How idea management software supports the creative process
Numerous companies use idea management software to support the process of brainstorming and idea development.
In recent years, the tools have mostly emulated a process that previously existed analogously:
- Ideas were entered into the idea management software.
- These were evaluated by first and second assessors, a decision was made on acceptance and a possible premium.
However, this approach did not optimally support the process of idea generation. In principle, the process that previously existed on paper was replicated: Earlier ideas were submitted using a paper form. A paper file was created, which was sent to an initial assessor. Then came the second opinion and finally – usually by a commission that met regularly – the decision.
The weak point: The creative development process of ideas was not considered. In the past, idea management processes were often administrative processes that served to systematically bring about decisions.
How can idea management software support idea generation?
The creative process begins in idea management and in the continuous improvement process not only with the formulation of an idea. The creative process begins with systematic questioning of the existing:
- What are the weaknesses of existing processes and procedures?
- Where does the company incur unnecessary material costs?
In the first phase of the creative process, idea management software has the task of promoting what science calls “problem sensitivity” :
The ability of people to identify and analyse problems and to develop opportunities for the generation of ideas. The knowledge and understanding phase is promoted through an exchange about a potential weak point or a potential problem.
The Innolytics® idea management software makes it possible to systematically promote the knowledge process. Employees can create discussions and invite others to these discussions. For example, when it comes to making the processing of customer complaints more efficient, the first phase discusses the weaknesses of the previous process and the views of others. High-quality discussions lead to a better analysis of problems. Ideas that aim to make a process more efficient through new solutions can be developed more purposefully.
Idea management software, which supports the understanding phase, enables employees to develop high-quality ideas.
How can idea management software support the development of high-quality ideas?
The Innolytics® idea management software is based on the principle of collaboration. After completion of the understanding phase, employees enter targeted ideas that are commented on by other users of the platform. These comments help authors of ideas to turn the first idea step by step into a high-quality concept.
Idea managers or CIP representatives can formulate key questions that idea authors should answer. For example:
- What is the benefit of the idea?
- How do you envisage its implementation?
- What are the risks of implementation?
Before an idea is released for evaluation, it usually goes through several optimization loops. This exactly replicates the creative process: Successful ideas are rarely those that idea authors had right at the beginning. They are changed several times, optimized again and again and go through several feedback loops. First-generation idea management software could not support this exchange. Technologies of the social Internet, as used by the Innolytics® idea management software, support this exchange.
Idea management software – more than just collecting ideas
In developing the Innolytics® idea management software, we were able to draw on the experience of more than 200 idea and innovation workshops. In numerous projects and in a wide variety of industries, we have experienced how ideas emerge from the first question to the finished concept.
The Innolytics® idea management software is based on these experiences. It makes it possible to map idea management processes, for example through multi-stage evaluation procedures or separate evaluations by platform users and expert teams. But more importantly, it supports the creative process: The possibility of structuring and guiding the understanding phase at the beginning. And the possibility of optimizing ideas again and again through several feedback loops. The active promotion of the creative process is one of the most important functions of innovative idea management software.