistance from your IT team: utilizing Single Sign-On.  Single Sign-On is a method of connecting your existing employee credentials into our system allowing your employees to seamless login without creating a new profile.  Why is Single Sign-On important?  Well for a number of reasons:

Security – We know that in 2017 cybersecurity is a top concern of CEO’s (and IT alike). So keeping your community secure and intruders out of your community is a top concern. So whether it’s your everyday Russian agent or 400 pound hackers, we’ve learned that keeping data secure is of utmost importance.   

Ease of Use – By allowing your employees to be automatically logged in (without creating yet another login and password combo), we are removing a big barrier to participation. As much as we all love to create a new login and password, we can skip that step altogether.

In order to keep your IT team happy we’ve blueprinted our SSO methods here and here. These two documents save hours and hours of back and forth.  

We’ve overseen hundreds of Single Sign-On implementations. Representing IdeaScale  in many of those SSO engagements is our Senior Developer, Christoph Schebel.

“We set up calls with the client’s IT team to assuage any fears.  Frequently they’re off and running in just a few hours.” Schebel adds, “It can also be as fast as 15 minutes.”

After SSO is configured the rest of the configuration can be administered solely by a layperson and your IT dept can go back to their day job.

3. How long does it take to set up?

A typical enterprise on board takes four weeks (although the community itself can be up and running in just a few clicks). But what goes into that four weeks? Configuration of the community, set up and moderator training.  

I asked Innovation Architect, Kerry Seed, himself a veteran of hundreds of client launches, whether the four week timeframe was realistic?  

“We have broken down the configuration and on-boarding tasks into a four week schedule. Committed clients are able to launch in a month with ease.”

So what are the barriers to a quick launch? Seed reports, “Some people struggle to coordinate with marketing to get branding and communications plans set up. Once they have those assets in place though, it is usually smooth sailing.”

Also included the 4 week configuration period, is a training of the client’s Moderators and Administrators. Of the training regiment Seed adds “Our goal is to prepare clients for a successful launch. We encourage them to project into the future to consider their plan for executing on ideas. This all begins in the on-boarding process. Our four week plan covers not only software configuration, but strategic planning for creating a culture of innovation.”


This blog post is part of a series authored by IdeaScale employees. It showcases how they’re thinking about crowdsourcing and innovation as part of their daily routine. Feel free to ask questions or make comments.

This post is by Erik Siebert, Innovation Strategist at IdeaScale

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